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Back July 20, 2021

What Happens When A Truck’s Cargo Spills?

What Happens When A Truck’s Cargo Spills?One of your worst nightmares when sharing the road with an 18 wheel tractor-trailer is a catastrophic truck crash. Due to the size and weight disparity between a commercial truck and a regular car, truck accidents have considerable potential to be extremely deadly, devastating, and destructive for all parties involved.


If a negligent commercial truck driver winds up seriously injuring you or a loved one, then they could open themselves and the trucking company up to liability in a personal injury lawsuit.


But what if the truck doesn’t crash out onto the road, but the contents of the truck’s cargo? In that case, who’s liable, what are some dangers you should watch out for, and how should you respond to them? Read on to find out the consequences of deadly truck accident spills, and find out why you could use a trusted Matthews truck accident attorney from Panchenko Law Firm on your side.


Chain Reaction Crashes

Sometimes the deadliest forces in a truck cargo spill aren’t the cargo itself, but what the cargo causes to crash onto the road. Sudden debris or liquid spillage can result in a chaotic, multi-vehicle pileup, potentially injuring or killing motorists who find themselves dealing with the misfortune of being caught in its path.


The North Carolina state government is one of only five jurisdictions to still adhere to “contributory negligence” rules. Unlike states that follow comparative negligence rules, contributory negligence means that a plaintiff could be unable to claim any damages if they’re determined to hold even 1% of the fault in a motor vehicle crash.


Although the negligent commercial trucker/trucking company will undoubtedly hold most of the fault for a multi-vehicle chain-reaction crash caused by a cargo spill, pinpointing the rest of the fault can be tricky in a multi-vehicle crash. That’s why it’s all the more important to be represented by a competent Matthews truck accident attorney.


Hazmat Spills

Commercial trucks regularly carry cargo that could be considered hazardous materials, or “hazmat” for short. Cargo that may fall under this hazmat classification could include:


  1. Explosive or flammable materials
  2. Toxic, poisonous, and corrosive gases and chemicals
  3. Infectious viruses, pathogens, and substances


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set forth very strict regulations and guidelines regarding the safe handling and transportation of hazmat cargo. If a trucker and/or trucking company neglects to comply with these regulations and that winds up causing a cargo spill crash, then one or both parties would clearly be subject to liability.


Tractor Trailer Fires

A considerable amount of that aforementioned “hazmat” material is highly explosive, flammable, and volatile if handled improperly. Gasoline, propane, explosives, and ammunition are amongst the last things you’d want to catch fire and spill out onto a roadway, as they have the potential to seriously burn, maim, and injure those in the crossfire.


If you find yourself caught in the crossfire of a commercial truck cargo spill in North Carolina, who should you call?


Find Peak Legal Representation With a Matthews Truck Accident Lawyer

Our experienced North Carolina legal team has dealt with trucking accidents, among many other litigation matters. We know how to get into the weeds of arguing the complexities of our cases, and we can help you overcome all sorts of bad faith contributory negligence arguments.

If you or a loved one was injured in a commercial trucking cargo spill, our Matthews truck accident attorneys at Panchenko Law Firm can help lead you down the road to recovery. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a free case review.

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