Tractor-trailer trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles, and when they are fully loaded, they can weigh tens of thousands of pounds. Because of this, truck accidents can cause multiple types of severe injuries to people in other vehicles. In some cases, commercial truck accidents occur because of jackknifed trucks. Victims of these types of truck accidents will need to secure legal representation from an attorney who can gather the necessary evidence to show that a negligent truck driver or trucking company was responsible for the collision.
Causes of Jackknifed Trucks
“Jackknifing” occurs when the cab and trailer of a semi-truck move in different directions. This type of accident usually involves a truck driver losing control of their vehicle. The result looks similar to a folded pocketknife, with the truck’s cab being stuck at an acute angle to the trailer.
While some jackknife truck accidents involve a truck running off the road, others may cause a truck and its trailer to block multiple lanes of traffic, leading other vehicles to collide with the truck. In some cases, this may lead to a multi-vehicle pileup. This type of accident can occur when a truck jackknifes on a freeway where vehicles are traveling at high speeds or in a location where other drivers are unable to see that a jackknifed truck is blocking the road. A jackknife accident can also cause a truck to roll over, and this may lead to spilled cargo in the road or leaks of hazardous substances.
Most of the time, jackknife accidents occur because of negligence by a truck driver. If a driver is speeding, they may lose control when going around a curve or swerving to avoid an obstacle in the road. This can cause them to go into a skid, and their trailer may swing around uncontrollably. Trucks and trailers may also skid if a driver does not properly account for weather conditions such as heavy rain, strong winds, or snow and ice on the road. Failure to brake properly is another common cause of jackknifing, and these issues may occur if a truck driver was following another vehicle too closely, because they attempted to swerve while braking, or because they did not use their brakes correctly before and during a turn.
Improper loading and securement of truck cargo is another common contributor to jackknife accidents. When a truck is loaded in such a way that the weight is unevenly distributed or cargo can move around within the trailer, this can cause the truck to become off-balanced and unstable. If improper loading or securement of truck freight contributes to a jackknife accident, the party who loaded or inspected the cargo may be liable for damages.
Contact Our Appleton Jackknifed Truck Accident Attorneys
Accidents involving jackknifed trucks can be devastating, and victims will need to understand how they can pursue compensation from a negligent truck driver and their employer. The attorneys of Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can act quickly following a truck accident to gather all relevant evidence, including photos of the collision, logs for a truck driver’s hours of service and the maintenance performed on a truck, police reports, 911 calls, video footage from security cameras, and statements from witnesses. To get the legal help you need, contact our Green Bay truck accident lawyers at 920-739-7366 and arrange a complimentary consultation.