Truck Accidents: What Happens If They Jackknife?

Truck and highway at sunset

You’ve likely seen it in a movie or on a television show — an 18-wheeler makes a sharp turn at high speeds and it’s trailer whips around, blocking the entire highway. This phenomenon is called jackknifing and can prove to be very dangerous for other drivers within close proximity.

Seeing the incident depicted in a movie is one thing, but if you’ve been involved in an accident when a semi-truck jackknifes, you know how truly scary and harmful it can be. If you’ve been hurt in an accident with a jackknifed semi-truck, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.

Let’s take a look at the circumstances in which you might be able to file a lawsuit to cover the damages and medical bills accrued following an accident with a semi-truck.

What Causes Jackknife Accidents?

There are several reasons why a semi-truck might jackknife. This type of accident may the result of mistakes made by the truck driver, another driver on the road, mechanical failure or poor road conditions.

When a semi-truck skids, turns sharply or brakes suddenly, the trailer it’s towing may continue to roll forward, swinging out to one side. The truck portion where the driver is located and the trailer will form a 90-degree angle with each other, creating a similar appearance to folding pocket knives. This can happen very quickly and can prove to be catastrophic for other drivers who are nearby when jackknifing occurs.

If a truck driver is speeding, stops suddenly or tries to swerve and brake simultaneously, jackknifing can occur. It’s also possible that the cargo was improperly loaded or secured, or that the semi-truck’s brakes were not properly adjusted. These factors can result in jackknifing as well.

Filing a Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuit

Because of the size and weight of semi-trucks, they can cause massive damage to someone’s car and can seriously injure other drivers and passengers on the road. If you were not at fault for the accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses and property damage.

A qualified lawyer can help analyze your case and determine if the truck driver acted negligently. Perhaps they were following another vehicle too closely or they didn’t slow down enough when making a turn. Whatever the cause, if negligence is a part of it, you deserve compensation.

It’s important to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit as soon as possible after your collision as truck accidents are subject to a statute of limitations. If you delay in filing your claim, you could miss the window to pursue a lawsuit and win a settlement.

Hire a Qualified New Jersey Attorney

Because of all of the factors that go into building a case against a negligent semi-truck driver, it’s important to consult an experienced attorney. An attorney will be able to take a look at the details of your case and determine the best course of action to help you financially recover from the accident.

At the Law Offices of Peter Davis in Paterson, New Jersey, we have attorneys well equipped to handle your case. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call to learn more about how we can help.