A jackknife accident isn’t an accident involving a knife, but is actually an accident caused when a tractor-trailer or other semi-truck folds at the hitch to a 90º angle V, similar to what a jackknife or other pocketknife will look like as it is being opened or closed. These types of accidents are extremely dangerous, though fairly rare, and can cause catastrophic damages and injuries for all in the vicinity of the crash. The size of a semi-truck, the weight of the cargo being hauled, the manner with which the cargo is strapped in, and many other factors all contribute to the severity and unpredictability of these types of crashes.
If you have been involved in an accident caused by a jackknifed tractor-trailer, then you almost certainly have a lot on your plate to handle right now between injuries, impacts to your work, and trying to understand what your legal options are moving forward. Fortunately, the award-winning team of accident lawyers at Fasig | Brooks is available to help you through your insurance claims process in a way that helps to get you the money that you deserve, and not just the money that the insurance company wants to pay.
Contact Fasig | Brooks Today For a Free Initial Consultation About Your Jackknife Accident
We offer a free initial consultation for victims of jackknife accidents so that we can speak directly about the crash, the injuries that you have sustained, and the impacts that you have already felt on your life following this traumatic and catastrophic event. With this specific information, we will be able to provide you with an idea of how we can help you with your legal issues, which, in turn, will help you focus on your personal and professional life without the added stress. We understand that this is an overwhelming time for an accident victim, which is why we pride ourselves on prioritizing our clients’ needs and giving them emotional space to get their lives back on track.
Read more below about jackknife accidents, and contact our firm as soon as possible to get the legal support necessary for the upcoming fight with the insurance companies. Remember that no matter how pleasant or easy it is to work with an insurance company, this is simply obscuring the fact that you will need to be aggressive to get what you rightfully deserve for a settlement. We are here to help.
What Is a Jackknife Accident?
A jackknife accident is one that happens when a truck – usually after hitting the brakes and skidding – and the trailer slides out from behind the tractor forming a “V” shape, similar to what a jackknife or pocketknife looks like when it is halfway opened or closed. As this happens, the trailer can swing out into oncoming traffic, or collide with same-direction traffic. This type of accident is highly unpredictable, and as the heavy vehicle and the cargo skid, significant damage can happen.
Causes of Jackknife Accidents
There are many different causes of jackknife accidents, as with any accident, but the following are just some of the most common causes of these dangerous types of accidents:
Speed is a common factor in many road accidents, and jackknife accidents are no different. When a truck driver is speeding and needs to brake quickly, there is a risk of the trailer skidding out from behind them. This is why it is so important that truck drivers obey the speed limits for their vehicle, that they understand the complexities of hauling such large weights and volumes, and that they do not try to drive recklessly to make a delivery faster.
Distracted driving comes in many forms, but since the advent of the smartphone, the most common form of distracted driving is by using a phone to send or read text messages or emails, browse social media, or use other apps instead of paying attention to the road. When a driver takes their eyes and minds off the road to use a phone, they are missing out on important queues about what traffic is doing up ahead, whether or not vehicles are making lane changes, and more.
Tractor-trailers and semi-trucks are extremely complex vehicles that endure a lot of wear and tear over the course of a year. While many Americans drive to work and then sit at a desk every day, a truck driver’s office IS their vehicle, and these trucks haul massive loads across the country, typically over 100,000 miles each year. With the heavy loads and long distances come significant wear to things like brakes, tires, suspension, and other mechanical parts that require continuous maintenance and upkeep. If ignored, these maintenance requirements can turn into catastrophic failures.