Accidents involving commercial trucks are dangerous because of their size. Big rigs can weigh up to 40,000 pounds, which is several times heavier than the average passenger vehicle.
But truck accidents are dangerous for another reason—they might be carrying dangerous cargo, which can spill after an accident, endangering large numbers of people. When trucks are carrying hazardous materials, many innocent people can suffer an injury as a result.
Many states require that drivers obtain a special endorsement for transporting hazardous materials, which is a testament to how dangerous these trucks are. If you have been injured by hazardous material released after an accident, we want to hear from you.
Why Hazardous Material is Dangerous
Hazardous material poses several dangers to the public, such as the following:
- The material is combustible. It might explode during the accident, which can cause a wider circle of damage to vehicles and pedestrians.
- The material is flammable. It might catch on fire when it contacts hot material and can burn. People might be burned by the fire.
- The material is corrosive. Corrosive material can also cause devastating burns when it contacts skin.
- The material is toxic. Toxic material can leak into the ground and enter groundwater. It might also travel in plumes through the air as toxic gas. Unsuspecting people can suffer serious harm by breathing the toxic chemicals or by having it contact their skin.
What to Do After a Hazardous Material Accident
Some of our clients are on the road at the time of a hazardous material accident. In particular, they were either hit by the truck or are close to the accident. In this situation, you should immediately close your windows so that any escaping gases do not enter. Also remember to close your vents for maximum protection. When you get home, close all doors and windows to maintain safety.
If you feel burns anywhere on your body, seek the attention of medical personnel as soon as possible. Call emergency services and wait for them to come, then get their attention by honking your horn and flashing your lights.
If you were not on the road at the time of the accident, the most important thing you can do is follow the directions set out by authorities. For example, they should tell you where the accident occurred and limit your ability to access the area. Try to get as far away from the spill area as possible and avoid going upstream or upwind from the site.
Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
At DC Law, we represent those injured in motor vehicle accidents, including those harmed by hazardous material. If you want more information about your options, please reach out to us today. We offer potential clients a free consultation, which they can schedule by calling 512-220-1800. We serve the Austin, Texas area.