Trucks Carrying Hazardous Materials
If the general public were fully aware of the nature and frequency of hazardous cargo transportation on interstates like I-95 and I-75, not to mention state highways like Florida’s Turnpike, people would probably have difficulty sleeping at night. At any given time, many different types of poisonous, dangerous, and even explosive cargo are making their way along our roads. When an accident happens, serious injuries or deaths are not uncommon. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a truck carrying hazardous materials in South Florida, a Pembroke Pines truck accident attorney at Cohn & Smith can help you seek justice from the responsible trucker or the trucking company.
The Hazardous Materials Transportation Act regulates the transportation of hazardous materials in the United States, with the goal of minimizing the risks to life and property resulting from their moving through the stream of commerce. The Act details various procedures, policies, material designations, labeling, packaging requirements, and operations rules that are to be followed by parties engaged in the transportation of certain substances. Unfortunately, these rules are not always followed, and, even when they are, accidents may still happen.Take Action Following an Accident Involving a Truck Carrying Hazardous Materials
Truck crashes, including accidents involving hazardous materials, may result in a negligence lawsuit if someone is injured or killed because of a trucker or trucking company’s failure to act in a reasonably prudent manner. A successful negligence claim is comprised of four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In some cases, a particular duty of care may be imposed based upon the Act, and a duty may also result from prior case law, a local ordinance, or a state statute. Once the particular duty is established, the claimant must prove that the duty was breached and that they were harmed as a proximate result.
Compensation may be available (either through a settlement or through a jury verdict at trial) to help the claimant with past and future medical expenses, lost income, and loss of future earning capacity, as well as to provide some reimbursement for the accident victim’s pain and suffering. In wrongful death cases, the victim’s family or estate may be able to seek payment for similar damages and even compensation for loss of consortium under some circumstances.
Importantly, Florida law puts a strict time limitation on the period during which an injured person or the family of a person killed in an accident may file a lawsuit against the party whom they believe to be responsible. Failing to file a claim within the appropriate time will almost always result in a complete forfeiture of any damages to which the victim or family would otherwise have been entitled. Because of this harsh rule, as well as the considerable complications inherent in the investigation of a large truck wreck, it is imperative that an accident victim or a deceased victim’s family hire an attorney as soon as possible after a collision involving a truck carrying hazardous materials.Contact a Pembroke Pines Attorney to Discuss Your Truck Crash Case
When a truck accident happens, the trucker’s insurance company usually has someone on the case within hours. An injured person who waits weeks or months to obtain legal representation following a crash involving a truck carrying hazardous materials may be at a considerable disadvantage. To put a seasoned Pembroke Pines lawyer to work on your case, call Cohn & Smith at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation. We serve victims seeking a motor vehicle collision attorney in many cities across South Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Weston, Sunrise, Tamarac, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Aventura, and communities throughout North Dade County.