Hazardous materials, when spilled due to truck accidents, can cause major damage, health risks, clean-up and time. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration developed a report titled “Traffic incident management in Hazardous Materials Spills in Incident Clearance”, the report indicates that clean-up of hazardous spills can be a major source of delay in clearing traffic incidents, and is typically expensive. The report categorizes spills into different areas: vehicular fluids, hazardous material cargoes, or a combination of both. Vehicular fluid spills involve materials that are used in a vehicle’s operations, such as fuel, radiator cooler, transmission fluid, brake fluid, hydraulic fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and battery acid. A hazardous materials cargo spill is a release of a substance or material capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, or property when transported for commercial purposes.
According to a recent news report, a tractor-trailer crashed across both sides of Interstate 95 in Baltimore County, Maryland. The accident involved six vehicles in total. The driver of the tractor-trailer and one of the other vehicles were taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries. The tractor-trailer overturned, which resulted in saddle tanks leaking fuel. A hazmat team was called to the scene.
Accidents Involving Hazardous Materials
When an accident involving a semi-truck occurs, it can be scary for many reasons, and one of those reasons is that trucks may carry a wide range of cargo, including hazardous materials that can be highly flammable, radioactive, or materials that pose significant health risks.
Are Truck Drivers Carrying Hazardous Materials More Heavily Regulated?
Yes, the Department of Transportation places strict guidelines requiring proper labeling on materials offered for transport. When approaching the question of who is liable for an accident involving a truck carrying hazardous materials, it may be important to consider that, in some cases, vicarious liability may apply. Vicarious liability is a legal concept where an employee’s employer, or in this case the trucking company, may be held liable for damages if the truck driver was the at-fault party. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their drivers receive the proper training and are following proper protocol whether it comes to loading and labeling hazardous materials properly, or other protocols while on the job, which is why in some cases the company may be found liable. This can be tricky to determine, and thus it is worth connecting with an experienced personal injury lawyer who is skilled at handling trucking accident lawsuits.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an accident involving a semi-truck in Maryland, Virginia, or DC, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for the injuries. Our semi-truck accident attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC understand the complexities of personal injury law in our region, which includes Prince George’s County, Charles County, Baltimore County, and Montgomery County. We will work with diligence to get you the compensation you need to recover after an accident. Contact us with any questions, and see if we can help with your claim. Call us today at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.