Truck accidents are among the most dangerous vehicular crashes for those driving in passenger vehicles. The sheer size and weight of a commercial semi-truck can cause severe or even fatal truck accidents. Jackknife accidents are especially common in adverse weather conditions, leaving drivers at even greater risk of injury or death.
If you or someone you love is involved in this type of crash, you need to contact a jackknife accident lawyer to explore your options for recovering damages. Call Lugar Law PC at (540) 384-0348 for help with your truck accident claim. You can also use our online contact form to reach out to us.
How We Can Help After a Jackknife Truck Accident
Attorney Cerid Lugar at Lugar Law is dedicated to helping you every step of the way after a truck accident. Our jackknife accident lawyers start by getting your side of the story. We want to know exactly how the accident occurred, how you experienced it, and how it has affected your life. This is where our investigation starts.
Throughout our investigation, our goal is to answer the question, ?who is liable for a jackknife accident?? Determining liability is crucial in any personal injury case, because that decides who is responsible for paying expenses and damages that arise after the accident. We will investigate every possible angle, including the truck driver, the company employing the truck driver, and the truck manufacturer.
In many situations, a case can be settled with the insurance company out of court. Not often, but at times it is clear the driver or company is responsible for the accident, it is likely that the insurance provider will not want to drag the case out in the courtroom. After analyzing the crash and your injuries, we will work hard to negotiate a fair settlement. If the insurance company wants to play hardball and go to court, we will not back down. We are more than ready to take your case to court and fight for you.
What is Jackknifing and What Causes It?
Jackknife crashes earn their name from the shape a truck takes in this type of crash. In this type of accident, a driver loses control of the vehicle when the trailer slides and swings away from the cab of the truck. The trailer pushes the tractor forward, making it impossible for the driver to control the cab. Both parts of the truck continue to slide until the driver regains control. However, once the cab is facing backwards, it is difficult for the driver to change it to a front-facing position.
This type of crash often blocks one or multiple lanes of traffic. In the best-case scenario, everyone behind the truck is able to stop safely and traffic simply comes to a standstill. This does not always happen, though. In many jackknife accidents, vehicles behind or next to the truck cannot stop in time to avoid a collision. In bad weather, multi-car pileups can occur because of a jackknife accident.
What causes a truck to jackknife? There are several common reasons:
- Truck driver is driving too fast. While most trucks have a maximum speed, that speed is still too high when roads are wet, slippery, or covered with snow. If the driver does not adjust their speed accordingly, they put themselves and others around them at serious risk.
- The driver brakes improperly or too quickly. The design of tractor-trailer vehicles requires careful braking and maneuvering. If a driver brakes too hard or uses the wrong technique, they can completely lose control of their vehicle.
- Incorrectly adjusted brakes. Tractor-trailers require frequent maintenance. Improperly maintained brakes can give out and cause jackknife accidents. Depending on the specifics of the accidents, this may be a manufacturer error, company error, or driver error.
- Curves in the road. Unexpected curves in the road can cause drivers to overcorrect and spin out the trailer they?re pulling, causing a jackknife accident where visibility is low, creating a particularly dangerous situation.
- Lack of experience. Many jackknife accident have one thing in common: driver inexperience or error. A driver with years of experience may learn the nuances of their truck and avoid braking errors that lead to jackknife situations. An inexperienced driver is likely to drive too fast or overcorrect when faced with a dangerous situation.
Common Injuries Suffered by Jackknife Crash Victims
When someone is hurt in a jackknife accident, their injuries are likely to be severe. A passenger vehicle simply cannot stand up to the size and weight of a tractor-trailer when a collision occurs. It is important for victims to seek medical care after a crash, as injuries vary widely between accidents. Possible injuries include:
- Spine injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
Compensation Available After Jackknife Accidents
Due to the severity of many jackknife crashes, damages are often significant. The amount you may receive from a jackknife accident claim depends largely on how many injuries you have, how severe they are, and the extent to which they affect your life.
For many victims, a personal injury claim is the most effective way to hold the truck driver, company, or truck manufacturer responsible for the injuries they have caused. When you meet with a jackknife truck accident lawyer, you will be able to discuss different types of damages you may ask for in your claim. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, possible compensation options include:
- Medical treatment, medication costs, and hospital stays
- Ambulance transportation
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Long-term care for catastrophic or lifelong injuries
- Lost wages, both current and future
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
Call a Jackknife Accident Lawyer Today
Do not face the insurance company alone, if a jackknife accident has left you injured. Let us help. Contact Lugar Law PC at (540) 384-0348 to or use our online form discuss your case with a jackknife accident lawyer.