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Tow Truck Loses Load on U.S. 50 in a Sacramento Traffic Accident

Toyota Struck By Camper Shell Falling Off Tow Truck

A tow truck transporting two vehicles caused a traffic accident on July 18 on eastbound U.S. 50 when it lost part of its load in the roadway. A Toyota Rav4 was struck just west of the 15th Street exit ramp by a camper shell around 12:35 p.m. It had reportedly come loose from the tow truck, according to the traffic report by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). 

Vehicle Transporter Exited at Bradshaw

Another person called in to report that they had seen the falling object accident when it happened. The tow truck was seen exiting at Bradshaw and was transporting a pickup and beige passenger vehicle at the time. The camper shell ended up in the center divider. No injuries were reported in the accident.

Roadway Debris

Whether it is a heavy object falling off a truck or a large obstacle on the road, drivers are often unprepared for roadway debris. Since it is common in California to share the road with commercial rigs such as a tow truck, the danger of being seriously injured in this type of traffic accident is real. In 2016, AAA reported that more than 200,000 crashes nationwide were due to debris left or falling onto the road. Sixty-six percent of the debris involved cargo items falling off trucks. These accidents resulted in roughly 39,000 injuries and 500 fatalities. The main reason the cargo falls is the failure of truck drivers to adequately secure their loads. 

Common Characteristics of Debris-Related Accidents

Some traits of debris-related accidents are:

  • The vast majority of crashes caused by debris occur between the hours of 10:00 in the morning and 4:00 in the afternoon. 
  • About 40 percent of all fatalities due to falling debris is caused by a driver trying to avoid hitting the object. The driver may swerve to get out of the way, which can result in serious injuries. This overcorrection can cause the driver to lose control of his or her vehicle. On a crowded highway with little room to move, this can have catastrophic effects. 
  • The majority of accidents happen on high-speed freeways. This is due to higher speeds and the effect this has on loosening cargo. 
  • Vehicles that are improperly maintained also add to road debris accidents.
  • Trailers that become unhinged due to improper securement can cause a traffic accident.

Liability in a Lost Cargo Traffic Accident

Both the driver and the company he or she works for is liable for damages caused by falling cargo. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has developed regulations that address truck cargo falling and landing in the road or directly impacting another vehicle. California provides drivers with instructions on securing loads to help prevent debris-related crashes. Failing to observe the rules can result in hefty fines and also criminal charges in a limited number of cases. In addition, once the debris has fallen on the road, the government agency in the area is charged with removing it in a timely manner. 

Investigating a Traffic Accident Caused by Falling Cargo

Our firm knows that the successful outcome of a personal injury lawsuit depends on the evidentiary details. For this reason, we send our investigators to the accident site immediately. They are able to retrieve evidence before it is cleared away or purposely hidden. We look for truck maintenance logs that show when the vehicle was last inspected and if a defect was fixed. Our investigators also look for how the cargo was secured and if proper securement tools were used. 

Our investigative team interviews witnesses to the accident and checks police reports for mistakes. If videos of the accident are available, our investigators obtain a copy. Once all the data is gathered, it is released to our legal team to build a strong case against the defendant.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Anyone who is injured in a cargo-related accident has the right to be compensated for injuries. Just call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. There is no obligation, and if you opt for a free case review, there is no charge. If you’d rather, you can also fill out my online form. Our clients have our guarantee that they will not pay us until we win their case. 

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I’ve helped Sacramentans obtain compensation in many types of traumatic accidents, truck crashes and wrongful deaths.

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