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Major Semi-Truck Accident in Stockton Causes Huge Fire 

According to a report from CBS News, a major fire erupted after a semi-truck accident in Stockton. Several roads were closed on account of the fire. Thankfully, the trucker and other drivers avoided serious physical harm. However, there are reports of environmental damage to a nearby pond. Here, our Stockton semi-truck accident lawyer explains what we know about the crash and highlights the regulations for tractor trailers transporting hazardous materials. 

Fuel Truck Crash Leads to Major Highway Fire in Stockton (Multiple Roads Closed)

Alarmingly, a big rig carrying an estimated 8,000 gallons of fuel caught fire after colliding with a car in Stockton, California. As a consequence of the size and dangerous nature of the fire, several major roads were closed for multiple hours. The crash happened when the semi-truck was attempting to make a turn onto Highway 4 from Navy Road. Unfortunately, investigators determined that the fuel spill affected a nearby pond. The accident is still under a more comprehensive investigation. An environmental cleanup effort is already underway. 

Truck Accidents are Frightening—Especially When Hazardous Materials are Involved

Any truck accident can be incredibly scary. A fully loaded commercial truck in Central California can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. When large trucks are carrying hazardous materials—such as oil, gas, or dangerous chemicals—the situation is even more stressful. The potential for widespread damage, environmental harm, and serious injury or death is significantly higher compared to other accidents. The recent truck accident in Stockton involving a big rig carrying 8,000 gallons of fuel catching fire provides a vivid illustration of the catastrophic potential of these accidents. When hazardous substances like fuel, chemicals, or radioactive materials are spilled or released as a result of a crash, the consequences can be devastating. 

What to Do If You are in a Crash With a Truck Transporting Hazardous Materials

Were you involved in a truck accident with a vehicle that you know or suspect was carrying hazardous materials? It is imperative that you take immediate action to protect your health, your safety, and your rights. Here are the most important steps to take: 

  • Prioritize Your Safety: If you are involved in a crash with a truck carrying hazardous materials, your first priority should be safety. Move away from the accident scene to avoid exposure to dangerous substances and the risk of explosions or fires. Your legal obligation to remain at the scene of an accident is secondary to getting yourself away from the hazard. 
  • Call Emergency Services: Dial 911 to report the accident immediately. Provide specific details about the location and mention that the truck is carrying hazardous materials—as doing so will prompt a specialized response. The California Highway Patrol Can help. 
  • Follow Instructions from Authorities: Emergency services and hazardous materials response teams will provide instructions for safety. In some cases, they may include evacuating the area. 
  • Seek Medical Attention for any Injuries: All physical injuries need to be evaluated right away. Even if you do not have visible injuries, exposure to hazardous materials can have delayed health effects. See a doctor right away after a truck accident. From a legal perspective, you will need medical records to bring a personal injury claim. 

State and Federal Law for Trucks Transporting Hazardous Materials

Commercial trucking is regulated at both the state and federal level. Notably, there are specialized laws and regulations in place regarding the transportation of hazardous materials. All companies involved in these operations must comply with the law. Failure to do so may result in stiff civil—or even criminal—penalties. Further, it is negligence. Here are key regulations to know: 

  • Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA): The HMTA provides the foundational framework for the regulation of hazardous materials transportation, including requirements for registration, packaging, and communication to ensure safe transportation practices.
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA): The RCRA is a federal law that is primarily designed to regulate the disposal of hazardous waste. With that being said, the RCRA also has some relevant provisions for the transportation of hazardous materials—particularly for the management/disposal of hazardous waste.
  • California State Regulations: Beyond that federal regulations, most individual U.S. states have their own laws regarding the transportation of hazardous materials within their borders. Notably, California has strict laws in place. Our state has requirements for driver qualification standards, vehicle inspection standards, and restrictions on routes.

It is also important to remember that California is a fault-based motor vehicle accident jurisdiction, including for truck accidents. A trucking company that transports hazardous materials is not automatically responsible for an accident. These crashes should always be comprehensively investigated by an experienced attorney. A lawyer will protect the rights of victims and families. 

Truck Accident Victims Deserve Full and Fair Financial Compensation

Were you hurt in a crash with a semi-truck that was hauling hazardous materials? You need justice and the maximum financial support. Unfortunately, these types of crashes can cause catastrophic damage. Do not rely on any trucking company or any insurance carrier to look out for your best interests. At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, we fight tirelessly to help victims maximize their recovery. Our Stockton, CA eighteen wheeler accident attorneys help injured victims seek compensation for: 

  • Property damage, including the replacement of a vehicle; 
  • Ambulance costs and emergency medical care; 
  • Hospital bills and other types of medical expenses; 
  • Long-term rehabilitative care, including physical therapy; 
  • Loss of wages and loss of earning power; 
  • Pain and suffering & emotional distress; 
  • Long-term disability and physical impairment; 
  • Wrongful death of a family member; and
  • If applicable, punitive damages. 

Call Our Stockton Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer Today

At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockton semi-truck accident fights aggressively to protect the rights of injured victims. We put the rights of people and families first. If you were hurt in an accident involving a truck that was carrying hazardous materials, we are here to help. Give us a call now or contact us online to arrange your free case review. From our Stockton legal office, we handle semi-truck accident cases in San Joaquin County and throughout all of Central California.