Truck accidents in Homestead and other cities are already very dangerous. When an 18-wheeler or big rig collides with a passenger car, the passengers of the smaller vehicle often suffer devastating injuries. Many amputees and brain injury patients in Homestead, for example, have suffered their injuries as a result of traffic accidents. When a truck is carrying hazardous cargo, however, the injuries can be even more catastrophic.
If a commercial truck is carrying propane tanks, for example, the propane can light on fire or even explode on impact, injuring nearby motorists and bystanders. Concrete mixing trucks that experience mechanical failure in Homestead or another city can cause devastating injuries if the cargo spills on the road or comes into contact with passengers in other vehicles. If a truck is transporting oil or a flammable substance, a fire can result from an accident, resulting in serious burn injuries and fatalities. In some cases, trucks may be transporting toxic or poisonous material. If this spills after a crash, it can cause environmental devastation and severely harm anyone in the area. In all these types of accidents, the truck driver is at risk of a workplace injury in Homestead or other city where the accident takes place and other motorists and people in the area may also be at risk.
Since trucks do carry dangerous cargo each day, there are a number of rules in place for commercial trucks transporting hazardous materials. For certain materials, truck drivers need special training and certification. Some materials must also be labeled as hazardous and treated in an especially cautious manner. Truck carriers and drivers are responsible for ensuring that dangerous cargo is correctly loaded and unloaded on trucks so that the risk of injury is reduced. Commercial trucks carrying dangerous goods must also have additional insurance — $1 million or up to $5 million, depending on the hazardous material being transported. When these rules are violated, serious accidents and injuries are a common result.
The U.S. Department of Transportation and Commerce reports that more than 1.5 billion tons of hazardous cargo is transported across the country each year. Most of the cargo makes it safely to its destination. However, each year, statistics show that over 6000 accidents involving trucks carrying dangerous goods occurs each year. Over 200 fatal truck accidents each year occur involving trucks carrying hazardous materials.
If you are involved in a truck accident involving any hazardous material, it is important to get medical attention right away. Even if you are not sure whether you are injured, keep in mind that poisonous or hazardous material can lead to devastating health consequences, even if you do not have symptoms right away. You will need to get medical attention and medical care to make absolutely sure that you have not been affected by noxious fumes, smoke, or other dangerous substances at the accident site.
You will want to exchange contact and insurance information with the truck driver and take photos of the accident scene if you can. Exchange contact information with any witnesses at the scene, too. The more documentation you have, the more options you may have down the line.
One phone call you will want to make very quickly after your accident is to a personal injury attorney in Homestead or your community. Truck accident cases are very complex and you will want someone by your side.
Contact Flaxman Law Group at any time to arrange for a free consultation. Our full-service law firm is committed to justice.