Hazardous Material Spill Truck Accident Lawyers in Charlotte
Hazardous material accidents can happen when a truck releases dangerous chemicals or materials on the highway or surrounding land or water. Hazardous materials can cause short-term and long-term damage to property and people's health. When hazardous materials fall off of trucks, they can be some of the most horrific types of truck accidents.
People can be injured from the physical impact of the materials hitting them. They can also suffer long-term health problems and injuries associated with exposure to hazardous materials. The individuals and people exposed to hazardous materials face fire risks, explosions, and other dangerous circumstances. HAZMAT trucks that transfer hazardous materials often transport:
- Hazardous waste
- Flammable materials
- Dangerous chemicals
- Radioactive materials
- Compressed Gas
- Spent nuclear fuel
Any type of accident involving a large commercial vehicle is dangerous. Due to their large size and weight, commercial vehicles like semi-trucks can crash other drivers on the road, cause rollover accidents and multi-vehicle collisions. However, when a truck is carrying hazardous materials, an ordinary truck accident can cause an all-out catastrophe with devastating environmental harm and physical injuries to those involved.
The person involved in the truck accident with a HAZMAT commercial vehicle will be endangered. Additionally, everyone who comes in contact with the water or land upon which these hazardous materials have spilled is also at risk. The drivers of vehicles surrounding the HAZMAT truck can also be harmed by the hazardous materials spilling on them.Common Causes of Hazardous Material Spill Accidents
Nearly all hazardous material accidents involve some type of negligence on the part of the driver, their employer, or a third party. Hazardous material accidents can happen for several different reasons, including the following:
- Driver inattentiveness due to distraction from texting, eating, talking, etc.
- Driver fatigue from failure to take legally required breaks
- Reckless driving, such as speeding or changing lanes too aggressively
- Poor roadway conditions
- Failure to properly check blind spots
- Failure to properly use the mirrors
- Poor maintenance of the truck itself
- Poor loading of the Hazardous Materials
- Failure to follow traffic laws
- Taking a turn too quickly
Determining liability is the first step in succeeding in a personal injury lawsuit. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we have the financial resources and experience necessary to conduct a thorough investigation. We will gather evidence and investigate every aspect of your personal injury case. After a thorough investigation, we will determine which party or parties we can sue for damages. Several different parties could be liable for your injuries, including the following:
- The truck driver
- The truck driver’s employer
- The shipping company
- The manufacturer of the hazardous materials
- The mechanic responsible for maintaining the truck
- The city or town for dangerous road conditions
- A third-party driver
You may be able to hold the shipper liable for failure to inform the trucking company of the dangerous nature of the materials they were transporting. The shipping company may have failed to provide the truck driver with adequate instructions to transport the hazardous materials safely. In other cases, the injured victim will be able to hold the truck driver and the manufacturer of hazardous materials liable to a personal injury lawsuit.Recovering Damages in a Hazardous Materials Accident
Remember that shippers of hazardous goods typically carry more commercial insurance than truck drivers. If the shipper is liable for your injuries, you will likely receive a larger damages award from the company than the individual driver. Successful plaintiffs in personal injury cases are entitled to compensation for their past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Many personal injury lawsuits settle out of court. In a settlement, the defendant will offer the injured victim a lump sum payment in exchange for the victim agreeing not to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Most settlement offers are too low. You need an experienced lawyer to negotiate with the defendant and/or insurance company to obtain a settlement offer that will compensate you for your injuries.Discuss Your Case With a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or your loved one have been injured or killed in a truck accident involving hazardous materials, do not hesitate to contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We offer potential clients a free initial consultation to discuss their cases and learn more about their legal options. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.