How Hazmat Spills from Trucks Cause Numerous Accidents in Houston

February 9, 2018

It’s hard to imagine anything worse than a collision with an 18-wheeler, but a wreck with a truck transporting hazardous materials can be especially devastating, creating chaos far beyond those involved directly in the collision with the tanker truck.

While the transport of hazardous materials or hazmat is a necessary part of our world, these toxic chemicals, gasoline, or other hazardous cargo represent a serious potential threat to anyone who is exposed to these materials near a spill or leak.

These spills can pose environmental threats by leaking into rivers, lakes, or seeping into the water table. Individuals can become exposed to fumes or toxic gases without being aware or notified of the accident, and others may suffer injuries due to direct contact with toxic chemicals on their skin or in their eyes, which can cause short- and long-term complications. An accident on the road involving a hazmat truck may cause a chain reaction of other accidents on a busy roadway as drivers attempt to avoid a dangerous situation involving a hazmat spill, a possible fire, or even an explosion.

Hazmat spills from trucks cause numerous accidents every year in Houston and across the great state of Texas, and the damages suffered by victims can be quite serious, ranging from thermal burns, amputation injuries, chemical burns, loss of hearing from explosions, poisoning, exposure to cancer causing materials, or other injuries by corrosive materials.

It is because of these dangers that chemical trucking companies must comply with a number of heightened safety standards, which are meant to reduce the risk of a hazardous material spill or combustion. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency which regulates the carriers of hazardous materials and conducts inspections. While the seriousness of transporting hazardous materials can’t be overstated, there will always be companies who are careless with safety standards and in turn put everyone else at risk. FMCSA inspectors have found up to four percent of hazmat trucks nationwide that failed roadside inspections and were subsequently taken out of service.

There are many ways in which a hazmat truck may cause an accident, but the two most common reasons are:

– Improperly securing hazardous material in the loading phase, which may cause materials to shift while in transport, raising the chances of an accident or explosion.

– Driver error, which can include everything from taking turns at an unsafe speed, tailgating another vehicle, driving while distracted, or speeding.

In the unfortunate event that a truck accident results in spilling hazardous materials, then it is important that a full investigation be conducted in order to determine liability. It’s for this reason that you should contact an experienced Houston truck accident attorney who can conduct this investigation on your behalf and determine who may be responsible for your injuries. While every truck accident case is different, the party at fault could be the manufacturer of the hazardous materials, the manufacturer of the cargo tank, the party that loaded the hazardous materials, the trucking company involved in transportation, or the driver of the truck.

Trucking companies transporting hazardous materials must be held to a higher standard when it comes to the safety and security of everyone on the road, and if you have been involved in an accident then you have the right to seek compensation for those damages. Proving negligence in a crash that involves a semi-truck transporting dangerous and hazardous chemicals can be an uphill battle, since these companies are often represented by large corporations and a team of lawyers, which is why it is crucial that you have someone on your side, like the lawyers at Fears Nachawati.

Our experienced team will fight to ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve. For your free, no obligation legal consultation, please call the truck accident attorneys of Fears Nachawati at (866) 705-7584 or visit one of the offices located throughout the state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

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