A jackknife trucking accident occurs when the trailer of a truck swings to the side, creating a 90-degree angle with the head of the truck. These accidents, like all trucking accidents, are incredibly dangerous, as trucks weigh tens of thousands of pounds more than the average car. When a truck driver loses control of their vehicle, it leads to the cars around them becoming damaged or crushed, and those inside the cars to be severely injured.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a jackknife trucking accident are looking to file a claim for damages, The Lenahan Law Firm may be the right firm for you. We’re small and dedicated, and when we take on a client, we never stop fighting for them until they’ve received the compensation they deserve. Contact our Dallas truck accident lawyers today at (214) 295-1008 to find out if we’re the right fit for your case.
Jackknife accidents usually happen because the trailer wheels lost traction with the road. This leaves the driver unable to control the truck and avoid an accident. The loss of traction can be caused by any number of factors, including:
- The driver is traveling too fast for the weather or road conditions
- The driver takes a turn or curve too quickly
- The driver brakes too quickly
- There is an equipment malfunction
- The weather is poor
- The road has not been properly maintained
Jackknife accidents leave behind destruction in their wake. Those caught in the out of control truck’s path may be wondering how they put their life back together after the 18-wheeler plowed through it. No matter what the reason, chances are those involved with the accident have been left severely hurt. The consequences of jackknife accidents can be incredibly traumatic, both physically and emotionally.
Due to their size and weight, trucks can easily crush other vehicles. This means that when truckers lose control, the drivers around them are in extreme danger. It’s rare to walk away from a truck accident without a catastrophic injury, and that holds true for jackknife accidents as well. Some of the more common injuries are:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Broken, fractured, or crushed bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Amputation or loss of limb
- Internal damage
- Skull fracture
With extreme injuries come hospital visits, physical therapy, and years of recovery. Sometimes the hardest part of accidents isn’t the injury, but the debt that victims incur afterward. A truck accident can leave you with lost wages, high medical bills, and an inability to continue work at your job. In Texas, you can also claim non-economic damages. Those include, but are not limited to, pain and suffering, lessened quality of life, and psychological trauma.
Jackknife accidents don’t just leave you injured; they also leave your life in shambles. If you or a loved one have been involved in a trucking accident, you’re probably frightened, angry, and at a loss of what to do next. You want to hold those responsible liable for their actions and negligence. But you can’t do that if you don’t know just who is liable.
Trucking accidents usually have a few main groups that can be held liable. First, the most common at-fault party is the driver. Maybe they were distracted or driving while inebriated. Maybe they weren’t taking the weather conditions into consideration while speeding up or slowing down. Whatever the reason, if the trucker was not driving responsibly and caused a jackknife accident, then they are liable for your damages.
However, the trucker may not be the sole cause of the accident. Trucking companies often push their drivers to meet deadlines, even if that means the drivers have to skip rest periods and drive when they’re supposed to be sleeping. Fatigue can have similar effects on drivers as being intoxicated. It causes slower reaction times, makes drivers easily distractible, and may even cause them to nod off behind the wheel. If it’s found that the trucking company was forcing their truckers to break regulations and drive unreasonably long hours, then they can also be held liable.
Jackknife accidents can also be caused by equipment malfunctions, like bald tires and improperly working brakes. If the mechanics responsible for the upkeep of the truck neglected to fix clear issues, and those issues were found to be the cause of the accident, then they may be considered at fault, and thus responsible for your damages.
There is the chance that you were partially responsible for the accident. If that’s the case, don’t worry. Texas follows the modified comparative fault theory, meaning that so long as you are no more than 50% responsible for the accident, you can still claim damages. Those damages will be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault for the accident. For example, if you’re found to be 30% responsible, and you are awarded $100,000 in damages, then you would actually receive $70,000, as 30% of your damages was removed.
We at The Lenahan Law Firm don’t pretend to be the right choice for everybody. We only take clients with severe injuries. However, when we do take on clients, we fight tooth and nail for them and don’t stop until they’ve received the compensation they need and deserve. We strongly believe that our clients should always come first. If you think we may be the law firm for your case, contact us at (214) 295-1008. You don’t owe us a penny until we’ve won your case.