Any type of collision involving a commercial vehicle is dangerous. Jackknife accidents, however, tend to have especially devastating results because they usually involve multiple vehicles. Jackknife accidents occur when the trailer of a semi-truck swings to the side of the cab. Although some vehicle manufacturers now equip commercial trucks with onboard technology designed to prevent jackknifing, these types of accidents still occur, leaving anyone else on the road at risk of serious injury. Injuries sustained in collisions between passenger-sized vehicles and commercial trucks tend to be catastrophic in nature and are both painful and expensive to treat, making it especially important for those who are involved in these types of accidents to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney who can help them seek compensation for their losses.
When do Jackknife Accidents Occur?
Jackknife accidents occur when the cab portion of a semi-truck stops, but the trailer does not, swinging out to the side of the cab at a 90 degree angle. Because commercial vehicles are so heavy, they are all at risk of jackknifing. However, trucks hauling heavy loads are the most likely to be involved in this type of accident, especially when the driver suddenly brakes. While jackknifing can be dangerous for the truck’s drivers, it can be deadly for others on the road, as it is not uncommon for smaller vehicles to be struck by the trailer as it swings out. It is also relatively common for a jackknifing truck to overturn, which in some situations could result in hazardous cargo spills.
In most cases, jackknifing accidents are the result of driver error, although the following factors can also help contribute to or cause a truck to jackknife:
- Winding or slick roads;
- Poor lighting;
- Road defects;
- Mechanical failure; and
- Poor weather conditions.
In some cases, jackknife accidents are the result of a truck driver attempting to avoid another collision. In these situations, the injured parties could also collect compensation from the driver involved in the initial collision, as well as the truck driver and his or her employer. Other drivers on the road can also take steps to prevent these types of accidents by always ensuring that there is plenty of room between their own vehicles and commercial trucks.
Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds so collisions with passenger-sized vehicles tend to result in especially catastrophic injuries, ranging from severe burns and crushed or broken bones to head trauma and spinal cord damage. Treating these types of injuries often involves expensive diagnostic tests, surgery, physical therapy, and prescription medications. Paying for these bills can quickly drive a victim and his or her family into debt, especially for those who must also pay for vehicle repair or have to take time off from work while they heal. It is often critical in these cases for injured parties to seek compensation from the parties who were responsible for their collisions.
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To speak with an experienced truck accident attorney about your own accident, please call the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC at 847-255-9925 today.