As noted in previous posts, truck accidents often result in catastrophic personal injuries, due to the size and weight of trucks and tractor-trailers. Individuals rear-ended by a tractor-trailer, or sideswiped by an over-the-road truck driver often sustain serious and permanent injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, paralysis and wrongful death.
Accidents involving trucks transporting hazardous materials, including explosives, chemicals, and bio-hazards, are particularly dangerous. Trucks and tractor-trailers transporting hazardous materials are subjected to additional rules and regulations, so consulting with a top Chicago truck accident lawyer is critical, as it is for any truck accident.
49 CFR Part 171 defines hazardous materials as “a substance or material that the Secretary of Transportation has determined is capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce, and has designated as hazardous under section 5103 of Federal hazardous materials transportation law.” 49 U.S.C. 5103.
Examples of hazardous materials include explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons, and radioactive materials. In addition to the serious trauma-induced injuries caused by a truck collision, accidents involving trucks carrying hazardous materials can cause other serious injuries, such as chemical burns or exposure to toxic materials.
The severity of a chemical burn depends on the depth and surface area of the burn. The most severe burns are 3rd degree and 4th degree burns. Third degree burns injure all the skin layers and tissue under the skin whereas 4th degree burns extend through the skin to injure muscle, ligaments, tendons, nerves, blood vessels and bones.
Symptoms of a serious chemical burn include:
• Shortness of breath
• Cardiac Arrest
Any chemical burn requires immediate medical treatment.
Severe chemical burns, such as a 3rd or 4th degree burns, may require more extensive treatment, such pain management, antibiotics to protect against infection, skin graphs or other surgery and physical therapy.
If you suspect negligence was the cause of a hazardous tractor-trailer truck accident that injured you or someone you love, contact an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney as soon as possible to investigate your case, and ensure that your rights are protected.