Substances that are a risk to health, safety, or the environment are considered dangerous goods (DG) when transported in a big truck. Other dangerous goods that pose a risk even when not in transport are hazardous materials (HAZMAT).
These substances require special care, and transportation personnel must use the appropriate equipment and caution when handling them. However, even the slightest mishandling can cause devastating consequences and lead to an accident.
If you’ve been involved in a hazardous material truck accident, you will need to speak with a top rated truck accident injury attorney in Houston, TX. Here’s what you need to know about these severe truck wrecks and how a lawyer can help.
HAZMAT Regulations for Big Rig Transport
Chemical regulations are put in place for transporting hazardous materials. These regulations define how hazardous materials are stored, transported, and handled.
Personnel and drivers of HAZMAT big rigs work with substances that may be radioactive, corrosive, explosive, or even asphyxiating. Other goods may not be as destructive but can pose an increased risk to your health with exposure.
These vehicles will look different than your average commercial truck. Dangerous goods are identified by diamond-shaped signage on the container, and the color indicates the hazard. For example, flammable goods are identified with a red diamond, while green represents non-toxic and non-flammable gas. This is to warn you that the materials on the 18-wheeler contain hazardous materials and to take exposure seriously.
If you’ve been in an accident and see these signs on the truck that collided with you, then you are susceptible to adverse health conditions and therefore may be entitled to compensation.
HAZMAT Classes and How They Affect Truck Wrecks
Hazardous materials are separated into nine classes:
- Class One. Explosive materials that function by exploding, or they can even explode when not intended to.
- Class Two. Any gases that are compressed in containers for transportation, such as aerosols.
- Class Three. Flammable liquids, such as gasoline. Drivers of commercial trucks need to take extra care handling these liquids.
- Class Four. Flammable solids, which include desensitized explosives, self-reactive materials, and more.
- Class Five. Oxidizers like organic peroxides.
- Class Six. Anything that is found to be poisonous to humans during transportation.
- Class Seven. Radioactive materials identified by a unique yellow label.
- Classes Eight. Corrosive materials.
- Class Nine. Miscellaneous materials that do not fall under any other category.
Some classes, such as one, have the greatest potential for loss of life or destruction. Because of this, any movement of these materials is strictly regulated.
Drivers of a big rig with these materials must follow the rules such as following a prepared route and not parking close to crowded places. Some tunnels or bridges may even prevent commercial trucks from driving through completely.
No matter the class, hazardous materials should be treated with special care. If a HAZMAT truck driver was negligent and caused your accident or a fatal death of a loved one, contact a negligent death lawyer, you are entitled to compensation.
Call an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers in Houston
The experience of dealing with a HAZMAT truck crash can be frightening and lead to serious health conditions. The first thing you should do following a hazardous material truck wreck is to seek out medical treatment. While you’re healing, you’ll need a vehicle collision law firm in Houston Texas that can expertly handle your case. An attorney will take on your insurance company and demand compensation.
By gathering witness testimony and evidence on your behalf, Joe Stephens will achieve the results you need after a big truck crash. Call The Stephens Law Firm today if you or a loved one has been involved in a wreck with a HAZMAT 18-wheeler.
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