FILLMORE COUNTY, Nebraska—Benjamin Neto suffered severe burns after the semi-truck he was driving rolled over and caught fire on September 7, 2022. The accident occurred around 11:30 p.m. near the intersection of state highways 81 and 74, several miles south of Geneva, Nebraska.
According to initial reports, Neto’s semi-trailer was towing other semi-trailers when it suddenly lost control, rolled over, and caught fire.
Neto was able to escape the blaze with his life but sustained major burn injuries. Neto was transported to Fillmore County Hospital and then transferred to CHI-St. Elizabeth’s hospital. He remains in serious condition. It is unknown whether Neto was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Further investigation is needed to determine whether a design defect contributed to the severity of this accident
When a semi-truck catches fire, the driver has only a matter of moments to escape the fiery blaze. In this case, it is amazing Neto was able to get out of the semi-truck alive. However, a design defect in the semi-truck he was driving may have contributed to the severity of this accident. To be sure, we encourage Neto to have an experienced attorney perform an independent investigation of the crash scene and semi-truck.
Design defects are often attributed to large vehicle manufacturers that do not foresee the dangers of their design until a vehicle is sold to the public. Design defects can include things like a gas tank that is placed in such a way as to spontaneously combust upon being hit or a fuel line that acts as fuel for fire instead of being isolated away from combustible components. Here, for instance, Neto’s truck might have been damaged in a rollover, but it may not have caught fire, sparing Neto from intensive burns.
Should an independent investigator discover a piece of the semi-truck was manufactured without the highest regard for safety, Neto may likely have a design defect claim against the semi-truck manufacturer. Alternatively, if Neto was employed by a commercial trucking company, that company may be responsible for compensating Neto for his burns through worker’s compensation or other means.
Commercial trucking companies are required to always maintain their trucks in a safe condition for their drivers. If a trucking company’s lack of regular maintenance can explain why the truck caught fire, perhaps the trucking company could be liable for Neto’s burns, as well. Again, an experienced investigator would be needed to uncover those details.
Our firm has investigated hundreds of similar accidents in the past and successfully recovered compensation for many victims of design defects and/or poor company maintenance. We know firsthand how important it is to have access to company records and manufacturing guidelines when litigating a case, which is why we focus on gathering all relevant information first before presenting our clients with a way to move forward in our justice system. At The Ammons Law Firm, we believe every victim deserves answers and access to justice.