Any accident involving an 18-wheeler, transfer truck, semi, or other commercial vehicle has the potential to inflict serious or even deadly injuries on not only the truck driver but also the drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles in the vicinity.
This risk increases exponentially when the truck in question is hauling hazardous cargo.
Defining “Hazardous Materials” Under National Standards
According to the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management’s website, a “hazardous material” is a substance that has the potential to harm humans, animals, or the environment. This harm may occur spontaneously or through interaction with other factors, and the hazardous agent or item may be physical, biological, chemical, or radiological.
There are several different governmental entities charged with the regulation of hazardous materials, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Department of Transportation, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Each of these agencies has specific rules and regulations pertaining to the transport of hazardous cargo. There are also state-specific agencies charged with administering the hazardous materials laws of a particular state.
Recent North Carolina Truck Accidents Involving Hazardous Material
Earlier this month, authorities reported that a truck transporting Propanediol overturned in western North Carolina. The wreck shut down the interstate for hours while a hazmat team dealt with the possibility of a leak or spill. Propanediol, which is a compound used in the production of certain polymers, is considered a hazardous material. The substance can be formulated into several industrial applications, including use as a de-icer or antifreeze.
Another North Carolina truck accident in Forsyth County last month resulted in a fuel spill, which required a hazmat crew to clean up the crash scene. The accident happened when a pickup truck attempted to make a left turn and was struck by a tractor-trailer. At least one person died in the collision.
Filing a Negligence Claim After a Hazardous Material Truck Wreck
While not every crash involving a truck carrying hazardous cargo is a result of a trucker or trucking company’s misconduct, many are. In order to prove a case of negligence against a careless or reckless truck driver or trucking outfit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care, the defendant breached that duty of care, the plaintiff suffered injuries or harm, and the defendant’s breach of duty was the actual and legal cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Damages in a truck accident case may include past and future medical expenses, lost wages and loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and other, related damages.
A North Carolina Truck Accident Firm Handing Serious and Catastrophic Accident Cases
Big trucks can cause irreparable harm, especially when they are involved in accidents while carrying hazardous cargo. If your family is suffering because of the negligence of a professional truck driver or a trucking company, the knowledgeable North Carolina truck accident lawyers at Nagle & Associates can help you get started on your case today. Call us at (800) 411-1583 to set up your free, confidential case evaluation. No legal fee is collected unless and until your case is successfully resolved.
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