CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Traffic Hazard on Capital City Freeway Causes Delays

Multiple Lanes of the Cap City Freeway Shut Down Due to Paint Spill

The Capital City Freeway was shut down across multiple lanes on February 26, 2020, when dozens of paint buckets spilled onto the roadway, creating a traffic hazard. The accident was reported just after 10:00 in the morning along the northbound Capital City Freeway just north of the Arden Way entrance ramp. The California Highway Patrol (CHP), in their incidence log, reported that dozens of five-gallon paint cans had dropped in all the lanes from a big rig. Traffic was reduced to one lane as cleanup was performed. A traffic camera operated by Caltrans took a photo of the spill, which showed long streaks of white paint across the shoulder of the road as well as the three lanes on the right.

Cargo Securement

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, all cargo on a truck or other transporting vehicle must be secured during transport.  This includes any general freight as well as specialized cargo. The cargo must also be evenly distributed across the area to prevent discrepancies in balancing the weight. When this happens, it can lead to instability and a driver’s loss of control of the vehicle.  Regulations are in place that provide guidance on how the cargo is to be secured without which the safety of other motorists will be compromised. Proper securement prevents the following:

  • Cargo falling from a vehicle
  • Cargo leaks or spills

Choosing a Securement System

The securement system that is chosen varies according to the cargo’s characteristics, strengths, shape, and size. Securement systems include the following:

  • Synthetic webbing
  • Chains
  • Wire or manila rope
  • Steel strapping
  • Blocking
  • Clamps and latches
  • Winches
  • Shackles
  • D-links
  • Friction mats

Avoiding a Traffic Hazard

Trucks are inspected regularly for proper securement. Inspectors look to see if there are any safety violations, such as too few restraints. In addition, trucking companies are obligated to maintain proper loading procedures. If this is ignored and an accident due to improper securement occurred, the driver and the company can be included in a lawsuit. 

Types of Falling Cargo

Falling cargo can cause a traffic hazard. Some types of cargo are more dangerous than others. Some of the most common are:

  • Car parts
  • Dirt and debris
  • Sheet metal
  • Lumber
  • Furniture
  • Automobiles
  • Large equipment
  • Liquids such as paint

Liability With Falling Cargo

When cargo falls off a truck, it can strike another motor vehicle directly, causing a serious injury or fatality. Reports of a sharp metal shard or a piece of lumber piercing the vehicle are more common than many people think. In such cases, the trucker or the trucking company can be held liable. However, if a car swerves to avoid falling cargo and the occupants of the vehicle are injured, the company and trucker can also be considered liable. 

Negligence in a Traffic Hazard Caused by Falling Cargo

Truckers and trucking companies are obligated to protect the safety of motorists. If they fail to secure cargo properly, they are breaching that responsibility. Your truck accident lawyer must show that the breach caused a client’s injury and show that it resulted in financial damages.

How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help

When a truck accident occurs, our law firm immediately sends our investigators to the scene of the crash. They examine the details of the accident using reconstruction techniques that allow them to see the placement of the vehicles before and after the crash. They also obtain traffic surveillance videos that show the accident in real-time. If a truck caused the accident, our investigators review company logs involving maintenance. They will check to see if the cargo was secured. Reviews of previous accidents will point to a lax system used by the trucking company. Once all details are garnered, the information is released to our legal team for use in building a strong case for our client.

Truck Accident Lawyer in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a truck accident lawyer in Sacramento. If you are injured in an accident with a truck, give me a call at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also reach out to me online.

I have helped clients in the Sacramento area for all types of car accidents, wrongful deaths, and other traumatic injuries.

I am proud to be a member of the Million Dollar Advocates and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

Learn about my practice on the following pages:

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