Drivers of hazardous materials, better known as HAZMAT, are among the most qualified professional drivers on the road. However, despite the training required of the drivers, Hazmat truck accidents still occur regularly.
What are hazardous materials?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) divides hazardous materials into nine different classes.
- Flammable and combustible liquids
- “Flammable Solid, Spontaneously Combustible, and Dangerous When Wet”
- Oxidizers/Organic Peroxides
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What are the risks of HAZMAT truck accidents?
Truck accidents are dangerous in general. Injuries from typical truck accidents include brain and spinal cord injuries, crush injuries, amputations, broken bones, burns, and whiplash. However, HAZMAT accidents have specific additional risks, such as:
- Fire: Fire was a result of 14 percent of HAZMAT accidents, according to the FMCSA.
- Explosion: Flammable or combustible materials may explode on impact.
- Exposure to hazardous materials: Both accident victims and first responders may sustain injury from exposure to lethal materials. This lead to 34 percent of all fatalities in HAZMAT truck accidents between 1991 and 2000, according to the FMCSA.
It is important to note that HAZMAT truck accidents may also endanger people who are not directly involved in the crash. Air pollution, contamination of the local water supply, or explosions may threaten victims who live or work nearby.
Who is liable for a HAZMAT truck accident?
A number of parties may play a role in a HAZMAT truck accident. This includes the driver, the trucking company, the party who loaded the hazardous material, and/or the owner of the cargo. Whom a victim can hold liable in a claim or lawsuit depends heavily on the specifics of your accident. A Columbus HAZMAT truck accident lawyer can help you determine where liability lies based on the facts of your case.
What are my legal options after a HAZMAT accident?
Before you can file for compensation after a HAZMAT truck accident, you must determine who was liable for the crash. Once you establish liability, your attorney will work to prove that the liable party acted in a negligent manner, and that this negligence caused your injuries.
Assuming you and your lawyer can prove negligence, you may be eligible to receive damages for:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Future related healthcare costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Bressman Law can also work with you if a loved one sustained fatal injuries in an accident with a HAZMAT truck. In a wrongful death suit, you may be able to receive compensation to cover a number of costs, including:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of companionship
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How can Bressman Law help?
If you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries in a HAZMAT truck accident, Bressman Law can help you get the compensation you deserve. Attorney David Bressman represents victims of truck wrecks in Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. Contact us now at (614) 538-1116 to schedule an appointment.