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Jackknife Accidents

Jack Knife Truck Accidents

Attorneys for People Injured in Jackknife Truck Accidents

Jackknife accidents often result in serious injury or death to the trucker or other motorists and passengers sharing the road. Semi-trailers are said to “jackknife” when the trailer and cab swivel into a configuration that resembles an L shape or a closing jackknife. This 90-degree angle typically causes the trucker to lose control of the vehicle. A jackknife accident can occur from various factors that include:

  • Equipment FailureMalfunctioning brakes systems, exploding defective tires, minimal pedal pressure or another equipment failure can easily cause the truck to jackknife.
  • Hazardous Road Conditions – Driving the truck too fast along sharp curves, avoiding debris in the road, or driving on hazardous roads with minimal friction surfaces can cause an accident with injuries or death.
  • Adverse Weather – Icy, snow-filled, or rainy roadway surfaces can create slippery conditions that cause the truck to lose traction.
  • Improper Braking – Traveling at a too fast speed can create dangerous scenarios where the trucker attempts to stop too abruptly, causing the vehicle to jackknife, rollover, or crash.
  • Driver Error – The most common factors in most jackknife accidents involve serious errors including driving mistakes like an overcorrection, trucker inattention, sudden downshift, braking too hard, driving while distracted, fatigue,d or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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Semi-trailer jackknife accidents usually cause multiple casualties that include personal injuries, fatalities and property damage. This is because the weight and size of most commercial vehicles produce catastrophic results when crashing into other vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. Many trucks that travel the nation’s highways system weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, which can be devastating if the trucker loses control of the vehicle while it is in motion.

Preventing Jackknifing Accidents

Nearly every jackknifing accident is preventable if the trucker follows basic rules of the road. This includes performing routine inspections on the vehicle and proper maintenance before traveling. Ways to avoid jackknifing include:

  • Safe Driving Distance – Maintaining a safe driving distance between the truck and vehicles ahead can provide the trucker adequate time to come to a complete stop. However, time and distance must be adjusted when road hazards are present or adverse weather conditions exist.
  • Properly Handling the Brakes – If the commercial vehicle begins to skid and swerve, the driver must lift their foot off the brake and steer the truck into the skid. This reactive response to the problem can assist in avoiding jackknifing the vehicle.
  • Extend the Braking Event – When coming to a quick stop, the truck driver must attempt to extend the braking event as long as possible over the greatest distance available, instead of coming to a stop too abruptly.

Who Is Responsible for an Accident Involving a Truck Jackknife?

While truckers are typically held accountable for causing a jackknife accident, the trucking company and other third parties can also be held legally liable for the event. This is because the truck might have been improperly maintained, poorly constructed, defectively designed or operated with defective equipment, faulty parts, or malfunctioning components.

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Generally, injured victims and surviving family members of a loved one lost to a jackknife accident can file a claim or lawsuit for financial compensation against every individual or entity responsible for their losses. However, litigating jackknife truck accident cases can be complex, and receiving compensation is often much easier said than done. Successful litigation for financial recompense often requires the legal skills and expertise of personal injury attorneys who specialize in these types of cases.

Hiring a Skilled Attorney to Prosecute an Injury Case Involving a Truck Jackknife or Rollover Crash

The skilled truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers understand the devastation and lifelong impact of being injured in a jackknife accident. If trucker negligence, equipment failure, or reckless driving caused the injuries you have endured in a jackknife accident, we can help. Our law firm knows that many of these accidents could have been prevented if only the trucker or others had not been negligent in their actions.

Our Chicago truck injury lawyers fight aggressively for our clients to establish fault and liability. By taking civil action, we hold every party responsible for the accident accountable for their neglect. Our law firm has access to the immediate resources necessary to litigate your jackknife accident claims successfully. We use our extensive investigatory experience to re-create the accident scene to determine liability. We consult with professional medical experts to evaluate the extent of your injuries, damages, and losses to ensure you receive adequate financial compensation.

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