Hawaii News reports that a stretch of the Big Island's Highway 190/Mamalahoa Highway has been shut down due to a tanker truck accident. The 18-wheeler was carrying 20 55-gallon drums and 12 30-gallon drums. Hawaii County firefighters report that the truck overturned on Highway 190 near Waikoloa Thursday afternoon, blocking both lanes of the road and spilling chemicals onto the road.
Semi-truck accidents are some of the most dangerous types of motor vehicle accidents. As the result of the sheer size of an 18-wheeler, when they are involved in accidents, the consequences are often significant.
Approximately 450,000 accidents involving trucks occur every year, resulting in numerous injuries and over 5,000 deaths. Of these deaths, only 15% are truck drivers. 72% are other innocent motorists, or their passengers. And 13% are motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
In this instance, not only is there an issue of personal injuries resulting from the crash, but also from the chemicals that spilled onto the roadway and nearby environment.
Trucks accidents can happen for a number of reasons – including driver error (often the result of driver distraction). Other times, defective parts such as faulty brakes can lead to an accident. In these situation it may be possible for those involved to file a product liability lawsuit. Further, in some instances actions by the trucking company itself may be to blame. This includes where the company requires that the drivers work excessive hours to meet unrealistic deadlines or forces them to carry too heavy payloads. While the driver's actions may be one cause of an accident, the steps taken by the trucking company may be a substantial – and leading – factor leading to harm.
A truck driver who causes an accident due to their careless or reckless behavior may be held financially liable for the injuries and damages sustained by other motorists. If it can be shown that the trucking company or truck manufacturer also displayed negligence, they may be held accountable as well.
For more information, or if you or a loved one has suffered harm as the result of a truck accident, please contact the experienced Hawaii truck accident lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.