According to a recent study out of Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Safety, accidents involving hazardous cargo are more likely to be trucking accidents rather than train accidents. In that state, there have been 88 railroad collisions and accidents since 2001, and none have involved dangerous cargo. In the past ten years, however, there have been 271 trucking accidents involving dangerous cargo.
If we consider that Florida may have similar numbers, it could suggest that you are more likely to be affected by a dangerous cargo trucking accident in Miami or another community when compared to your risk of a train accident.
In Florida, as in other states, trucks and trains are used to transport a variety of dangerous goods, including:
In the event of a trucking accident, these substances can spill, causing wide-spread environmental disaster, evacuation of an entire area, and fires or explosions. Of course, trucks carrying dangerous cargo are expected to be properly labeled and truck drivers as well as trucking companies transporting dangerous goods are required to take additional precautions when transporting cargo that has the potential for fires, toxic fumes, and other dangers.
Despite these precautions, however, trucking disasters that lead to dangerous spills and explosions are still more common than train disasters involving hazardous cargo. Part of the reason, according to the American Association of Railroads, is that trains carrying hazardous cargo can be sent along more secure and safer rail lines. In contrast, trucks carrying hazardous cargo share the same road as passenger cars. In the event of a collision or spill, these trucks are in immediate vicinity of homes, businesses, pedestrians, and other drivers. If an explosion or dangerous spill happens, hundreds or thousands of people can be affected.
According to national statistics, the country sees over 2.2 billion tons of dangerous materials shipped each year. The volume of cargo shipped by train has doubled since 1980, but the number of train accidents involving dangerous cargo has dropped 90% since 2001.
You don’t even have to be in a trucking accident or train accident in Miami or another community in order to be affected by dangerous cargo. You could be affected simply by being in the area when a spill, explosion, or accident occurs. You could be evaluated from your home or your health may be compromised by exposure to toxic materials.
Treatment for exposure to dangerous chemicals can be very expensive. It is very important for this reason to ensure that you get legal advice about how much your case may be worth and advice about all your options for compensation. Pursuing fair compensation now is important to ensure that you don’t face eviction, bankruptcy, and other financial losses down the road if your claim is undervalued. Knowing how much your case may be worth puts you in a position to negotiate with your insurance carrier and allows you to evaluate insurance offers with a fresh eye. If you have been affected by dangerous cargo, contact a personal injury attorney in Miami or your community right away to find out how to protect yourself financially.
If you would like to speak to a personal injury attorney, you can always reach Flaxman Law Group for a free, no obligation case analysis.