Why Truck Cargo Spills Are So Dangerous

Truck Cargo SpillsSemi-trucks and tractor trailers are in charge of transporting products and goods across the United States. Without these large trucks, many Americans would not have their daily necessities and essentials. However, with one simple mistake or mishap, a big rig can cause a severe and deadly accident.

This is because these trucks are very heavy, large, and can cause a lot of force and impact in a truck accident. In addition, they often carry dangerous, heavy, and toxic cargo, which can lead to a traumatic and devastating catastrophe within seconds.

And we would know; it happens pretty often around here. There was a nearby fuel spill on E. Bowles Rd in June, and in May, Southbound 395 got shut down because a semi-truck spilled a load of steel fiber shards. Now, the good news is that no one got hurt in either spill (though we bet those shards hurt some fingers during clean-up, even with those industrial magnets), but it could’ve been SO much worse.

Why do cargo spills happen?

There are a variety of different reasons why cargo spills happen, which include:

  • Driver mistakes and mishaps
  • Reckless and careless driving, including:
    • Drunk or drugged driving
    • Distracted driving
    • Speeding
    • Aggressive driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Tire blowouts
  • Poorly maintained and designed roads
  • Poor lighting
  • Inclement weather
  • Construction zones and traffic accidents
  • Improper load weight
  • Poorly secured loads
  • Objects or debris in the road
  • Turning too quickly or sharply
  • Defective truck equipment or parts

As you can see, most cargo spills happen because of a sudden, unforeseen event that causes the truck driver to lose control of their semi-truck. Could be an unexpected pothole; could be some wildlife running out in the road. Could be something else entirely. When this happens, the truck may roll over onto its side or top, leading to its cargo spilling out onto the road, other vehicles, and ground.

The different types of trucks that carry dangerous cargo in Kennewick, WA

There are several different types of trucks that may be carrying dangerous cargo, such as:

  • Cement trucks
  • Logging trucks
  • Chemical or hazmat trucks
  • Tanker trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Garbage trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Box trucks

Around here, it’s the agricultural cargo you need to worry about. That flatbed carrying chickens, or the truck filled to the brim with manure? A spill can do a lot of damage to a road (aside from the smell), and can end up causing other crashes as drivers try to avoid the flurry of feathers or, well – you know.

Common types of hazardous products and items transported by trucks

From heavy equipment to toxic chemical spills, there are many different types of hazardous products and items that are being transported by trucks around America every single day. However, with one small error, an accident can occur and cause the items being transported to spill out. When this happens, other drivers, pedestrians, bystanders, or residents can become severely injured or harmed. The following are some of the common types of hazardous products and items that are transported by trucks daily:

  • Explosives
  • Livestock
  • Wood, logs, or lumber
  • Flammable gasses or liquids
  • HAZMAT products
  • Batteries
  • Dry ice
  • Cement
  • Rocks, dirt, or sand

What type of injuries result from truck cargo spill accidents?

When a cargo spill occurs, those involved often suffer severe and life-threatening injuries. As a result, they need to seek medical attention immediately to get the treatment they need and deserve. Here are a few of the most common injuries that individuals experience from a cargo spill:

  • Severe and permanent burns
  • Explosion injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Lung injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Poisoning
  • Limb loss or amputation
  • Paralysis
  • Breathing issues
  • Broken, crushed, and fractured bones
  • Severe scarring and disfigurement
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Permanent disability
  • Head and skull injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Death

Even if you believe that you have no injuries after being involved in a truck or cargo spill accident, it is highly recommended that you visit a doctor or hospital right away. They will run tests and analyze your symptoms to ensure that you have no severe injuries or illnesses from the accident. This is critical as it can take days, weeks, or months for certain injuries or illnesses to present themselves, which could end up being too late.

Who can be injured in a Kennewick cargo spill?

Depending on the type of cargo spill that occurred, it is important to realize that not only the truck driver is at risk of physical and internal injuries that may last a lifetime, but other drivers and residents near the accident and spill site are also at risk of injuries. If the semi-truck is carrying toxic chemicals that spill out onto the roads and ground, this can cause roads to close until the chemicals are successfully cleaned up. As a result, communities are often asked to evacuate because it is dangerous for them to breathe in or be exposed to certain toxins.

Who is liable for a truck cargo spill in Kennewick?

If you have been injured in a truck cargo spill, one of the most crucial steps you should take is to determine who is liable. Your Kennewick truck accident attorney from Telaré Law will assist you with investigating and analyzing the facts of your case to figure out who is responsible for the cargo spill accident. However, it is important to realize that there may be multiple parties who share liability for your accident, including:

  • The truck driver
  • Truck company or employer
  • Loading company
  • Shipping company
  • The owner of the truck or trailer
  • The government or owner of the road
  • Truck or trailer manufacturer
  • Other vehicle drivers

If you are a victim of a truck cargo spill accident and need legal assistance, Telaré Law is here to help. Our Kennewick truck accident attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to these types of accidents, and we have what it takes to stand up against large insurance and trucking companies and demand the fair compensation that you deserve. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today. We maintain an additional office in Richland.