Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) can be anything from ordinary household products to highly flammable materials or specialized substances that need prominent warning labels. What makes a material hazardous focuses primarily on the product’s flammability and the potential to cause harm. When HAZMAT trucks are involved in an accident, the results can be disastrous. If you suffered injuries in an accident, you can file a HAZMAT truck accident claim for compensation.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) divides HAZMAT materials into nine classes.
Like any other truck driver, insurance companies can find a driver of HAZMAT materials liable if someone suffers injuries or dies in an accident caused by the actions of the driver. Unlike an ordinary truck driver, however, there are certain specific requirements for HAZMAT truck drivers.
If a truck driver violates any of these and causes an accident, a court may find him liable for any damages victims suffered.
As in any other accident case, you must prove that the other driver was responsible for your injuries. To do so, you must establish that:
In a HAZMAT truck accident case, there can be multiple liable parties, including the driver, the trucking company (through vicarious liability), whoever packed the truck, or the manufacturer of the hazardous material. You can hold a manufacturer liable if the product was defective or if it came without adequate warnings. You can hold responsible parties liable for damages such as medical expenses, pain, and suffering, lost wages, or future medical expenses.
If you or someone you care about suffered injuries in a truck accident involving HAZMAT materials, you can file a claim for damages. As HAZMAT truck accidents can be very complex, speaking with a truck accident lawyer. An attorney can gather and preserve evidence (trucking companies can destroy records after a certain time, an attorney can send a letter of spoliation which will stop a trucking company from destroying evidence), help you prove liability, and ensure you file your claim correctly and on time.