Motorists might not realize that many of the large commercial trucks sharing the roads with them are transporting dangerous cargo, such as explosives, gases, radioactive materials, flammable liquids or solids, corrosive substances, or other hazardous materials.
Though the trucks, trucking companies, and drivers who transport these substances must adhere to extremely strict state and federal safety regulations, accidents can—and do—still occur.
In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, hazardous cargo is a factor in approximately 4 percent of fatal large truck crashes and roughly 2 percent of large truck injury accidents each year.
Many accidents involving dangerous truck cargo are preventable. Common causes include:
- Driver error
- Insufficient training
- Improperly-loaded freight
- Poor truck maintenance
- Faulty components
- Failure to follow government safety regulations
Sadly, when hazardous materials are involved, commercial vehicle collisions can be even more devastating than usual. In addition to the potential for suffering serious crash injuries—such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and spinal cord trauma—victims might also sustain injuries as a result of their exposure to the harmful substances, such as:
- Burns (from explosions or contact with chemical substances)
- Lung damage
- Vision loss
- Gastrointestinal damage
Injuries associated with hazardous substances can leave people buried under unexpected medical debt. They might also be disabling, causing disfigurement and humiliation that makes it difficult to work or socialize and otherwise reduce the quality and enjoyment of life.
Request a Free Initial Consultation
Hazardous material truck crashes can be catastrophic. If you were injured—or sustained significant property damage—in an accident with a truck transporting dangerous substances, it's essential to understand your legal rights and options.
If the accident and injuries were caused by another person's or company's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, wages missed while recovering from your injuries, loss of earning potential, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact Van Sant Law today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.