When 80,000-pound trucks are traveling down the same Texas roads as 3,000-pound cars, there’s a lot that can go wrong.
One of the most terrifying truck accidents is a “jackknife” accident. In 2017, 205 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents as a result of jackknifing. That same year, 4,000 trucks were involved in non-fatal accidents as a result of jackknifing.
In this article, we’ll explain what jackknifing is, who might be to blame when a truck jackknifes, and what must be proven in order for the injured party to recover damages.
Large trucks (tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, big rigs, etc.) generally consist of a cab and a trailer. A jackknife accident happens when the trailer swings out and forms an acute angle with the cab (at which point the large truck resembles a partially-folded pocket knife).
This type of accident is particularly dangerous. Not only does the swinging trailer cause the driver to lose control of the truck, but other vehicles can easily be swept up by the swinging trailer and even end up wedged under the trailer.
Jackknife accidents can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of these factors are:
Regardless of how a jackknife accident occurs, injuries and damages are likely to be severe.
In order to recover damages after a jackknife accident, the injured party generally has to show that some other party was at fault for the accident. In general, this means proving that some other party was negligent.
Due to the many potential causes of a jackknife accident, there are several parties that can potentially be held liable, including:
If it’s determined that another party was responsible for your jackknife accident, you’re entitled to compensation to cover both your economic and non-economic damages.
These damages may include:
Additionally, if your loved one was killed in a jackknife accident, you may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income, and loss of companionship. To recover these damages, you’ll have to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Some things are largely out of your control, including whether or not a truck jackknifes while you’re on the road. Nevertheless, there are some things you can do to avoid a jackknife accident:
If you’re involved in a jackknife accident, seek immediate medical attention. This is important even if you don’t think you were hurt, as many injuries don’t show symptoms until days or even weeks later. Be sure to keep track of all your medical expenses so that you can ensure you’ll be properly compensated when the time comes.
Jackknife accidents can be emotionally draining. Apart from the physical injuries and emotional trauma, the process of determining who is at fault can be lengthy. What’s more, the trucks involved are generally owned by large companies that are prepared to fight tooth and nail.
If you’ve been injured in a jackknife accident, consider reaching out to a Texas truck accident attorney for help.Sources