When a semi-truck’s trailer swings to one side and the cab stays in place, it causes a 90-degree angle. A jackknife accident happens when the brakes lock up, and the trailer is out of control, skidding to one side. Anyone near the semi-truck is in the path and susceptible to injury and death.
In a jackknife accident, the truck is likely to flip and roll over into traffic. You need to speak with a jackknifed semi-truck accident lawyer from Isaacs & Isaacs to determine rights and next steps.
Causes of Jackknife Accidents
While jackknife accidents happen when the brakes lock up, other factors can cause a driver to improperly brake or maneuver, leading to the brake locking. Some common causes of jackknife accidents are:
- Drunk driving
- Blind spots
- Truck defect
- Driver error or negligence
- Truck company negligence
Truck driver distraction and error are the leading causes of accidents, and when a driver fails to pay attention to the road, they may need to brake abruptly, which can cause the brakes to lock and the trailer to swing uncontrollably.
Liability in Jackknife Truck Accidents
Truck drivers, truck companies, and manufacturers must follow standards to ensure these vehicles’ safe operation. Drivers must have adequate training and take rest breaks so they do not drive fatigued and know how to maneuver the vehicle. Trucking companies must adhere to all safety regulations outlined by the FMCSA by inspecting and maintaining the trucks.
Additionally, they must oversee truck driver logs, schedules, and cargo. There are weight restrictions and policies to ensure trailers do not sway to one side from uneven or excessive weight. The following entities can be held liable for jackknife truck accidents:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Maintenance and repair company
- Truck manufacturer
The trucking company is moving fast to find evidence to minimize your claim, and you need Isaacs & Isaacs to move just as fast to protect your rights. You need a jackknifed semi-truck accident attorney to investigate the incident and determine what factors contributed to the collision and who to name in a claim. The longer you wait to speak to a lawyer, the harder it will be to preserve and gather evidence.
Truck Accident Challenges
Semi-truck accident claims are more complex than car accidents because regulations, litigation tactics, and more come into play. The trucking industry has rules they must adhere to; different restrictions will apply depending on the highway or interstate the truck is on. If a semi-truck only traveled within the state, it can be slightly easier to hold them liable.
However, other rules apply if the truck driver is only passing through. In general, regulations cover safety issues, inspections, size and weight of trucks, maintenance, alcohol policies, securing loads, employment screenings, and hours of service rules.
Trucking regulations are in place to keep truck drivers and others on the road safe from harm. Unfortunately, since trucking companies want more income, they will push these limits and even completely disregard them to meet deadlines. You need a jackknifed semi-truck accident lawyer who is familiar with state and federal trucking regulations and knows when there is a lapse in following them.
Trucking companies and insurers will use sneaky tactics to lower and deny claims. Truck companies are ready for truck accidents, and some employ rapid response teams to get to an accident scene faster than law enforcement so they can begin building a defense strategy.
Strong Financial Backing
Trucking companies have extensive financial backing; they will use that to break down your claim and leave you with nothing instead of taking responsibility for their actions and paying your losses. A jackknifed semi-truck accident lawyer will fight against these tactics and ensure you have a viable case.
One final challenge that semi-truck accidents bring is evidence manipulation. You assume evidence should not be altered or destroyed because it can adversely affect your claim. Logbooks document driving time, rest breaks, maintenance issues, inspections, and more.
These pieces of evidence are vital to your claim and the most easily manipulated by trucking companies. When you hire a semi-truck accident law firm, we will send preservation of evidence letters so the trucking company cannot alter any records in their favor. We will also request fuel receipts, hotel bills, cell phone records, and original maintenance records to match them up with logbooks.
Compensation for a Jackknife Accident
After the discovery process is complete, a jackknifed semi-truck accident attorney will send a demand letter detailing your losses and asking for a settlement. The trucking company can agree to the terms and issue a payment or come back with a different offer. Negotiations will commence between your jackknifed semi-truck accident lawyer and the insurance company to obtain compensation for the following:
- Loss of salary now and in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Emergency medical expenses
- Ongoing care costs
- Damage to your marriage
- Wrongful death damages
After reviewing your claim and losses, there are other damages you can recover, but you will need to work with a jackknifed semi-truck accident lawyer. Isaacs & Isaacs works with medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, and financial planners to find an accurate account of your losses. You must fight for your future and ensure the truck driver and company do not get away with negligent actions.
Call a Jackknifed Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer at Isaacs & Isaacs Today
Semi-trucks play a critical role in the nation’s economy because they transport tons of cargo yearly, which we need. While we can appreciate the function of semi-trucks, we can also acknowledge the risk these vehicles pose due to their size and force.
Jackknifed semi-truck accidents result in catastrophic injuries that car accidents do not. While a severe car accident can lead to TBIs and spinal cord trauma, those are common injuries from a semi-truck accident. When in a jackknife accident, you must call a jackknifed semi-truck accident attorney at Isaacs & Isaacs for your legal needs.