Have you ever looked at a truck accident and instinctively knew that the driver suffered serious injuries? The tractor-trailer may have swerved off of the road or was tilted in a certain position and it just looked terrible. A jackknife accident is one of those truck accidents that creates that type of damage. You only need to look at the way that the tractor-trailer is positioned after a jackknife accident and know that serious injuries have occurred, especially to any occupants of a passenger vehicle unlucky enough to be in the truck’s path.
When you or a loved one have been seriously hurt from a jackknife accident, it can be devastating. The Phoenix truck accident lawyers at Plattner Verderame, PC can help you fight for the justice you deserve and allow you to focus on your healing.
What is a jackknife accident?
A jackknife accident is a type of truck accident that happens when the cab of a commercial truck and its tractor-trailer end up at an acute angle. When a truck driver loses control of their vehicle, the cab ends up at an angle while the tractor-trailer moves in an opposite direction. The trailer can hit other motorists while it is in the process of moving or sliding. Cargo can also spill from the truck and cause additional damage or road hazards.
What are the dangers of jackknife accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that one out of every 20 truck accidents is a jackknife accident. Jackknife accidents are some of the most dangerous truck accidents that happen on the road. Some of the negligent actions by truck drivers that can lead to a jackknife accident include:
- Driving at high speeds. When the truck driver travels at a speed too fast for conditions, it can substantially affect their ability to brake at a reasonably safe distance. Truck drivers who fail to reduce their speed when approaching an exit are also at risk of having their truck flipped over from driving too fast around the curve.
- Failing to brake safely. Truck drivers can also cause a jackknife accident when they do not brake properly, especially during inclement weather conditions. When truck drivers abruptly slam on their brakes, they put their trailer at risk of uncontrollably swerving on the roadway.
- Failing to properly secure the cargo on their truck. Even if truck drivers are not responsible for loading the cargo on their truck, they are still responsible for making sure that the cargo is properly stored for travel. The weight of the cargo can cause a truck to become unbalanced if it is not properly distributed.
Ultimately, the primary cause of jackknife accidents is truck driver negligence. Regardless of the reason for a jackknife accident, when a truck driver fails to operate the truck in a safe manner, they must be held liable for an accident. Speeding, failing to brake properly, and failing to properly secure the cargo on a truck are all examples of a truck driver’s negligence.
Injuries caused by jackknife accidents
The negligence of truck drivers can lead to catastrophic accidents and injuries. Some of the common injuries that are caused by jackknife accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Traumatic amputations
What to do after a Phoenix jackknife accident
Being involved in a jackknife accident can be devastating. You may be so overwhelmed from the severity of your accident that seeking compensation is the last thing on your mind. However, here are some of the steps that can help when you are ready to seek the compensation that you deserve.
Seek immediate medical assistance
Seeking immediate medical assistance will help you receive the necessary care that you need and provide the documentation that you will need for your lawsuit. One of the common tactics that the truck driver or trucking company’s insurance company will try is insinuating that your injuries are not as serious as you claim. Your medical documentation will help contradict that claim.
Gather as much evidence as possible
If possible, collect as much evidence as you can after the accident. Evidence can include pictures of the accident scene, witness statements, video evidence of the accident scene, photos of your injuries, and copies of the police report.
Schedule a consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney
Your first priority should be recovering as best as possible from your injuries. However, you should not allow the truck driver or trucking companies off of the hook when it comes to your accident. Seeking the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney can be the best solution for you if you want someone who can take the lead on your legal process.
How a Phoenix truck accident attorney can help
An experienced truck accident attorney can file your claim, determine the proper compensation for your specific case, and negotiate on your behalf against the insurance companies. Our truck accident attorneys are top-notch legal experts who can provide the best legal strategy for each and every client. Our truck accident attorneys can review your truck accident claim and search for additional types of compensation that you can receive. When your injuries are catastrophic, you are entitled to greater forms of compensation for your losses and damages.
Settling complex negotiations
Our truck accident attorneys are skilled at settling complex negotiations for our clients. Insurance companies will often refuse clients their fair compensation by either denying them altogether or offering lowball settlements. Our truck accident attorneys are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies to ensure that they are not cheating our clients out of the compensation that they deserve.
When you are injured in a jackknife accident, put a skilled, dependable Phoenix truck accident lawyer on your side. At Plattner Verderame, PC, we have top-rated lawyers who are ready to investigate your case. Call us today at 602-266-2002, or submit our contact form for a free consultation. We represent injured clients in Phoenix and Tempe.
I have been active in leadership in the Arizona Association for Justice (lawyers who represent injured folks, and formerly known as the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association) since 1985. I served as President in 1991. I was an active participant in battles to protect the Arizona Constitution from the insurance industry and big business interests in 1986, 1990 and 1994.
Read more about Richard Plattner