Accidents Involving Hazardous Materials

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Under the law, any person who was responsible for the injuries or death of another person in a truck accident can be sued by the innocent party for damages for such injuries, or by a family member of a decedent, for wrongful death.

If you were involved in a truck accident with a truck that was transporting any kind of hazardous goods, you can sue the shipper of the goods as well as the truck driver, if the following can be established:

The truck accident was due to the fault of the truck driver and not due to any error on your part. Some states follow a rule known as comparative negligence. In such states, even if you were at fault for the truck accident, you can still sue the truck driver as long as the truck driver was more at fault than you were.

You have sustained injuries due to the truck accident. If you have sustained any injuries, the law requires that you be compensated by the at-fault party in such a manner, so as to be ‘made whole again,\' which means that the damages awarded to you should be enough to make your condition as it was prior to the truck accident.

An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to help you determine the person at fault in the accident, as well as the best course of action to take to obtain the most compensation possible. Working with a truck accident lawyer will be extremely beneficial to your case.

HAZMAT carriers are heavily regulated by law because of the dangerous nature of the cargo that they carry. In most truck accident cases, there can be many potential defendants. Anyone who was responsible for your injuries from the truck accident, whether directly or indirectly, can be sued for damages.

In HAZMAT carrier truck accidents, the shipper of the chemicals is also partly to blame for your injuries caused by the accident and can thus be sued for any damages, along with the at-fault truck driver.

Your case will become even stronger if you and you attorney can prove the following:

The injuries you sustained in the truck accident were directly caused because of the nature of hazardous goods being transported. In many truck accident cases, people may survive the impact of the accident, but may be injured because of fires caused by inflammable cargo or they from chemical spills, etc. In such situations, it is reasonable to argue that, had the truck not been carrying any hazardous goods but other types of cargo, you may not have sustained any injuries at all.

If the shipper of the hazardous materials failed to inform the trucking company about the nature of the shipment, or if the shipper did not give proper instructions about handling the hazardous cargo, then the shipper can most definitely be sued for your injuries.

In such cases, it is best to take the advice of an experienced attorney, who can help you figure out the most reasonable party to sue. Shippers of hazardous goods typically carry more insurance coverage than truck drivers. Thus, it may be to your benefit to sue the shipper of the HAZMAT goods along with the truck driver, provided that your injuries were caused because of the cargo being carried, and that you were not at fault in the truck accident. Your lawyer will help you to determine the best course of action to take.

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