Commercial trucks are an important part of the US economy. They carry just about every type of good across our nation’s highways and byways, including food, building materials, and more. These trucks, while necessary, can be unsafe due to their size. Commercial vehicle drivers must be adequately trained and follow strict guidelines. Each trucker has a responsibility to ensure that other motorists are free from harm.
Some commercial trucks contain cargo that is more dangerous than others. These shipments are called hazmat and can increase the risk of injury and death in the event of an accident. An incident caused by a truck carrying hazardous materials can have devastating consequences. Hazmat loads contain materials that threaten the lives of other motorists and can harm the environment.
If you are a victim of this type of accident, call a Rochester, NY, dangerous spills truck accident lawyer right away. The award-winning attorneys at Cellino Law have been handling all types of truck accidents for over 60 years. We have the experience and the resources to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call Cellino Law today at (800) 555-5555 for a free case evaluation. We are available 24/7 to hear your story. There is no fee unless you win.
What Does Hazmat Mean?
The word hazmat is an abbreviation for the term “hazardous materials.” These types of shipments are often shipped in bulk and can pose an increased risk to a person’s health, personal property, and the environment.
The types of substances often found in hazmat loads can include:
- Toxic chemicals
- Biological, radiological, and chemical agents
- Nuclear waste
- Natural gas
What Are the Different Types of Hazardous Materials?
A normal truck collision usually only threatens drivers in the immediate vicinity. A hazardous material spill can be toxic and threaten people for miles around. After a dangerous hazmat spill, these substances can be released as a solid, liquid, gas, fume cloud, dust, mist, vapor, and smoke. It can contaminate water or air and can cause burns.
Most types of gas used by consumers, especially the gas we buy for our cars, are moved in large tanker trucks. Examples include kerosene, ethanol, gasoline, jet fuel, and motor oil.
Many flammable chemicals can also be in solid form. They can include aluminum powder, magnesium, sulfur, and activated charcoal.
Law enforcement and the military also use our roadways to transport explosive material. These materials can be blasting agents or detonating devices. Some could explode or even become projectile.
A variety of toxic materials that can be shipped are considered hazardous to our health. This can include poisons and carcinogenic materials like asbestos, talc, and pesticides.
Maybe you have seen a horror movie where an accident of some type releases a deadly virus into the air. This scenario is not as far-fetched as you might think. Trucks do transport a variety of biological agents, including infectious pathogens.
There are many places across the country that still mine and utilize radioactive materials. An example is how uranium is mined and used for making weapons and giving energy to nuclear power plants. Not only is uranium transported, but it produces radioactive waste that needs to be disposed of in another location.
About 1 percent of all the dangerous material transported in the US each year is radioactive. That equates to about 15 million packages.
Gasses are also mined and used for energy. They can be either flammable or non-flammable but still dangerous when transported.
Acids and other materials, including battery acids, can cause major burns and corrosion.
Oxidizers are types of chemical compounds that can cause a severe burning hazard. They may not often be combustible but can increase the flammability of other substances when combined.
Other types of hazardous materials
There are many other types of hazardous materials that do not fit in the other categories. One example is lithium batteries, which can explode under pressure.
How to Prevent Dangerous Spills
In 1975, Congress enacted the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. This act allows the US Secretary of Transportation to regulate how hazardous materials will be transported. These regulations include:
- Policies and procedures for transporting hazardous materials
- How to label and designate these materials
- How hazardous materials are to be packaged for transportation
- Operational rules for handling during transportation
All hazardous shipments must be properly secured and labeled for the purposes of protecting the public. These loads must also be registered with the US government. Companies that hire hazmat drivers must also provide training on how to handle the materials they will be transporting.
What Types of Injuries Are Caused by Dangerous Spills?
Commercial vehicles that contain hazardous materials are at a higher risk of causing serious injuries or even death. The types of injuries you might sustain in an accident with a hazmat load can vary, depending on the substance you encounter. Due to the nature of these materials, you may require extensive medical care and even face permanent health complications.
The types of injuries caused by dangerous spills include:
- Chemical reactions/burns
- Head trauma
- Internal injuries
- Respiratory issues
- Lung damage
- Tissue damage
- Broken bones
- Neck and back problems
- Exposure to carcinogens
- Wrongful death
If you have been injured in an accident that involves hazardous materials, call Cellino Law today. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Dangerous Spill Truck Accident?
Figuring out who is responsible for causing a dangerous spill accident can be complicated. It is not always simply the large truck driver or his company who is at fault. Many times, it could be the motorist who is wholly or partly at fault for not driving safely around commercial vehicles. There may also be circumstances where there are other parties, even three or more parties, at fault.
The first course of action you should take after an accident is to contact a Rochester, NY, dangerous spills truck attorney. He or she will be able to help you assess whether your injuries may be severe enough to qualify for additional compensation, beyond what your insurance company can give.
Your lawyer will also be able to help you determine who can be held at fault. This list includes the:
- Truck manufacturer
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Repair company
- Company responsible for loading hazardous materials
- Third-party motorist who was driving recklessly
Why You Should Contact Cellino Law Today
Trucking companies are fully prepared to handle any injury cases that come against them. It comes with the job, and they have tough lawyers who know how to litigate these types of cases. If you are going to win the compensation you deserve, it can be an uphill battle.
Not only do trucking companies know how to protect themselves, but the personal injury victim is also required to prove the other party was negligent, that it was this negligence that directly caused the accident and your injuries. This is why it is important for you to hire an experienced attorney armed with the knowledge and resources needed to face any obstacle.
Cellino Law has over 60 years’ worth of experience taking on powerful entities. Trucking and insurance companies put self-interest first, but we put our clients first and the results speak for themselves. That is why we have been able to help our clients win over $2 billion in settlements.
Call Cellino Law today at (800) 555-5555. Our team is standing by 24/7 for a free consultation on your case. There is no fee unless you win your case.