Every trucker is responsible for the load he is transporting. Trucking companies authorized to carry hazardous materials have to accept additional responsibility, because their loads can cause extensive and lasting damage.
Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) can endanger the health of humans and animals, the environment and private property. Commercial truck drivers have to undergo additional training to transport these resources, which can include crude oil, human waste, harmful chemicals, radioactive materials or explosives.
If a trucker spills a non-hazardous load, the biggest concern is removing the debris from the road and reopening the area for traffic. HAZMAT spills, on the other hand, can threaten public health and safety by contaminating drinking water, diminishing air and water quality and compromising nearby agriculture or forest areas.
In Strasburg, Colorado, a semi-truck hauling crude oil rolled over on June 30. According to reports from Colorado State Patrol, the truck ran up an embankment and flipped, spilling about 150 gallons of crude oil from the truck’s tanks.
Two people were briefly trapped inside the truck’s cab, suffering only minor injuries. The pair were lucky, because crude oil is extremely flammable and can cause explosions if exposed to a heat source.
If other cars are involved in a HAZMAT spill, those drivers can be exposed to the harmful effects of the driver’s cargo. In this case, crude oil could have caused a fire or explosion, putting other motorists or even first responders at risk.
Every year, reckless truck drivers cause thousands of injuries and deaths from poor driving habits. Truck drivers who cause accidents while hauling HAZMAT are additionally reckless, because they know that their load could have a lasting impact on other motorists, cleanup crews, first responders and the environment.
I Was Injured in a Trucking Accident! What Are My Legal Options?
If you were hurt in a collision with a HAZMAT truck, it does not matter if your injuries were caused by the crash or harmful exposure to the truck’s contents. The truck driver’s negligence caused your accident, so they are responsible for the outcome.
To discuss your trucking accident with an experienced attorney, call Metier Law Firm today. We can help you learn more about your rights and get justice for your injuries.
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