Jackknife Truck Accidents in Prince George’s County

When a tractor-trailer loses traction with the road and slips into a skid, its trailer may kick out to the side or even all the way in front of its cab, greatly increasing the area of the road the out-of-control vehicle covers. This type of wreck is called “jackknifing,” and it is one of the more dangerous types of truck accidents that may occur in the state of Maryland.

Jackknife truck accidents in Prince George’s County cause serious injuries to countless residents every year, many of whom could have avoided harm altogether but for the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company. When you suffer an injury under circumstances like this, speaking with a truck accident attorney about your legal options is a good idea.

How Negligence Can Cause Jackknife Truck Wrecks

There are numerous ways a truck driver’s unsafe behavior can increase the risk of a jackknife truck crash occurring, including:

  • Braking too quickly
  • Driving while fatigued or intoxicated
  • Driving over the speed limit, especially on slopes or curves
  • Failure to account for inclement weather
  • Overly aggressive driving

However, there are also many ways the actions of third parties that were only indirectly involved in a crash can bear civil liability for resulting damages. Trucking companies that hire inexperienced drivers and fail to ensure they are properly trained may bear vicarious liability for a jackknife truck accident in Prince George’s County, even if it occurred primarily because of a truck driver’s misconduct.

Alternatively, some jackknife wrecks stem not from a driver’s negligence but from a manufacturing company, mechanic, or third-party supplier who failed to ensure a tractor-trailer was in safe driving condition. If equipment failure, poorly maintained brakes, or an unsecured load shifting unexpectedly is the primary cause of a jackknife, one of those third parties may be solely at fault.

Recovering for a Jackknife Accident Within Filing Deadlines

Regardless of which specific people or entities bear civil fault for a Prince George’s County jackknife truck crash, anyone injured by such an incident may demand restitution for economic and non-economic harm. Recoverable damages can be past losses that have already occurred at the time of filing or future damages that long-term injuries will likely cause in years to come.

No matter how long-lasting a truck crash victim’s injuries are, they only have a limited period of time in which to start pursuing civil litigation. According to Maryland Code, Courts & Judicial Proceedings § 5-101, most prospective personal injury claimants have a maximum of three years after initially sustaining an injury to file suit, or their case will be time-barred. This means they will be unable to recover any compensation for that particular accident.

Contact a Prince George’s County Attorney About a Jackknife Truck Accident Claim

Jackknifing trucks have the potential to cause catastrophic harm to multiple people at once, so it is crucial for responsible truck drivers to take all necessary precautions to minimize the risk of such an accident occurring. Unfortunately, not every trucker—or the various entities supporting them—fulfill this duty to the extent they should, sometimes resulting in irreversible injuries and losses.

After a jackknife truck accident in Prince George’s County, the quality of legal counsel you retain could make a tremendous difference in how effectively you protect your rights. Schedule your initial consultation by calling today.