Why Are Jackknife Truck Accidents So Dangerous?

Why Are Jackknife Truck Accidents So Dangerous?Any type of truck accident can be damaging, creating a risk for serious injury or even the loss of life. Some accidents are even more severe. Jackknife truck accidents are an example of a highly dangerous type of accident that often involves very large, very heavy, and fast-moving trucks that are at a total loss of control.

If you are the victim of an accident where a truck jackknifes, our Alton truck accident attorneys at Glisson Law can help you navigate all of your legal options in pursuing far and complete compensation. Request a free consultation from us now.

What is a jackknife truck accident?

A jackknife truck accident occurs when a truck, typically a semi-truck, skids. As that happens, the trailer (or the back portion of the truck) swings out to one side. As that happens, the truck forms a “V” shape, with the truck trailer and the cab next to each other. In short, it looks like a pocket knife that is only unfolded halfway (this is where it gets its name from).

When this type of accident occurs, the truck driver has virtually no control over what is happening with the truck or the trailer. That means the truck can move rapidly in one direction or another, causing serious injury.

These accidents are so dangerous that they are one of the many types that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration carefully follows and consistently works to minimize. The agency reported that, in 2020, 107,000 injury crashes occurred as a result of jackknifing. Those accidents led to 4,842 deaths.

Typical damages suffered in a jackknifing accident

The best way to see how a jackknifing truck accident can impact a person is to look at typical damages and losses suffered in such a legal situation. Unfortunately, there are many people who die as a result of these accidents. Other notable injuries can include:

These injuries occur from the way a jackknifed truck impacts other vehicles around it. Any portion of the truck can strike another car, and often, it happens at a fast rate of movement. That means that as the car is moving nearly out of control, it can hit one or more other vehicles in the path, even those that think they are out of the way (such as those on the side of the road).

The cause of jackknifing accidents often indicates they could be prevented

One of the most devastating factors about these types of accidents is that they are often preventable. Not all situations are preventable, but many can be. Some examples of this include:

  • Poor maintenance and upkeep of braking systems
  • Speeding and other reckless driving on the part of the truck driver
  • Drunk driving or intoxication from other substances
  • Poor road conditions due to rain, snow, ice, or road damage
  • Equipment malfunctioning on the truck

In some situations, a truck may jackknife when exiting a freeway or trying to make a turn in a tight area. When the roads are slick, that is even more challenging to do. The truck’s back end can fishtail, meaning it can move back and forth, causing significant damage to trucks and cars near it. There are some situations where there is enough force in these accidents that the truck can flip over, and if it does, it can crush people in the process.

It is important to note that these accidents are dangerous because of the amount of damage they create. If you are hurt in any type of accident like this, then it is critical for you to take steps to seek out complete care from a medical professional and have a truck accident attorney by your side to help you navigate the legal process.

Who is responsible for the damages that occur when a truck jackknifes?

Typically, when an 18-wheeler jackknifes, the person liable is the person who caused the incident to occur. Most of the time, that is, the truck driver did not operate the vehicle in a safe manner, leading to damage to others. Ultimately, the decision of who is liable comes down to the circumstances that led to the incident.

Here are some examples of what may occur in your case:

  • A truck driver was inexperienced and poorly trained and, as a result, was unable to make a turn safely, leading to the jackknifing of the truck. In this case, the driver and, in some cases, the company that hired them are responsible.
  • The truck driver is using their phone when they lose control of the vehicle, leading to it jackknifing. In this situation, the truck driver is responsible.
  • The truck jackknifes as the driver is trying to stop it because the brakes are in poor condition. In this case, the vehicle manufacturer, the repair shop, or the owner of the truck could be responsible.

The goal of any investigation into such an accident will be to understand what occurred and why. That allows for liability to be placed in a meaningful and effective manner. Every situation is different, and, in some cases, there are times when insurance companies may try to blame you, the victim, for what occurred. Having a trusted, experienced attorney by your side could help you with this process of proving you are owed compensation.

Jackknife truck accidents can be serious, with long-term damages and risks. As a direct result of this, you need to have an Alton truck accident attorney by your side who is capable of fighting to preserve your rights.

Set up a free consultation with Glisson Law now. Based in Alton, we service clients in Belleville, Edwardsville, St. Clair, and Madison Counties, as well as those in all of Southwestern Illinois and Missouri. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation.