Any truck accident is a serious event. A truck accident is even more dangerous when it involves hazardous materials. When you’re the victim of a hazardous materials truck accident, you have legal rights. You may want to work with a skilled truck accident attorney to get the compensation you deserve. Here’s what you need to know about hazmat truck accident liability.
Nevada Hazardous Materials Truck Accidents
Each day, there are 800,000 shipments of hazardous materials in the United States, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that there are 200 fatal accidents each year that involve trucks transporting hazardous materials. In Nevada, victims of truck accidents that involve hazardous materials may claim compensation against the driver of the vehicle or their employer.
Hazardous Materials Basics
HAZMAT stands for hazardous materials. Hazardous materials are any material or substance that can hurt people or the environment. Categories of hazardous materials include materials that are:
- Additional dangerous materials
Anyone who transports hazardous goods must follow proper procedures for moving the goods.
What Are My Rights If I’m Injured in a Hazardous Materials Truck Accident in Nevada?
If you’re injured in a hazardous materials truck accident in Nevada, your rights depend on who is at fault for the accident. Nevada is an at-fault state. Regardless of the seriousness of your injuries, you may be able to bring a claim for financial compensation.
To receive compensation, it must be the driver of the hazardous materials truck or another driver that is to blame for the accident. You may win financial compensation even if you’re partially at fault for the accident.
What Can I Win for a Hazardous Materials Truck Accident Case?
In a hazardous materials truck accident case, you may recover for your losses and damages. Any kind of financial loss that you have may be a part of your claim. Your losses may include things that cost you money, like medical bills, and ways that you fail to earn money, like missed work.
In a hazardous material truck accident, the driver is often an employee of a trucking company. That means the trucking company is liable for the actions of the employee. You may be able to access large insurance policies that the trucking company must have to do business as a way to collect a judgment in your favor.
Legal Standards for Hazardous Materials Truck Accident Lawsuits
Businesses like trucking companies are obligated to protect the public. When they transport hazardous materials, they must take the utmost care to transport the materials safely. When they act negligently, the company becomes legally liable for the damages that result from their actions.
A hazardous materials trucking accident may occur because of the way that the company handles dangerous goods. An accident may also occur from a driving mistake. No matter the cause of the crash, the negligence of the company and the company’s representatives creates legal liability to the victims who suffer harm from the accident.
How Do You Transport Hazardous Materials in Nevada?
A driver who wishes to transport hazardous materials in Nevada must have a special endorsement on their commercial driver’s license. They must complete an online application and submit documentation that includes fingerprints. The fee is $86.50.
Each driver must have their own endorsement for hazardous materials. It’s not enough for a company to have the endorsement. Drivers must use placarding to identify the cargo during transit.
Reporting Hazardous Materials Accidents in Nevada
A HAZMAT carrier must immediately notify state officials if any of the following occur because of an accident involving hazardous materials:
- Hospitalization of any person
- Apparent damages of $50,000 or more
- An evacuation that lasts more than an hour
- Closure of a major road for more than one hour
- Disruption of flight
- Radioactive contamination
- Contamination of infectious substances
- Liquid marine pollutant of 450 liters or more
What Are the Laws for Transporting Hazardous Materials in Nevada?
The transportation of hazardous materials is highly regulated in the State of Nevada. In addition to federal laws, there are also state laws and rules that apply. Nevada law 459.500 establishes a state commission to oversee the packaging, handling, and disposal of hazardous materials in Nevada. Nevada law 480.360 tasks law enforcement officers with enforcing state laws about the transfer of hazardous materials. State regulations for hazardous materials don’t apply to federal, state, or local government vehicles.
Before transporting HAZMAT materials in Nevada, the motor carrier must get a state permit from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. If the carrier is from out of state, they must get a comparable application from their own state. An application to transport hazardous materials must include ownership and financial information for the carrier, a list of the motor carrier’s debts, and customer information. The State of Nevada may share this information with the United States government.
Nevada Hazardous Materials Transportation Laws
Under Nevada law 459.590, it’s illegal to transport hazardous materials without a transit manifest. The manifest states information about what you’re transporting and where you’re taking it. It’s illegal to transport hazardous materials without a manifest or with an inaccurate manifest.
You may not transport hazardous materials to a location that is not authorized to receive it. Finally, it’s against the law to make a false statement with regards to a shipment of hazardous materials. A manifest must contain the quantity, composition, route, and destination of the goods.
Contact Our Las Vegas Attorneys for Truck Accidents
Have you been in a truck accident that involves hazardous materials? We can help. Our Las Vegas injury attorneys have years of experience handling a wide range of accident and injury cases. Helping injured victims is all we do, and we’re proud of the millions of dollars that we have recovered for accident victims.
It’s our goal to help you get justice when you’re hurt because of a hazardous materials trucking accident. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.