The Dangers of a Jackknife Accident

Jackknife accidents are among the most feared truck accidents, and while they are relatively rare, they often lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries.

In a jackknife accident, the trailer on the back of a cab fails to stop when the cab stops, and momentum causes the trailer to swing out to the side (creating the shape of a folding knife). There are several common reasons these accidents occur:

• The truck driver brakes too hard.
• The driver must stop suddenly on slick roads.
• The driver accelerates too quickly on wet or icy roads.
• The driver attempts to use engine braking on curves or slick pavement.
• There are balance or adjustment issues within the truck’s braking system.

Jackknife accidents are especially dangerous because the trailer can swing unexpectedly into other lanes of traffic. Any cars in the opposite lane, whether stopped or moving, are at risk of being hit by the trailer. The likelihood of rear-ending stopped cars and crashing due to cargo spills increases.

While you may assume that the truck driver is the only liable party in a jackknife accident, Texas law holds trucking companies responsible for the actions of their drivers under a legal concept known as vicarious liability. Unfortunately, trucking companies’ insurance companies rarely want to accept this type of liability without a fight, and other motorists, poor road maintenance, and weather conditions are often blamed.

Only an attorney who can analyze police reports, eyewitness accounts, expert reports, and other evidence can ensure that the at-fault party is held responsible and that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve from the trucking company. At Lovins Trosclair, we know how stressful taking on a trucking company can be. Let us go to work for you and negotiate a fair settlement. Contact us here to schedule a consultation and get started.

 

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