What Are Jackknifing Accidents?
Isaacs & Isaacs truck accident lawyers have been helping clients who have been injured in commercial truck accidents, including jackknifed trucks, for decades. Often, there isn’t enough insurance to cover the extent of damages victims suffer from these catastrophic accidents. We will find out exactly who is responsible for your injuries and losses. We’ve recovered over $900 million for our clients.
Envision a common pocket tool, the jackknife, opened, but not all the way. The blade is partly opened and forms a 90-degree angle with the handle. This is what a jackknifed tractor-trailer looks like, with the cab at a 90-degree angle with the trailer.
The most common way jackknife truck accidents happen is when the drive wheels lock and the other wheels keep moving forward, causing the trailer to swing around so that it’s at an angle with the tractor/cab. If you can picture the huge out-of-control trailer of a semi-truck swinging towards your vehicle fast, you can imagine the devastation these accidents cause.
What Causes Jackknifing?
A semi-tractor trailer has three braking systems. One braking system controls the steering axle, one controls the cab’s drive wheels and a third controls the wheels of the trailer. It takes skill and training to understand how to use the complex braking systems safely and maintain control of the truck. Drivers rely on being able to monitor road conditions and brake gradually.
When something unexpected happens making it necessary to brake fast, it’s never safe. The driver can choose to lock the brakes controlling the steering axle, which will cause the semi-truck to continue moving forward until it gradually slows down. If the driver locks the brakes that control the trailer, he or she will lose directional control of the truck. If the driver locks the drive wheels, the truck will jackknife.
Jackknifed Tractor-Trailers Cause Catastrophic Damage
Because of the enormous size and weight of semi trucks compared to other vehicles, a jackknifing semi can act like a giant sledgehammer, smashing and destroying everything in it’s path. It can tip over onto another vehicle or the vehicle can go under the trailer, crushing or shearing off the top of the smaller car and causing occupants to sustain grave injuries including beheading.
Jackknife Truck Accidents Caused By Negligence
Sometimes the jackknife accident is caused by a factor, such as another person or vehicle that enters the trucker’s path suddenly, which that trucker has no control over. For instance, although it’s generally safer to lock the steering axle brake, the driver may choose to lock the drive wheels and jackknife the truck to avoid hitting another car or something that suddenly enters the truck’s path. Sometimes a jackknife accident is caused by poor road conditions, which the driver was unaware he would be encountering.
Sometimes more than one party is liable, and in accidents, there’s often more than one factor contributing to the disaster. For instance, if a trucker is not properly trained and is also texting while driving, both the trucking company and the driver would be liable for damages when an accident occurs. Frequently, jackknifing is due to a negligent action on the part of the driver, the trucking company, the parts manufacturer or whatever government entity is responsible for safe road conditions.
When the trucker or trucking company’s insurance carrier is notified of the truck accident, they will send a skilled team of accident scene investigators out. However, you should not rely on the insurance company to share an accurate assessment of who was responsible. They want to pay you as little money as possible. In order to find out what caused your jackknife truck accident, you will need to hire an experienced truck accident law firm to investigate.
What To Do After a Truck Accident – A Conversation With Darryl Isaacs
Attorney Darryl Isaacs sat down to address questions for those who have been involved in a crash involving big rig trucks or other large commercial vehicles. Join us in this radio episode of “Ask The Hammer,” the podcast exploring the legal matters that matter most. Play the episode directly below.
Isaacs & Isaacs Truck Accident Law Firm Is on Call Day & Night
In order to get the just and fair settlement you deserve, you need somebody on your side to protect your interests against the trucking company and their insurers. Isaacs & Isaacs has decades of experience investigating commercial truck accidents. We employ attorneys who used to work in insurance defense, and we are aware of the tactics their insurance company will use to deny your claim or pay you the least amount possible. We have our own team of investigators who we will dispatch to the jackknifed truck accident scene upon receiving your call.
We understand the importance of rapid response to these disasters. The stakes are high. In many cases, the damages victims suffer for wrongful death(s), disabling injuries and property damage can run into millions of dollars. We are on call day and night to respond rapidly in an emergency before evidence disappears or is altered and witnesses forget what they saw.
You don’t have to pay anything to enlist our help. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis. We don’t get paid until and unless we get you your money. We are here for you now. Call 800-800-888, or fill out our online form to speak to an experienced truck accident attorney.