Why Do Trucks Jackknife? And What Should Jackknife Crash Victims Do?

Trucks jackknife due to instability while braking or making sharp turns. When a huge vehicle, like a truck, folds in on itself, it leaves devastating consequences. Such incidents often result in catastrophic injuries for victims. If you find yourself a victim of a jackknife crash, you should consider following certain steps. To navigate the aftermath effectively and prevent future tragedies on the road, you have to understand why do trucks jackknife.

What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?

A jackknife truck accident is when a semi truck’s trailer swings out of control, forming a 90 degree angle with the other vehicle. The loss of vehicle control, collision with other vehicles, and other reasons contribute to major accidents with severe injuries.

Causes of Jackknife crashes

Jackknife truck accident

Different situations can cause jackknifing accidents, often leading to serious injuries, damages, or fatalities. Jackknifed truck wrecks usually happen on exit ramps or curved roads, especially during icy or rainy weather. Such crashes are the result of issues including but not limited to the following: .

Improper brake

If brakes are applied suddenly and improperly, trucks can get jackknifed, causing the trailer to swing out of alignment with passenger vehicles.

Over speeding

Exceeding speed, especially while turning or applying a brake, leads to loss of control and jackknife accidents.

Sharp curves

Navigating sharp curves at high speeds increases the risk of a truck jackknifing due to the trailer’s angular momentum.

Weather conditions

Different weather conditions, such as slippery roads, rain, or snow, make it challenging for a truck to maintain control and avoid jackknifing. 

Driver error

Driver behavior, such as reckless driving, driving under the influence, or disobeying a law, can contribute to jackknifing truck accidents.

Mechanical defect

Sometimes, faulty truck components or equipment malfunctions may lead to a loss of control and result in a jackknife collision.

Tire blowouts

Tire blowouts can destabilize a truck, increasing the likelihood of jackknifing.

Lack of inspections

Inadequate maintenance and inspections can lead to undetected issues that may cause a jackknife accident.

What are the most common Jackknife collision injuries?

Some of the most common jackknife collision injuries that drivers and their passengers suffer include:

  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Soft Tissue Damages
  • Neck Injuries
  • Burn Injuries
  • Bone Injuries

While these are some of the serious or catastrophic injuries resulting from jackknife accidents, fatalities may also occur.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Jackknife Truck Accident claims in Orange County, CA?

In Orange County, CA, the statute of limitations for jackknifing truck accident cases is two years. That means you have two years to initiate a claim against the liable parties. Failing to do so within this timeframe may result in the inability to recover compensation. Two years may seem enough, but starting the legal process as early as possible is crucial. Delaying the process could lead to losing crucial evidence, such as witness records.

Additionally, there are exceptions to the statute of limitations. For instance, if you are filing a claim against a public entity, you must file a case within six months of an accident.

Who is liable for a Jackknife Truck Accident?

We understand navigating the big truck injury claims is challenging due to the complex web of potential liabilities arising from these accidents. The difficulties lie in the fact that multiple parties could be responsible depending on the circumstances leading to the accident.

To begin with, the truck driver might bear fault for driving negligently. Also, the trucking company employing them may have to share liability for hiring unskilled drivers. In addition, if the brake fails or the accident happens due to faulty equipment, the trucking company might be accountable for neglecting timely replacements.

Contrary to the assumption that only a trucker is liable, jackknife accidents often involve multiple responsible parties.

What should a Jackknife accident victim do?

If you find yourself a victim of a jackknife accident, it is crucial to make immediate but rational decisions. Doing so is essential to protect yourself and your interests.

Primarily, report the incident to the police and make an official record. This documentation is crucial while pursuing a claim against the liable parties. Additionally, prioritize your health by seeking prompt medical attention. Even if injuries seem minor initially, some issues may show up later. Medical professionals can help you establish a connection between an accident and any injuries to you. This can help you build a strong case.

Consider hiring a skilled truck accident lawyer who can navigate the complexities of truck accident claims, which includes gathering evidence or advocating for your rights. Also, they can help you pursue fair compensation for your damages and injuries. Remember, taking these immediate actions can strengthen your position and help you navigate the legal complexities following a jackknife accident.

Why are Jackknife accidents so dangerous?

Jackknife truck crash on the road

All kinds of truck accidents are dangerous. The jackknife accident is one of them, which is dangerous and stems from different factors. To begin with, when the trailer swings uncontrollably, a truck can cause significant damage to surrounding vehicles, structures, or roadside objects. This is due to the substantial weight and size that a truck poses. Such uncontrolled movement usually leads to blocked lanes and traffic accidents. The result of such incidents extends to severe injuries or even fatalities for both the truck driver and other motorists involved. We see when a truck jackknifes, passenger vehicles usually bear the impact, resulting in catastrophic consequences.

Despite truck drivers attempting to avoid such mishaps, jackknife collisions can happen. Additionally, understanding the gravity of jackknife accidents can highlight the crucial role of driver responsibility. The driver’s error or abrupt maneuvers can trigger the trailer to swing out of control. Such jackknifing motion then frequently leads to collisions with vehicles.

At Nordean Law, we acknowledge the profound danger of jackknife accidents and the harm they inflict. If you have suffered injuries in a truck accident, we empathize with your situation and are here to assist. With years of expertise and a proven record of success, we can seek just compensation from those accountable for your injuries.

How to avoid getting into a Jackknife accident?

Whether a professional truck driver or a nonprofessional towing vehicle can face the risk of jackknifing, it is crucial to ensure that the towed load maintains a low center of gravity.

Inexperienced drivers are prone to jackknifing, especially when they try to reverse. To mitigate the risk, drivers must place one hand at the steering wheel’s bottom and turn around during the backing-up process. Driver can remove the gas pedal to mitigate the sudden acceleration induced jackknifing. Additionally, slowing down before turns can be effective in preventing jackknifing. To avoid excessive braking and refrain from slamming on the brake, mentioning caution with empty trailers is advised.

Furthermore, the California Vehicle Code aims to prevent fatigue related accidents and distractions. When truck drivers engage in tasks that shift their attention from the road, it contributes to accidents involving commercial vehicles of various sizes. To secure compensation for rebuilding your life, seeking legal help from a highly skilled attorney is crucial.

Why do you need a truck accident lawyer?

Contact Sam Nordean Of Nordean Law

If you have been the victim of such an accident due to negligent, careless, or reckless truck drivers. You need an Orange County truck accident lawyer experienced in handling such cases.

While many personal injury lawyers claim to handle truck cases, only some possess the experience and resources required for a successful outcome. Our team at Nordean Law has established a reputation for effectively handling truck accident cases. We can work tirelessly and passionately to get the rightful compensation for you. You only pay us once we win for you. So, don’t wait to reach out to us.

Author Bio
Author Bio

Samuel ‘Sam’ Nordean is a founding partner of Nordean Law, APC. He is passionate about standing up for people who struggle with accidental injuries and mistreatment from insurance companies. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Biochemistry from Portland State University. He then earned his Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law. Sam started Nordean Law to commit to helping people who cannot fight for themselves. His strengths are in representing victims in car accidents, fatal accidents, negligence cases and liability accidents.

Author Bio
Author Bio

Samuel ‘Sam’ Nordean is a founding partner of Nordean Law, APC. He is passionate about standing up for people who struggle with accidental injuries and mistreatment from insurance companies. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Biochemistry from Portland State University. He then earned his Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law. Sam started Nordean Law to commit to helping people who cannot fight for themselves. His strengths are in representing victims in car accidents, fatal accidents, negligence cases and liability accidents.

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