Some trucks transport fuel, chemicals, and other hazardous materials that are combustible. Trucking companies need to be extra careful to ensure that this dangerous cargo does not cause fires or explosions which can result in injuries, death, and property damage.

Part of Interstate 75 in Fort Myers needed to be closed after a truck accident and a fire occurred in the area.

Two trucks collide and cause a fire on highway

The collision involved a pickup truck hauling a trailer and a much larger semi truck near the Alico Road exit.

When emergency crews responded to the scene, the semi truck was on fire and there was a large amount of debris on the street. Although the scene looked like a disaster area, no injuries were reported and the roadway did not experience any major damage. All lanes remained closed for some time, as traffic was re-routed to take the Alico Road exit instead of continuing through the accident scene. There was no known cause of the accident as the investigation began, but witnesses nearby reported an explosion from the semi truck that caused the fire and totally destroyed the vehicle in the process. No traffic citations or criminal charges were given to either driver.

Personal injury cases and known hazards

The civil law provides some special rules related to materials that can cause fires, explosions, poisoning, and other serious problems. If an activity is identified as being extremely hazardous, the trucking company may face additional liability, or it may be easier to a victim to prevail in lawsuit, as the defendant should have been more careful when engaged in the transportation of hazardous things. Some courts in the past have imposed strict liability on businesses who cause harm when they are engaged in inherently dangerous activities. This functions as an incentive for certain businesses to be extremely careful when transporting or handling materials that are radioactive, explosive, or toxic.

Calculating damages

After a truck accident or other incident involving these kinds of materials, the company responsible may be made to pay for all property damage and personal injuries that can be tied to their cargo. This can include repairs to buildings, vehicles, and other structures if property is damaged. People who are injured may require extensive medical treatment for burns, smoke inhalation, or other serious problems caused by exposure to toxic elements. This liability can be added in addition to the damages associated with a motor vehicle accident.

Damages are one of the more complex aspects of personal injury cases, so it is important to explain all problems caused by an accident to your lawyer to get specific answers.

Punitive damages

Some civil lawsuits result in a large damage award meant to punish the party responsible. These are called punitive damages and they may be available if a business was careless or reckless when dealing with hazards caused by their cargo. Most judges allow punitive damages when a business has an extreme deviation form a normal standard of care.

Talk to a truck accident attorney in your city

To have a conversation about the possibility of filing a lawsuit, contact King Law. The firm specializes in various kinds of accidents and personal injury cases in the Fort Myers area.