Texas Jackknife Truck Accident Attorneys
What Is a Jackknife Truck Accident?
Jackknifing occurs when a commercial truck’s trailer swings out to one side, forming a 90-degree angle, similar to the angle the blade of a pocketknife forms with the handle. If a truck jackknifes at any speed, the vehicle is likely to roll over. When the trailer swings out into other lanes of traffic, it often leads to multi-vehicle accidents that can injure or kill multiple people.
When a tractor trailer jackknifes, it creates a dangerous situation for other motorists on the roadway. The broadside of the semi-trailer can swing out across other lanes and into oncoming traffic, causing multi-car pileups and serious or catastrophic injuries.
What Causes Trucks to Jackknife?
The primary cause of truck jackknifing is loss of traction. This can happen for a number of reasons, including the following:
- Improper braking: This is the number one cause of jackknife truck accidents. If the driver brakes suddenly to avoid another vehicle or obstacles in the road, the brakes can lock, causing a loss in traction.
- Traveling too fast for conditions: When a truck is traveling at high speeds, it can cause jackknifing if the driver must slam on the brakes to avoid a collision. To prevent a jackknife, drivers need to slow down and apply brake pressure evenly to within 5% of locking the brakes.
- Navigating curves: For less experienced truck drivers, navigating sharp curves in the road can be tricky. The trailer can swing out to one side if the driver is taking a curve too fast.
- Equipment malfunction: If the brakes fail or vehicle equipment malfunctions, it can cause the driver to lose control of the truck, which can lead to jackknifing.
- Weather conditions: Rain, snow, sleet, or hail can cause slippery road conditions. A truck driver who fails to slow down for these conditions can lose traction and cause a jackknife accident.
Common Injuries in Jackknife Truck Accidents
Like all truck accidents, a jackknife crash is likely to cause serious injuries to passenger vehicle occupants involved in the collision. Common injuries include:
- Fractured bones
- Back and spinal injuries
- Internal injuries
- Concussion and traumatic brain injury
Who Can Be Held Liable for Jackknife Truck Accidents?
There may be multiple potentially liable parties in a truck jackknife accident.
- The driver may be liable for the crash due to negligent driving behavior or violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. For example, the truck driver may be responsible for jackknifing the truck if he or she was under the influence of drugs, texting while driving, or driving fatigued when the accident occurred.
- The trucking company may be liable if it failed in its responsibilities under FMCSA regulations. The company could have been negligent in its hiring, training, or drug testing of the driver, in its inspection and maintenance of the vehicle, or in several other possible ways.
- If equipment failure caused the accident, it may have been caused by a defective part. In such a case, a vehicle or parts manufacturer may be liable for the crash.
Why You Need a Lawyer
If you were injured in a truck jackknife accident, our Texas truck accident attorneys can investigate the crash to determine who may be held liable. We can collect and preserve evidence to support your claim and vigorously pursue the compensation you deserve. This includes negotiating skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf, and fighting for your rights in court, if necessary.
Contact Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP
Our New Mexico truck accident lawyers have decades of experience and a history of success handling personal injury matters. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck jackknife accident, contact Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP at (903) 228-3299 to find out about your options under the law.