What To Know about Jackknife Accidents
Large commercial trucks are commonplace on the roads in Tennessee. Trucking is the most common way to transport goods across the country, and when fully loaded, a semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
With all the extra weight of the trailer itself, plus any cargo, trucks can be very hard to manage if drivers lose control. Because of their size, they are slow to respond to the actions of the driver, such as braking and accelerating. It takes far longer for these actions to work than it does for other vehicles.
Sharing the road with a large truck is very different than sharing it with other passenger vehicles. You should always follow certain safety tips for driving near semi-trucks to keep yourself and the driver of the truck safe. Unfortunately, not everyone will follow the safest procedures for either driving trucks or sharing the road with them, and accidents are likely to occur.
Accidents involving commercial trucks are often devastating for victims, and the injuries can be particularly severe in a jackknife accident. At Mitch Grissim & Associates in Nashville, our office understands the seriousness of a truck accident and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. To learn more, call or contact our office today.
What is a Jackknife Accident?
An eighteen-wheeler truck sometimes referred to as a big rig, consists of two parts: the cab in the front and the trailer in the back that are connected on a joint. When a jackknife accident occurs, the cab where truck drivers sit and the trailer with the cargo go in two different directions. Ultimately, the truck’s trailer swings around to the cab into a shape resembling a “V,” which makes the driver completely unable to control the vehicle.
When the force and speed of the truck are so great, it can cause the truck in a jackknife crash to also tip or roll on its side, making control even more impossible for the driver. The truck is unable to stop or change directions, which often leads to the truck running into other vehicles on the road in a jackknife accident.
This kind of collision can cause catastrophic injuries for those in other smaller vehicles.
What Causes a Jackknife Accident?
There are many different reasons why a commercial truck may jackknife on the roadway, but most occur because of driver error or negligence. Some of the most common causes of jackknife accidents include the following:
Truck Driver Error
These causes all come down to negligence or reckless behavior from the driver.
- High Speeds
- Improper lane changes
- Driving distracted
- Negligent cargo loading/securement
These circumstances may be beyond the control of the driver but often lead to truck accidents.
- Inclement weather conditions
- Poor road conditions
- Mechanical issues (brake failure, faulty trailer axles or drive axles, etc.)
- Attempting to make a sudden stop, and more.
Whether or not the truck driver is completely at fault for the jackknife accident, these types of scenarios become extremely dangerous for other drivers because of the sheer size and weight of these massive vehicles.
Injuries Caused by Jackknife Accidents
The injuries caused by jackknife accidents are often catastrophic for victims. The victims of these accidents are almost always drivers and passengers in other, smaller vehicles on the road. Some of the most common injuries include crushing body parts, amputations, severe head and neck trauma, broken bones, internal injuries, nerve damage, and more.
The more serious injuries often require lengthy hospital stays and even longer recovery times, sometimes with ongoing medical attention. Many injury victims of jackknife truck accidents report permanent injuries that impact the rest of their lives.
What Are Your Options After Jackknife Truck Accidents?
Jackknife crashes can be devastating for multiple reasons to victims. The vehicle they were in likely suffered severe damage and must be repaired or replaced, injuries can completely change the course of lives and lost income can hurt an entire family if workers cannot return to their jobs right away.
The financial burden that is placed on victims in passenger vehicles can be overwhelming. Fortunately, a solution exists where you can recover compensation for your losses and ease that financial burden, or even have it completely erased.
All you have to do is file a claim and prove that fault lies with the truck driver, trucking company, or another party. Most vehicle accidents are the fault of one driver or another due to negligent behavior, and the same is true when jackknife accidents happen. Either the driver of the truck was negligent or reckless, or another vehicle caused the tractor-trailer to react to a situation quickly leading to the truck crash.
Whatever the cause of jackknife accidents may be, a truck accident lawyer at our law firm can be the partner you need while filing a claim.
What Will a Truck Accident Attorney do?
You are probably wondering how a truck accident lawyer can help you through this process. There are many details that you may not understand when trying to navigate a claim under Tennessee traffic laws, and many truck accident victims end up settling for less than they deserve because of insufficient legal representation.
Build Your Case
In jackknife accidents, filing a claim must include defending your case and proving that another party is legally responsible for the accident.
There could be inexperienced drivers on the road that caused the tractor-trailer to lose control. Maybe the truck driver tried to make a sharp turn at a high speed. Poor road conditions with low-quality upkeep could have caused a truck jackknife as well.
No matter who the liable party is, compiling evidence will be a significant aspect of your claim. An experienced attorney knows the kind of empirical data that can strengthen a case, as well as what type of information the insurance company will need for the claim to be processed.
When jackknife accidents occur, a professional will help gather evidence to strengthen your claim.
Assess Damages and Help You Seek Compensation
The severe nature of injuries caused by jackknife accidents requires an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that victims receive the compensation they deserve for the physical and emotional trauma caused by this type of crash.
Damages can include coverage of all medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and the loss of future income and benefits as well as compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
After a tractor-trailer accident, injured victims can file a claim to recover their financial losses from jackknifing accidents with the help of a truck accident lawyer.
Hold the Liable Party Accountable
Most truck drivers receive intense training before operating tractor-trailers, which includes ways to prevent jackknifing on the road. But due to either negligence or circumstances beyond their control, a dangerous situation involving large trucks can occur in seconds, leading to jackknife accidents.
The vehicle itself could be traveling above the speed limit, or the truck crashes into another vehicle that they did not check for before making a lane switch. Maybe the trailer swings out on a fast turn on slippery roads. Passenger vehicles could have cut in front of a semi-truck and slowed down quickly, forcing the driver to react and causing a jackknife accident.
When accident victims suffer the consequences of the decisions of others, the at-fault party must be held accountable. Personal injury law allows those involved in semi-truck accidents to file a claim and punish the responsible party.
Uphold the Attorney-Client Relationship
Our legal team believes in supporting truck jackknife accident victims who have suffered from this type of traumatic event. That means putting your needs first, helping you recover losses due to catastrophic injuries or other damages, and protecting your rights.
Tractor-trailer drivers who are at fault for the accident have many resources and vast entities backing them up in the event of an accident. You deserve a level playing field with the help of a personal injury lawyer who will look out for your interests in jackknife accidents.
When you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer, who will be on your side in the coming fight?
Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer Today with Mitch Grissim & Associates
Being injured in jackknife accidents is very serious and usually more dangerous than regular motor vehicle accidents. Life may change as you know it, both emotionally and physically, as a result of the collision, and the financial burden of recovery may be too much for you.
Our legal team would love to be a part of earning the justice and compensation that you deserve after a large truck crash has left you worried about the future.
Do you have more questions about jackknife trucking accidents, or have you or a loved one been injured by a semi-truck on the road? If so, the knowledgeable Nashville truck accident attorneys at Mitch Grissim & Associates can help.
Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation of your injury claims now. Do not try to navigate the process on your own, but let us work together to raise your chance of success.