A jackknife accident involves the trailer on a semi-truck skidding out of control and causing the cab and the trailer to face different directions. It usually occurs when the driver brakes suddenly, causing the back end of the trailer to swing, skid or slide forward to the tractor. When the trailer starts to jackknife, it creates a tremendously dangerous hazard for other vehicles, not to mention the truck driver. A jackknifing truck can collide with other vehicles and cause the entire 18-wheeler truck to roll over. Bottom line, these accidents can cause severe injuries and, in many cases, they are deadly. In fact, in 2012 alone, there were more than 5,000 jackknife accidents nationwide, and 1,000 caused injuries while 163 caused fatalities.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a jackknife accident, contact our truck accident lawyers at Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law, PLLC. We will examine your case and help you seek justice and maximum compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering, and other losses.
What Causes Jackknife Accidents?
A jackknife accident usually occurs from the driver braking suddenly, but other factors that may contribute to a jackknife accident include:
- Wet roads
- Black ice
- Inexperienced drivers
- Aggressive, reckless driving
- Defective auto parts
- Improper cargo loading
- Curvy roads
- Speeding, especially if it is too fast for road conditions
Who Is Liable for Jackknife Accidents?
Although each case is different, usually the trucking company is the party liable for the victim or victims’ injuries and other damages, such as a totaled car. Liability may be multifold. For example, you may be able to hold the trucking company responsible, or an unaffiliated loading company that improperly loaded cargo, or the brake manufacturer.
How Do I Pursue Compensation for a Jackknife Accident?
The first step you should take after suffering injuries from a jackknife accident is to be seen by a physician, because documentation of medical bills is extremely important in building a strong case, as is documentation of any diagnosis or injuries you may have sustained. Next, you should enlist the help of a qualified attorney familiar with personal injury law. Our legal team at Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law, PLLC will help you collect additional evidence, such as any photos of the accident scene, police reports, lost wages, and so on. We can also argue that your pain and suffering should be compensated.
Although tempting, do not accept a settlement offer without having a skilled attorney read the terms and conditions before you sign on the dotted line. Insurance companies are notorious for lowballing victims, thinking you might not know you can negotiate for higher compensation or involve a lawyer to fight for a higher payout. If the negligent party and their insurance company still do not yield, we are not afraid to take them to trial to get the full compensation you deserve.
Injured in a jackknife truck accident in Virginia? Contact us at Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law, PLLC for a free case evaluation at (757) 330-3425 today.