Jackknife accidents are among the most devastating traffic accidents that can be encountered on the road. They are horrific in nature, often resulting in serious injuries and fatalities to the passengers of other involved motor vehicles. Survivors, if there are any, and the loved ones of deceased victims are forced to deal with not only great emotional pain, but also financial stress due to medical and funeral expenses along with other economic losses. In most cases, the truck driver and/or his or her company is liable for the accident. Despite this, trucking companies rarely take responsibility and instead opt to dispute any claims brought by victims just to preserve their bottom line. Unfortunately, many get away with it thanks to the powerful insurance companies that support them.
If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a jackknife accident, please get in touch with a Louisville, KY jackknife accident lawyer at Thomas Law Offices as soon as possible. It is perfectly understandable if you are reluctant to add legal issues to the many problems you are already dealing with; however, it is not only in your interests, but also the interests of the public to bring the offending trucking company to justice. Also, our legal team will work hard on your case in your stead so you can focus on healing. Call us today at (877) 955-7001.
What is a Jackknife Accident?
A jackknife accident occurs when a truck driver loses control, causing the attached trailer to swing out from the tractor at an angle. While in swinging motion, the trailer can collide with vehicles and other objects before coming to a complete stop. Immense personal and property damages often result from jackknifing incidents. In some cases, the trailer swings at such a sharp angle that it encloses and crushes a vehicle between it and the tractor, fatally injuring the people inside. When high speeds are involved, it is not uncommon for a truck to roll over after jackknifing, which can result in even worse devastation.
What Causes Jackknifing?
Sudden braking is usually the cause of jackknifing accidents. Unlike other motor vehicles, trucks have three braking options – the steering axle brakes, the drive axle brakes, and the trailer axle brakes. Abrupt application of the steering axle brakes forces the truck to move straight ahead, regardless of the angles of the tires, but steering becomes more difficult. Abrupt application of the drive axle brakes, on the other hand, causes only the front wheels to lock, which can result in a truck and its trailer going into a skid motion and consequently jackknifing.
Other ways jackknifing can occur include downshifting, acceleration on low friction surfaces, or failing to navigate a curve properly. Brake failure also commonly results in jackknifing.
Helping Jackknifing Accident Victims Get Back on Their Feet
If you have been the victim of a jackknifing truck accident, you should receive compensation for the damages you have suffered. The experienced Kentucky legal team at the Thomas Law Offices can help you establish liability in court and negotiate a settlement with terms that are fair to you. If you have any specific inquiries regarding your case and our services, contact us today.