Passenger vehicle occupants who are involved in accidents with commercial trucks are almost always at a physical disadvantage, sustaining more serious injury and property damage. These accidents are even more dangerous when the commercial truck is carrying hazardous materials. If you are involved in a hazmat-related accident, seek medical attention, give the doctor or other medical professional any information you have about the hazardous material involved, and speak with an experienced car accident lawyer.
In addition to the physical injuries that any commercial truck accident can cause, dangerous substances can also cause long-term illnesses and damage to the community. To learn more about your rights after one of these accidents, call Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm to discuss your situation with one of our Dallas truck accident lawyers.
Dangers of hazardous material transportation
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there were nearly 14,000 highway accidents involving hazardous materials in 2020 alone. Because vehicles carrying toxic or otherwise dangerous materials pose a greater danger on the road, drivers need to have specific endorsements in addition to the requirements for the commercial drivers’ licenses. State and federal transportation laws also impose special requirements intended to minimize the risk.
Large commercial trucks often weigh tens of thousands of pounds, leading to serious injury in the case of a crash. When the vehicle also carries hazardous materials, the risk is even greater. Dangerous contents may include flammable liquids or gases, explosives, toxic gases, or even infectious contents that could spread disease.
Consequences of truck accidents involving hazardous materials
The presence of hazardous materials like gasoline, pesticides, or corrosive or radioactive chemicals on a truck involved in an accident increases the danger for those involved in the accident as well as others in the area. A hazmat accident can involve:
- Fire, which can lead to burn injuries, vehicular explosion, and exposure to vapors
- Spills, potentially damaging nearby property and creating slippery road conditions, often leading to the temporary shutdown of the surrounding community during cleanup
- Airborne exposure to potentially toxic substances, which can cause irritation, respiratory conditions, and neurological disorders miles from the site
If you are involved in a crash involving dangerous chemicals, you may have immediate injuries, or you may have been exposed to chemicals that could cause serious long-term issues that are not immediately apparent. Seek medical attention immediately and let your medical caregivers know about potential exposure.
Get help after an accident
If you or a loved one were seriously hurt in a commercial truck accident, you will have several obstacles to pass on your way to obtaining fair compensation. You will need to deal with insurance companies, identify defendants, prove liability, and prove your injuries. If that accident involved hazardous materials, the stakes may be even greater.
Choose a knowledgeable attorney who understands the complexities of truck accident cases. At Angel Reyes & Associates, we offer personalized attention while fighting aggressively for clients’ rights. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.