The transportation of hazardous materials is an essential yet inherently risky aspect of modern commerce. Trucks carrying these materials pose unique challenges and dangers on the road, as accidents involving these materials can have severe consequences for human health, the environment, and property.

The frequency of these incidents has risen in the past two decades, with approximately 25,000 hazardous material accidents in 2022 alone. In 2023, 22,790 collisions involving dangerous substances on U.S. highways resulted in 11 fatalities and 53 injuries that year.

Knowing your rights and steps to take if you’re involved in a crash with a semi-truck carrying dangerous substances can help you get the recovery award you’re entitled to. Our Michigan truck crash injury lawyers at Fieger Law can fight on your behalf to help you receive maximum compensation.

Most Common Forms of Hazardous Material Transport

Tractor trailers, also called semi-trucks, transport more than 3.3 billion tons of hazardous materials annually, with over 1.2 million daily shipments. The most common hazardous materials transported by tractor-trailers across the country include:

  • Flammable liquids, such as gasoline and diesel
  • Industrial chemicals, including acids, bases, and solvents
  • Explosive materials, like fireworks and ammunition
  • Toxic substances, such as pesticides and herbicides
  • Radioactive materials used in medical treatment and research
  • Corrosive materials, including battery acid and bleach
  • Oxidizing substances, which can cause or enhance the combustion of other materials
  • Biological hazards, including medical waste and infectious substances

Transporting hazardous materials can cause various injuries and illnesses from chemical exposure and vehicle accidents. Direct contact with toxic substances may lead to acute poisoning, respiratory problems, and long-term issues like cancer. Flammable and explosive materials increase the risk of burns and blast injuries, and corrosive substances can result in severe skin and eye damage.

Collisions involving these transport vehicles can inflict debilitating injuries, such as broken bones, spinal cord damage, and brain trauma. These can lead to lost wages and missed future earnings and cause considerable pain and suffering and disfigurement affecting your quality of life.

When an accident involving these materials happens, it can cause serious harm to your well-being, more so than other types of crashes and even other commercial truck accidents. Our team at Fieger Law knows the impact of a hazardous material crash on victims’ lives; we can use our decades of experience to help you get compensation for all injuries and damages caused by the crash.

Hazardous Material Transport Regulations

Due to increased accidents involving dangerous substances, governmental agencies have enacted strict regulations for transporting these materials. These rules can impact liability in a crash and set insurance limits, which can influence your potential settlement amount in a lawsuit.

Here’s an overview of hazardous material transport regulations:


Regulation Overview
Classification and Labeling Hazardous materials are classified into categories such as flammable liquids, explosives, toxic substances, and radioactive materials. Each category requires specific labeling to indicate the type of hazard, ensuring safe handling and transport.
Driver and Handler Training Personnel must undergo training covering safety protocols, emergency response, and handling different hazardous materials. This ensures they are prepared for the unique challenges posed by each class of hazardous material.
Packaging and Containment Standards Regulations specify packaging requirements for each class of hazardous material to prevent leaks and spills. For example, flammable liquids must be transported in DOT-approved containers designed to mitigate the risk of ignition.
Route Restrictions Certain hazardous materials, like radioactive substances, are restricted from being transported through densely populated areas or near sensitive environments to minimize the risk of exposure in the event of an accident.
Emergency Response Plans Transporters are required to have plans outlining immediate actions in case of an accident, including notification procedures and steps to contain and mitigate hazards. This helps minimize the impact of any release of hazardous materials.
Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Vehicles transporting hazardous materials must undergo regular inspections to ensure that safety features, containment systems, and emergency equipment are in proper working condition, reducing the risk of accidents due to equipment failure.
Documentation and Record-Keeping Detailed records of hazardous material transport must include the material’s classification, quantity, packaging type, and the route taken. This documentation is essential for regulatory compliance and aids in investigating and responding to incidents.
Insurance Requirements Transporters are required to carry liability insurance of between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000, depending on the type and quantity of hazardous materials transported. This insurance covers potential damages and cleanup costs in the event of an accident involving hazardous materials.


If you’re involved in a crash, Fieger Law can investigate to determine the cause. If the trucking company, driver, or cargo loader violated these regulations, we can hold them liable for the accident and your injuries.

We can also pursue the highest compensation possible based on the high trucking company insurance limits, getting you a settlement that covers your current and future losses.

Call Fieger Law Today

After being involved in a serious truck accident involving hazardous substances, you could face severe injuries that may lead to long-term disfigurement or illness. You might also experience pain and emotional trauma as a result of the accident. If you have been involved in a crash with a hazardous material truck, contact our law firm immediately to protect your rights and health.

Our team at Fieger Law has over 100 years of experience representing victims of accidents, including truck crashes. We are committed to fighting for the compensation you deserve and holding negligent trucking companies accountable for the damages they cause.

Our personal injury lawyers understand the complexity of truck accident claims, particularly when they happen across state boundaries. We represent clients across the U.S.

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help protect your rights to compensation.