Jackknife Accidents Are Dangerous Events
Accidents involving big rigs, large commercial trucks, can be extremely dangerous. When a truck jackknifes, the truck can end up twisting itself onto another lane of traffic, causing a chain reaction and a multi-vehicle event.
Jackknife is a term that refers to the cab of a truck sliding one way while the trailer of the truck moves in another direction. Commercial trucks are exceptionally heavy and can cause a lot of damage to other vehicles. If you have been in an accident with a big rig, talk to a Clearwater, Hudson or Tampa truck accident attorney. Navigating negotiations with trucking companies can be complex. You need a legal professional by your side.
Circumstances that Prompt Trucks to Jackknife
As with most accidents, there are a range of factors that contribute to a vehicle performing unpredictably or a driver losing control of a vehicle. Sometimes wet or stormy weather is to blame, and in other situations shifting weight is an issue.
- Traveling at excessive speeds. Trucks moving at high speeds are more likely to skid and slide. It also can be hard for a driver to reduce speed quickly without losing control.
- Braking issues. Experienced truck drivers are familiar with what is needed to slow down a large commercial truck. Inexperienced operators may brake too quickly, which can lock the axles.
- Cargo shifts. All goods within the trailer of a truck need to be secured properly. When cargo shifts, imbalance can cause the semi to lose control.
- Abrupt steering changes. A trailer can jackknife when a steering wheel is pulled in one direction or another too rapidly. This may occur if an operator is attempting to avoid a road hazard.
After an accident, have your health assessed by your doctor or another healthcare professional as soon as possible. Big rig accidents often result in severe injuries and fatalities. Even if you have not gone directly to a hospital, a medical review should be completed. If you have been physically injured or if you have incurred property damage from an accident, discuss your situation with an experienced attorney.
Determining Liability After a Commercial Truck Accident
Your lawyer will be able to look at the documentation and determine who is liable. Who is negligent depends on the situation. If a driver did not receive adequate training, the trucking company may be liable. In other situations, the driver themselves may be liable if they were driving under the influence. There are even times when maintenance companies are negligent.
Receiving compensation is likely if you were in a car and sustained injuries because of a jackknifed truck, but you will need a lawyer to obtain the maximum settlement amount. Trucking companies know how to navigate claims, do not settle for a settlement amount before talking to an attorney. The amount offered may be a lot smaller than what you deserve.
Were you injured in a truck accident? Jackknife accidents can be extremely upsetting and cause extensive damage. Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer to understand your rights. The attorneys at Roman & Roman have over 100 years of combined experience. Schedule your free consultation today in Clearwater, Hudson, or Tampa.