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HAZMAT Spills Due to Truck Accidents

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According to the Department of Transportation, nearly three billion tons of hazardous materials are transported around the country each year by large commercial trucks. Although transporting hazardous materials (HAZMAT) is a necessary part of our world, exposure to toxic chemicals, gasoline, pest control agents, and other hazardous cargo due to a spill or leak is a serious health risk. Accidents involving trucks transporting hazardous materials can result in devastating, even fatal injuries to those involved, as well as individuals who are near the scene of the accident.

HAZMAT spills can also harm the environment if they occur near rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water. Toxic exposure to fumes or gases can sometimes occur without people even knowing it because they weren’t properly alerted or notified of the accident. Direct contact with toxic chemicals on a person’s skin or in their eyes can also cause short- and long-term complications.

Accidents involving HAZMAT trucks sometimes cause fires, explosions, and chain-reaction crashes due to the massive size of commercial trucks. Common injuries resulting from HAZMAT spills and accidents include chemical burns, hearing loss, blindness, amputation, organ damage, poisoning exposure to cancer-causing, and injuries from corrosive materials.

According to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Global Supply Standards, substances classified as hazardous materials include:

  • Radioactive materials
  • Irritants and corrosives
  • Unstable or explosive materials
  • Toxic substances
  • Chemicals that release dangerous dust or fumes
  • Cancer-causing substances
  • Any substance that is considered a physical or health hazard

Common causes of HAZMAT accidents include:

  • Rollover accidents
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driver
  • Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks

Companies that rely on commercial trucks to transport potentially dangerous materials from place to place have a duty to the public to take adequate safety measures. Drivers transporting HAZMAT cargo must have a HAZMAT endorsement on their commercial driver's license. Commercial drivers must pass an exam, Security Threat Assessment, and prove they don’t have any disqualifying offenses on their driving or criminal records to obtain a HAZMAT endorsement. If a company fails to take adequate safety measures, a HAZMAT truck spill can occur and the company can be held liable for injuries and financial damages related to the accident.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a HAZMAT accident, please get in touch with our legal team at Daspit Law Firm so we can explain all of your rights under the law and what our firm can do to protect them. Call (888) 273-1045 or fill out our convenient online form today.

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