When a semi-truck accident occurs, most people probably worry about the injuries and damages that are caused by the impact between the truck and any other vehicles. In many accidents, the impact itself causes injuries and death. This is especially true when a large truck is involved in an accident with a smaller vehicle like a car or SUV. But, truck accidents can cause injuries to other drivers even after the initial impact occurs.
Recently, a West Virginia truck accident threatened the safety of others on the road who were not even involved in the collision. The accident occurred when one semi-truck rear-ended another truck early in the evening on February 10. Fluid began to spill from one of the truck's engines, which caused authorities to close down part of Interstate 64, including a section of the highway that runs through Charleston.
Luckily, nobody suffered injuries in the accident or its aftermath. However, this is often not the case when semi-trucks are involved in collisions. Trucks are susceptible to jackknife accidents, which is where the trailer slams into the truck cab at a perpendicular angle. This type of accident can cause the trailer to topple over on its side and take up multiple other lanes of traffic. When this kind of collision occurs, other vehicles can end up crashing into the trailer. Likewise, the truck can begin spilling contents from the trailer, or any other part of the truck, onto the roadway, increasing the risk of harm.
Because some trucks carry hazardous materials, a spill from a trailer can pose serious dangers to other drivers. A tanker truck, for example, can carry heavy loads of fuel and other chemicals. If that material spills onto the road, the resulting fumes can endanger others.
When a truck accident causes injury or death, victims and their families may be able to seek compensation from the trucker and the truck company that hired him or her. This may be true regardless of whether the victims suffer injuries in the actual collision or in the events following the accident.
Source: WSAZ News Channel 3, "Accident Closes I-64 Lanes In Charleston" Kelsey Hoak, Feb. 10, 2015