Hazmat Truck Accident Claims in Maryland

Hazmat Truck Accident ClaimsBecause of their massive size and weight, commercial trucks can cause significant damage and severe injuries when involved in an accident. Accidents involving trucks carrying hazardous materials (also called “hazmat” trucks) can be even more deadly and dangerous due to the materials they are carrying.

Here’s why a hazmat truck accident can cause devastation, injuries, and fatalities:

  • Hazmat trucks carry materials that can be toxic, flammable, corrosive, or reactive. These materials can pose significant risks to human health and the environment if they are released due to an accident, or if the truck is damaged in a collision.
    1. Some hazardous materials are highly volatile and can explode if they come into contact with certain conditions, such as heat, fire, or even water. This explosion can cause widespread damage and endanger lives in the vicinity of the accident.
    2. Hazmat spills can release harmful chemicals into the environment, leading to immediate health risks for people nearby. Exposure to these chemicals can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, chemical burns, and other serious health issues.
    3. Hazmat spills can contaminate soil, waterways, and the air, causing long-term environmental damage. This contamination can harm wildlife, disrupt ecosystems, and contaminate drinking water supplies.
  • Hazmat spills often require specialized equipment and training to contain and clean up safely. Responding to hazmat incidents can be challenging due to the need to protect emergency responders and the public while effectively managing the spill.
  • Accidents involving hazmat trucks may require the evacuation of nearby residents and businesses to ensure their safety. These evacuations can disrupt communities, cause economic losses, and create significant inconvenience for those affected.
  • Hazmat accidents can lead to secondary hazards, such as fires, explosions, or the release of additional hazardous materials. These secondary hazards can escalate the severity of the accident and increase the challenges faced by emergency responders.

What types of hazardous materials are transported by commercial trucks?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) classifies hazardous materials into nine types. Hazmat trucks must display a placard on all sides of the vehicle specifying they are carrying hazardous materials. These classifications are:

  1. Explosives
  2. Gases
  3. Flammable liquid and combustible liquid
  4. Flammable solid, spontaneously combustible, and dangerous when wet
  5. Oxidizer and organic peroxide
  6. Poison (toxic) and poison inhalation hazard
  7. Radioactive
  8. Corrosive
  9. Miscellaneous, general dangerous

What types of injuries can happen in a hazmat truck accident in Maryland?

Hazmat truck accidents can result in a range of injuries due to the potentially dangerous nature of the materials being transported. Some common types of injuries that can occur in these collisions include:

  • Chemical burns: Exposure to hazardous chemicals can cause severe burns to the skin and respiratory tract if inhaled.
  • Inhalation injuries: Breathing in toxic fumes or gases released from hazardous materials can lead to respiratory problems, lung damage, and other serious health issues.
  • Traumatic injuries: Hazmat truck accidents can result in traumatic injuries such as compound fractures, brain trauma, or blunt force trauma to the heart due to the impact of the collision.
  • Radiation exposure: If the hazmat truck is transporting radioactive materials, individuals involved in the accident may be exposed to harmful levels of radiation, leading to radiation sickness and long-term health effects.
  • Environmental contamination: Hazmat spills from the truck can contaminate the surrounding environment, leading to ecological damage and health risks for nearby communities.
  • Psychological trauma: Witnessing or being involved in a hazmat truck accident can cause psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues.
  • Secondary injuries: Hazmat truck accidents can also result in secondary problems, such as fires, explosions, and chemical reactions, which can cause additional harm to individuals and property.

Overall, the injuries resulting from hazmat truck accidents can be severe and may require immediate medical attention and long-term treatment.

Who is liable for a hazmat truck accident in Maryland?

Determining liability for a hazmat truck accident can be complicated and depends on various factors, such as the cause of the accident, negligence, compliance with regulations, and contractual agreements. Here are some parties that could be potentially liable for a hazmat truck accident:

  • Trucking company: The trucking company that owns or operates the hazmat truck may be held liable if the accident occurred due to negligence on their part, such as improper maintenance of the vehicle, inadequate training of drivers, or violation of safety regulations.
  • Driver: If the hazmat truck driver acted negligently or recklessly, such as speeding, driving under the influence, or violating traffic laws, they could be held personally liable for the accident.
  • Manufacturer or maintenance provider: If the accident was caused by a defect in the hazmat truck or its components, the manufacturer or the entity responsible for maintenance and repairs could be held liable for product liability.
  • Shipper: The party that shipped the hazardous materials may bear liability if it can be proven that improper packaging, labeling, or handling of the materials contributed to the accident.
  • Loading and unloading facilities: If the accident occurred during the loading or unloading process at a facility, the facility operators could be held liable for negligence or improper handling of the hazardous materials.

Determining liability in hazmat truck accidents requires a thorough investigation, including examination of evidence, witness testimony, inspection of the vehicle, and analysis of relevant regulations and industry standards. In many cases, liability may be shared among multiple parties, and our Maryland truck accident attorneys will turn to negotiation, mediation, or litigation to determine responsibility and allocate damages. Your best interests are our priority.

The truck accident lawyers at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. are here to help after a truck accident causes you harm. We will fight for the compensation to which you’re entitled for your injuries and losses. Don’t delay – get in touch with us as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer, call our offices or fill out our contact form today. We serve clients from a variety of offices throughout Maryland.