Hazardous Materials in A Truck Crash – How to Handle

flammable material hazmat truck

Did you know federal data shows there were more than 20,000 highway incidents involving hazardous chemicals in 2022 alone?

Some of these incidents involved commercial hazardous materials (hazmat) trucks. While every commercial truck accident has the potential to cause catastrophic or fatal injuries, hazmat truck crashes may be even more dangerous.

If you were injured in a hazmat truck crash in the Fort Worth area, we may be able to help you seek compensation with no upfront cost. Our experienced Fort Worth truck accident attorneys know how devastating hazardous material truck crashes can be, and we have the resources to investigate these incidents and build a robust case.

Experienced attorneys advocating for the injured. Call (817) 920-9000.

Dangers of Hazardous Material Truck Crashes

Every commercial truck crash is dangerous, but hazmat accidents are uniquely risky. One reason is that these trucks are often carrying toxic or flammable liquids. If a crash causes a spill, the liquid could make the road slippery. This could cause multiple drivers to lose control of their vehicles, resulting in a multi-vehicle pileup.

Toxic liquids could also make the truck more likely to roll over or jackknife. This is because the liquid cargo could slosh around and potentially shift the trailer’s center of gravity.

The crash itself has the potential to cause life-changing injuries to those in smaller passenger vehicles. However, there are unique factors in hazmat crashes that pose an additional threat. Exposure to hazardous chemicals could also cause severe injuries, either from inhalation of the fumes or from skin contact with the substance.

Some hazmat cargo is highly flammable, which greatly increases the risk of fires or explosions during or after a crash. This can present a hazard for everyone in the area, including drivers and others who are nearby.

Injuries Suffered by Hazmat Crash Victims

Hazardous material truck crashes could result in significant injuries that may affect victims for the rest of their lives. This could include:

  • Second or third-degree burns
  • Neurological damage
  • Untreatable respiratory issues
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Smoke inhalation injuries
  • Severe skin or eye irritation
  • Radiation poisoning

These injuries can cause severe physical or cognitive problems that require long-term medical care. Many victims will have permanent disabilities that severely limit their ability to work and engage in the activities they once enjoyed.

Hazardous Materials Transported by Hazmat Trucks

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has nine classes of hazardous materials. This includes:

  • Explosives – This category covers anything that could cause an explosion or become a projectile, blasting agent or detonating device.
  • Gases – This includes compressed gases, whether they are flammable or non-flammable.
  • Flammable liquid – examples of these substances include gasoline, diesel fuel, motor oil, kerosene and ethanol
  • Flammable solids and spontaneously combustible materials – examples include sulphur, aluminum powder, activated charcoal and magnesium
  • Oxidizers and organic peroxides – These are chemicals that enhance the burning of other materials.
  • Toxic materials and infectious substances – These are infectious biological substances that are not gases or liquids, like rat poison. These substances can cause disability or death if humans or animals are exposed to them. Other examples include Marburg virus, Hepatitis B virus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Radioactive materials – These materials could cause health problems for those in the local area for years or decades.
  • Corrosive materials – These are acid or base materials that are quick to corrode or burn.
  • Miscellaneous – These are hazardous substances that do not fit into another category, such as lithium-ion batteries. Dry ice is another example.

What You Need To Know About Seeking Compensation For a Hazmat Truck Crash

The legal process for a commercial truck accident case is challenging enough. The inclusion of hazardous cargo can make things even more complicated.

For example, there are numerous federal and state regulations on hazardous cargo. This includes regulations imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency. These regulations apply to many aspects of the transportation of hazardous goods, including labeling, packaging and security.

Hazmat truck cases can also be more complicated because multiple parties may share liability, including:

  • Trucking companies
  • Cargo owners
  • Manufacturers
  • Shippers
  • Government entities
  • And more

These are just a few of the reasons why victims of hazardous material truck crashes need an attorney who has:

  • In-depth knowledge of regulations on hazardous materials
  • Truck accident liability
  • How to gather evidence of liability
  • And more

At Anderson & Cummings, we have many years of combined experience managing complex motor vehicle accident cases. We know how to gather evidence of negligence that may have contributed to a trucking accident. Some of these pieces of evidence may include:

  • Electronic Logging Device Data: This can include data about the truck’s speed, braking, and other driver inputs leading up to the crash.
  • Cargo Documentation: This includes detailed records of the hazardous materials being transported.
  • Maintenance and Inspection Records: These records can indicate whether the truck was properly maintained and inspected. Analysis of these records may reveal mechanical failures or maintenance-related issues.
  • Environmental and Cleanup Reports: These documents can help to show the extent of damage caused by the hazardous materials spill, reinforcing the severity of the incident.

Call Anderson & Cummings To Discuss Your Truck Crash Claim

Seeking compensation for a hazmat truck crash is a complex process that requires extensive legal knowledge and resources. Victims should strongly consider enlisting the services of an experienced lawyer who has taken these cases before and secured results.

Anderson & Cummings’ board-certified attorneys can navigate the intricate legal process on your behalf, advocating for the compensation you need. There are no upfront fees and we do not get paid unless you receive compensation.

Call today to discuss your legal options: (817) 920-9000.

*These are actual dollar amounts paid to clients after the deduction of attorney fees and expenses.


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