Accidents involving commercial trucks can cause widespread catastrophic impact because the large truck can impact many smaller vehicles as the driver loses control. A direct impact from a large truck can cause severe bodily harm, resulting in injuries like back and neck injuries, bone fractures, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
One type of commercial truck accident that can expose other drivers to harm is a jackknife truck accident. This type of truck accident occurs when a truck’s front cab and rear trailer come out of sync, forcing the driver to slam on the brakes. The trailer can swing out from behind the cab, causing the driver to lose control of the truck. As the trailer swings out, it can hit other vehicles and cause damage that can result in severe truck accident injuries.
What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?
A jackknife truck accident occurs when the front cab and rear trailer move in separate directions, leading to the driver losing control of the vehicle. This is one of the most dangerous types of truck accidents, accounting for 172 fatalities and over 1,000 injury crashes in 2019. What makes a jackknife truck accident so dangerous is the driver’s lack of control over the trailer, which can swing out and slam into smaller vehicles.
Trailers house possibly tens of thousands of pounds of cargo. If the trailer comes out of sync from the front cab, the driver cannot stop the trailer from crashing into other vehicles. Most small cars do not have the protective equipment to keep drivers and passengers safe from the impact of a trailer containing heavy cargo crashing into them at full speed.
What Causes a Jackknife Truck Accident?
Jackknifing can occur because of the negligence of the driver. If the truck driver does not pay attention to the road or is in the wrong frame of mind to be driving, they can cause a jackknife truck accident. They may take a sharp turn poorly, which can lead to the trailer misaligning from the truck cab. Some negligent driving behaviors that can cause a jackknife truck accident include distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, drowsy driving, etc.
A jackknife truck accident can also occur because of the negligence of another party. The truck’s equipment might malfunction due to defective design or manufacturing defects, leading unexpectedly to a jackknife truck accident. In this case, the defective product manufacturer can be liable in a product liability claim.
This type of truck accident can also result from the negligence of the truck loaders. The trailer and cab can become misaligned if the cargo is not loaded properly. The truck can become unbalanced, leading to the truck cab and trailer going in different directions. The driver will not be able to control the trailer before it crashes into another vehicle.
Severe Injuries Caused by a Jackknife Truck Accident
Jackknife truck accidents can expose other drivers to harm, as the heavy trailer can crash into their cars. Their small cars are unlikely to be able to withstand a direct hit from a trailer containing heavy cargo, meaning that the drivers and passengers could receive blunt force trauma that could cause severe truck accident injuries.
The following are some severe truck accident injuries caused by jackknife truck accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Facial injuries
- Elbow injuries
- Internal injuries
What are the Long-Term Health Consequences of Jackknife Truck Accident Injuries?
Severe injuries from a jackknife truck accident can result in long-term pain and suffering. Bodily injuries can cause truck accident victims to experience constant pain in certain body parts, especially when the victim tries to use an injured body part. Pulsing pain can affect someone in the immediate aftermath of a truck accident and for months and possibly years after the accident.
Jackknife truck accident victims can also have a hard time using body parts affected by bodily injuries. For example, someone who suffered a broken leg may not be able to use that leg properly again. The fracture can heal over time, but the person who suffered the broken leg can experience mobility issues long-term.
What Should You Do After a Jackknife Truck Accident?
Following a jackknife truck accident, victims should focus on their health and put themselves in a position to recover damages. Pull your car fully off the road, contact the police to file a report, and collect any evidence at the truck accident scene. Taking pictures and videos of your injuries, property damage, traffic control signals, and more can help prove your case if you file a truck accident claim later on.
Victims of jackknife truck accidents should also go to the hospital to begin the process of healing from severe injuries. Serious health complications can arise when injuries are left untreated, so you should go to the hospital to determine whether you suffered a severe injury. A healthcare professional can diagnose your injuries and determine the best way to treat them.
Why You Should Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer After a Jackknife Truck Accident
Jackknife truck accident victims can suffer severe injuries that can cause significant economic and non-economic damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life. Hiring a truck accident lawyer can help you recover for your economic losses and negative effects on your quality of life, as their experience can inform the steps of the truck accident claim process.
They will know what paperwork to file, how to calculate the value of your claim, and the best way to recover compensation for damages. A truck accident lawyer will be able to determine the liable party and help you collect evidence to prove their liability. Truck accident claims require settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company, which a truck accident lawyer can handle to prevent them from denying, delaying, or devaluing your settlement.
Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your Jackknife Truck Accident Claim
The truck accident lawyers at The Russo Firm can help you recover compensatory damages caused by a jackknife truck accident. We understand the impact of severe bodily injuries after a truck accident and wish to help you recover compensation to pay for your medical recovery, wage-based losses, and reduced quality of life.
Our truck accident lawyers will collaborate with you to craft a legal counsel plan that can represent your interests. Contact us today for a free truck accident case evaluation at (561) 270-0913 or leave a message on our online contact page.