Over the past decade, the “food truck” scene has exploded, not only in Texas, but across the entire nation. Functioning as mobile mini-restaurants, these huge, lumbering vehicles often move around throughout their home cities, finding locations to park in and serving a variety of common and not-so-common foods to people in a hurry.
The sudden popularity boom of the food truck industry isn’t without drawbacks, though. As hundreds of chefs hit the pavement, there are a lot of inexperienced drivers behind the wheels of these massive and dangerous commercial vehicles, causing traffic snarls and sometimes bad accidents.
Here’s what you should be aware of about accidents with food trucks, including how they happen, some of the special dangers of these trucks, and how to get legal help if you’ve been hurt.
Food Trucks Pose Special Risks
When you’re getting a meal, it’s easy to forget sometimes that food trucks are actually heavy trucks, designed to be mobile. The “standard” size of food truck that you’re probably used to seeing can weigh as much as 16,000 pounds, with larger models reaching 30,000 pounds, or 15 tons. Compared to the average passenger vehicle of 2 tons (4,000 pounds), these are seriously heavy equipment.
Only the largest models of food truck typically require a commercial driver’s license (CDL)—otherwise, anyone can drive one, with no special training required. Operating one of these vehicles is very different from a passenger vehicle, as the large size means that there are many blind spots around the truck that the driver must be aware of. Food trucks also brake much more slowly due to their weight and size, and corner handling is different, too.
One serious consideration with food trucks is that these vehicles often carry their own power supplies with them—they may have generators with extra fuel tanks, or in many cases, large propane tanks are added to fuel the burners inside. These tanks are often large and mounted on the outside of the vehicle, posing a special risk of fire and explosion if the truck is in an accident and develops a gas leak.
Food trucks may also carry large quantities of oil used for deep frying, which is highly flammable. If hot oil is released during impact, it can also cause severe burn injuries in anyone it comes into contact with.
Liability in Food Truck Accidents
Being in an accident with a food truck can get complicated fast, since they are commercial vehicles. This means that victims that are seeking compensation can have many potential insurers and other parties to deal with, which can be very stressful and confusing, especially after serious injuries. The owner of the business may not be the driver, which means that the question of responsibility for the accident can be raised—usually businesses are responsible for the behavior of their employees when operating company vehicles. There can be commercial automobile insurance, business insurance, and other interested parties all pressing for a fast and cheap settlement before victims have had a chance to recover or realize the full extent of the injuries and other losses that the accident caused.
Get Legal Help Today
Contacting a personal injury attorney with experience handling commercial vehicle accidents can be an important step towards beginning the process of financial recovery afterward. Your attorney can investigate the accident and help you determine all parties that may be responsible for your accident, so that you can seek the full compensation that you are owed from a crash that wasn’t your fault.
You may be eligible to receive financial awards for your medical bills and follow-up care, physical therapy and rehabilitation, skilled nursing or long-term care needs, repair or replacement of your vehicle, pain and suffering, and other expenses related to the crash.
The attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP have been standing up for the rights of those who have been injured or lost loved ones in car accidents for decades. Let us bring our legal experience to the table to help you and your family begin the financial recovery process after your accident today. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation about your accident situation with a legal professional, call us by phone, use our online contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on our webpage right now.