Accidents involving trucks with hazardous cargo can cause injuries that range from burns to neurological damage. The injuries suffered by victims depend on the type of cargo. For example, explosive material could cause broken bones and head injuries, while corrosives can cause chemical burns. A truck accident lawyer can hold the driver, trucking company, or owner of the materials responsible for losses associated with the injuries of any victims.
Common Injuries from Hazardous Cargo Truck Accidents
Depending on the type of substance involved, victims could suffer from:
- Radiation exposure
- Toxic fume inhalation
- Explosion injuries
You could suffer burns from direct contact with a hazardous material or from a secondary issue, like a fire. Burns are caused by:
According to the Mayo Clinic, burn treatment varies from relatively simple treatments like topical ointments to more cost-intensive and painful treatments like feeding tubes, skin grafts, and plastic surgery. Burns that cover joints could require physical therapy, as scarring can reduce mobility.
Exposure and Contamination
Some cargo trucks carry materials that cause internal damage. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that inhaling ammonia can cause burns to the trachea and respiratory distress.
Other injuries and consequences you can suffer from toxic exposure include:
- Respiratory damage
- Organ damage
- Neurological damage
- Radiation poisoning
Some victims may even suffer illness and injury from a hazardous cargo truck accident when they weren’t even present at the crash. Some wrecks cause toxic material to leak into the surrounding area. This type of contamination can take time to identify, and symptoms may develop slowly.
In some cases, toxic exposure causes cancer or serious illnesses. These can also take time to manifest. Even if you were exposed years ago through a dangerous material truck crash, you could still potentially pursue legal action against the liable party once an illness develops.
Many cargo trucks carry flammable or explosive material. An accident, such as a collision with another vehicle, can cause these volatile substances to explode, which can cause injuries to anyone in the vicinity.
Potential injuries include:
- Smoke inhalation
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb
These can happen because you are hit with debris or struck by other vehicles attempting to avoid debris.
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Other Consequences of Hazardous Cargo Wrecks
As a result of your injuries, you could suffer secondary conditions, including psychological ones. Consequences include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Fears and phobias
- Reduced quality of life
- Diminished ability to earn
- Permanent disability
These are no less significant than injuries you directly suffer from a cargo truck accident. In fact, you could pursue compensation for these consequences through a claim or lawsuit as well.
Types of Hazardous Cargo that Can Cause Injury
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that more than 60,000 injury crashes occurred in 2019 involving tracks with hazardous materials. Another 5,000 fatal crashes occurred. Their study lists some of the substances involved in these crashes, including:
- Gasses like hydrogen or propane
- Flammable and explosive material
- Radioactive material
- Hazardous waste
- Poisonous or infectious substances
- Corrosive materials
- Oxidizing substances
The FMCSA lists flammable liquids as the most significant type of dangerous cargo, involved in over 65 percent of fatal crashes.
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Who Is Responsible for Paying for Hazardous Cargo Injuries?
A cargo truck accident attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your case and work to identify who was responsible. Possible liable parties include:
- The truck driver
- Another driver
- The trucking company
- The owner of the hazardous material
- A government entity
Truck and passenger vehicle drivers who don’t drive with care and cause an accident are accountable for the injuries they cause. Even if you weren’t directly involved in a collision, if you were hurt by the dangerous substance, you could pursue damages from the crash.
Trucking companies are responsible for running their business safely. That includes training their drivers, loading trucks correctly, and following regulations for handling hazardous material. Likewise, the cargo owner should take necessary precautions. Any failures by these parties that contribute to a crash, such as by not providing drivers with enough instruction or by providing defective equipment, are grounds for a case.
In some cases, a problem with the road or with a public transportation vehicle could leave a government entity responsible. For instance, if a city bus hit the truck, spilling the cargo, the city may need to take responsibility. Likewise, failures to address road defects or dangers could make a government entity liable for crashes in that area.
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Get More Information About Hazardous Material Crashes from a Truck Lawyer
Whatever the type of hazardous cargo truck accident injury you suffered, explore the possibility of taking action to recover compensation. Bader Scott Injury Lawyers has experience with cargo truck wrecks, including ones involving dangerous substances. Our firm can investigate your accident and start building a case for damages.
Call or text (404) 888-8888 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form