Drivers and trucking companies must ensure that these large vehicles are correctly loaded and safely get to their destination. Catastrophic jackknife accidents can occur when drivers, employers, and others are negligent.
Anderson Injury Lawyers has recovered millions for truck accident victims across Texas and holds at-fault parties accountable. If you or a loved one were injured in a jackknife accident in Texas, contact us for a free consultation by calling 817-294-1900.
There are also no upfront costs, and if you don’t recover compensation, you won’t owe anything.
What is a Jackknife Accident?
Jackknifing occurs when a truck’s trailer swings to the side of the cab, resembling an ‘L’ shape. Sometimes, the trailer’s momentum can push the cab forward and actually make the cab face backward in the shape of a ‘V.’ The phrase jackknifing refers to the shape of a folded pocketknife.
Why are Jackknife Accidents So Dangerous?
A jackknifing truck uncontrollably swings across multiple lanes. Depending on how busy the road is, many cars could find themselves in the path of the truck’s trailer. Further, the amount of cargo significantly increases the risk involved in a jackknife accident.
With up to 80,000 pounds of potentially hazardous cargo, there is a lot at stake. Additional factors like weather conditions and if the accident occurs on a downgrade can all raise the stakes of these crashes.
We Won $825,055 for Truck Wreck Victim
What Causes a Jackknife Accident?
The first step in any accident is determining its cause. In the case of a jackknife accident, there could be many:
- SpeedingA speeding trucker has less time to react to potential hazards like curvy roads, downgrades, or a sudden stop in traffic. Although a truck’s cab can stop, an experienced driver knows that the trailer’s momentum will cause it to slingshot forward when a truck stops abruptly at high speeds.
- Poor Road ConditionsIcy or wet roads can hinder a truck’s ability to maintain control of the trailer. If drivers don’t respect the weather conditions, they could hit a section of ice that causes the truck’s trailer to jackknife.
- Equipment Failure - Brake failure is one of the leading causes of jackknife accidents. Brakes require proper maintenance to be correctly aligned and adjusted to safety standards. Additionally, bald tires could prevent a truck’s ability to stop, leading the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Overloaded Cargo - Federal law limits truckloads to 80,000 pounds. When workers improperly load cargo or employers try to squeeze too much into one trip, there is a greater chance of an accident.
Who’s At Fault for a Jackknife Accident?
The at-fault party may not be as obvious as it seems. Many parties could be responsible for your injuries after a jackknife truck accident, including:
- The Truck Driver : Inexperienced or borderline reckless drivers can be the direct cause of your accident. They may be speeding down busy highways during inclement weather, disregarding other drivers’ safety. They also may not take enough breaks to rest, resulting in falling asleep at the wheel.
- The Driver’s Employer: Trucking companies are responsible for their employees to abide by federal trucking regulations. This means they can’t make their drivers stay on the road over their hourly limit or carry loads heavier than the maximum amount allowed. Additionally, employers may knowingly put a truck with faulty equipment on the road. When employers violate these rules, they may be liable for your damages.
- Equipment Manufacturers: As stated, faulty brakes are a leading cause of jackknife accidents. When equipment malfunctions on the highway and causes a truck crash, you may be able to pursue compensation from the auto part manufacturer.
How to Prove Truck Accident Negligence?
It’s one thing to know who’s responsible, but it’s another thing to prove it. Whether the truck driver, employer, or auto manufacturer is liable, you could strengthen your claim in the following ways:
- Trucking Logs: Trucking companies must keep a log including the total driving hours and rest hours. Suppose the truck log indicates that the driver was driving over the legal number of hours and not taking enough time to rest. In that case, the trucking company could be negligent for overworking drivers. There might be other information in the trucking log that your attorney can use to prove negligence.
- Black Box Data: The truck’s black box contains valuable information like the truck’s speed at the time of the crash and how often the truck consistently drove over a designated speed. The black box also shows communications between the driver and their supervisor. Suppose faulty equipment caused the accident. The black box may reveal emails between the trucker and the trucking company that prove they had not fixed a known issue with the truck. Examining the truck’s black box can uncover additional information applicable to your case.
- Expert Witnesses: Expert witnesses like an accident reconstructionist could be recruited to recreate the truck accident. Accident reconstructionists might uncover the root cause of the jackknife, such as faulty brakes, driver error, or other factors. Furthermore, other individuals who witnessed the accidents could describe the driver’s reckless behavior.
Contact a Texas Jackknife Accident Lawyer
When you suffer significant losses from a jackknife accident, you need an attorney with the resources to prove the at-fault party’s negligence. For decades, Anderson Injury Lawyers have fought for victims involved in many kinds of truck accidents.
Contact our attorneys for a free, no-risk consultation on your case. Call a title="Call Anderson Injury Today" href="tel:817-294-1900">817-294-1900. You won’t owe us anything until we’ve won your case.