Hazardous Material Transportation Accidents
In a report recently released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), it was noted that the amount of accidents involving a vehicle that is transporting hazardous material is - on average - 2,400 each year in the United States.
Due to sensitive nature of hazardous materials (hazmat), in many instances these accidents caused not only the risk of serious personal injury for those involved in the accident, but also great risk to the first responders that need to clean up and chemical spills. Add to this the traffic congestion that is often created, and the yearly costs of hazmat accidents can run into millions of dollars each year.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision that involved hazardous material and was not their fault, the victim may be eligible to receive compensation for their injuries. Costs associated with medical treatment, medication, rehabilitation and lost wages can also be potentially claimed in a successful injury lawsuit.
To find out more, simply fill out the "Free Case Review" form located on this page.
Hazardous Material Classes
Hazardous material is generally defined as an object or substance that is combustible, flammable or corrosive that may be harmful to an individual if inhaled, swallowed or ingested.
There are nine classes of hazardous material:
|Class||Name / Category||Division|
|Class 1||Explosives||1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6|
|Class 2||Gases||2.1, 2.2, 2.3|
|Class 3||Flammable & Combustible Liquid||3|
|Class 4||Flammable Solids||4.1, 4.2, 4.3|
|Class 5||Oxidizers||5.1, 5.2|
|Class 6||Poisons||6, PG III, Inhalation Hazard|
It's also important to note that in the interest of public safety, there are stringent government regulations in place, which are designed specifically to address the issue of safe hazardous material transportation.
Common Causes Of Vehicle Accidents
In most instances, hazardous material that is being transported by a commercial vehicle needs to have a material safety data sheet (MSDS) with the driver - in addition to easily read placards on the vehicle itself, so that in the event of an accident or spill, the emergency response crews can quickly determine how to best contain and clean up the material.
In the event of an accident, in many cases the force of the collision can cause hazmat carrying devices (cylinders, cartons and drums) to rupture, often throwing the chemicals or other matter all over an accident scene.
Some common causes of accidents that involve vehicles carrying hazmat include:
- failure to stop at a traffic light or intersection
- incorrectly secured cargo
- distracted drivers
- vehicle malfunction
As many commercial vehicles weigh more than 10,000 lbs., the result of trying to avoid an accident can subsequently cause the truck to rollover or jack knife, thus creating another crash.
Causes Of Hazmat Spillage In An Accident
Despite the government and the independent shipping industry conducting many tests specifically targeted at designing better devices to carry hazardous material, there are still instances that this type of cargo leaks out or is released from it's container during or after an accident.
Some common causes of hazmat spillage during road transportation include:
- pallet nail penetrating the packaging
- faulty design of the packaging
- compression due to force
- incorrectly packed cargo
- old / expired packaging
- broken valves
- incorrectly cleaned cylinders
It's important to note that despite advanced engineering techniques that are used to design the drums, cartons, cylinders and other hazmat carrying packaging, the sheer force of a truck accident can be more than the container can withstand.
Contact Our Tulsa Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Here at the Edwards Law Firm, we have won more than $100 MILLION in successful verdicts and settlements for our clients, and can help fight for the MAXIMUM compensation that you may be entitled to.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident that involved hazardous material, we can help. With our main office located in McAlester OK, we proudly provide comprehensive legal counsel to injury victims in:
.... and many other areas of the state.
Alternatively, simply fill out the "Free Case Review" form on this page - it's FREE.