Jackknife Truck Accidents

While the cab and trailer of a semi-truck travel in the same direction, they are still two distinct vehicles attached at a hitch and are capable of moving somewhat independently of each other during turns and other maneuvers. This means that if a truck driver loses control of their vehicle at a high speed, the trailer may skid out to the side or even all the way in front of the cab, resulting in what is known as a “jackknife” accident.

Jackknife truck accidents are among the most damaging and dangerous types of commercial vehicle wrecks, as they often end up blocking multiple traffic lanes and collecting multiple other vehicles. If you were hurt in this kind of trucking collision on interstate roads, having help from a truck accident attorney who has handled similar cases nationwide could be crucial to protecting your short- and long-term interests.

Negligent Driving Leading to Jackknife Wrecks

Jackknife truck crashes involve a truck’s trailer moving at a faster rate of speed than its cab, causing it to swing around on its hitch and skid sideways across the road’s surface. Accordingly, the most common causes of jackknifes are a truck driver applying their emergency brakes too quickly or losing traction with the road surface, often because they negligently failed to maintain a safe following distance, exceeded the posted speed limit, or did not adjust their driving for inclement weather or poor road conditions.

It is worth noting, however, that truck drivers are not the only parties who could be at fault for an interstate jackknife truck crash. For example, if a truck jackknifes during normal braking because of a mechanical failure in the cab’s brakes, any ensuing accident might primarily be the fault of a mechanic who failed to properly service the brakes beforehand, or a manufacturer who provided faulty components for the truck’s brakes.

Likewise, trucking companies who hire unqualified drivers and/or fail to provide drivers with proper training on how to avoid jackknifing might bear vicarious liability after a wreck of this nature occurs on interstate roads. Ask an attorney about establishing fault for an interstate jackknife crash and taking appropriate legal action against the liable party or parties.

Maximizing Compensation for Injuries and Losses

Any crash involving a commercial truck and a commuter vehicle will almost always leave the smaller car and its occupants with severe damage, especially if that collision stems from a jackknifing truck skidding across a crowded highway. Considering how severely harmful these accidents can be, comprehensive civil recovery after an interstate jackknife trucking collision must account for both past and future losses, including but not limited to:

  • Emergency medical expenses and rehabilitative care costs;
  • Lost wages and/or earning ability;
  • Vehicle repair/replacement expenses;
  • Physical pain and suffering;
  • Lost consortium;
  • Lost quality of life;
  • Psychological/emotional trauma.

Depending on the state, punitive damages may also be available in situations involving particularly egregious negligence.

Contact an Attorney after an Interstate Jackknife Truck Accident

Jackknife truck accidents are uniquely dangerous and potentially deadly for everyone involved, and seeking fair financial restitution in the aftermath of one that took place on interstate highways can seem like an impossible endeavor. Fortunately, help may be available from dedicated legal professionals who have helped people like you nationwide with their interstate jackknife truck accident claims.

Guidance from a seasoned lawyer could make all the difference in how your case plays out. Call today to learn whether we could help in your case.