Strong Advocates for Truck Accident Victims
Jackknifes rank among the deadliest types of truck accidents. They can cause multi-vehicle pileups involving catastrophic or fatal injuries that follow victims for the rest of their lives. If you have been the victim of such a crash, you are likely facing extreme injuries, high medical debt, and a very frightening future. That is why we encourage all truck accident victims to consider filing a claim and get their deserved compensation.
Truck jackknife collisions are usually high-stakes cases involving significant damages, and insurance company lawyers are prepared to fight against your claim to minimize company payouts. But your best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve is to have an experienced Denver jackknife accident attorney from the Tenge Law Firm, LLC handle your claim. We at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC are passionate about helping our clients. If you work with us, we will fight tooth and nail to get you the compensation you deserve. For a strong legal team, call us at (303) 502-5587.
What Is a Jackknife Truck Accident?
Jackknifing occurs when a truck’s tractor and trailer rotate to form an L-shaped or V-shaped angle. When positioned like this, the truck is supposed to look like a partially unfolded knife, hence the name. This folding can cause the truck to swing to the side, hitting any nearby vehicles and impacting several lanes of traffic. This sudden lack of control is usually caused by a loss of contact between the tires and the road.
Many different factors can contribute to this loss of traction, including:
- Excessive speed: Large commercial trucks take much longer to stop than smaller vehicles. When a trucker is traveling too fast for conditions and has to stop suddenly, the trailer can swing out and jackknife.
- Following too closely: A truck driver may be forced to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a vehicle ahead, resulting in a jackknife. The impact is typically caused by failing to allow for a safe stopping distance between the two vehicles.
- Truck driver fatigue: Fatigued driving is a leading cause of crashes involving large trucks. When drivers violate hours of service regulations designed to help prevent fatigue, it can lead to serious truck accidents.
- Overloaded trucks and unbalanced loads: A truck’s cargo must be properly distributed and secured for safety. When a truck is overloaded, or the load is unbalanced, it can lead to jackknifing.
- Untrained or inexperienced drivers: Trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure the drivers they put behind the wheel are well-trained and capable of handling a big rig. When they fail in that duty, the results can be disastrous.
When jackknifing occurs, the driver loses control of the truck and collides with other vehicles. As a truck jackknifes, it skids and may end up sideways in the middle of traffic lanes or blocking oncoming traffic. It can even lead to a rollover accident or cargo spilling out of the trailer.
Why Jackknife Accidents Are So Dangerous
With a jackknife accident, catastrophic injuries are almost guaranteed. Very few people are lucky enough to walk away from a jackknife accident without debilitating injuries, which often include:
- Amputation (loss of limb)
- Spinal cord injury leading to paralysis
- Head trauma and traumatic brain injuries
- Severe back and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Crush injuries
- Nerve damage
- Severe soft tissue injuries
If you have been injured in a jackknife accident, or you have lost a loved one to such a collision, then you are likely considering filing a claim, whether that be personal injury or wrongful death. In either case, the most important first step is determining exactly who is liable for the damages that you suffered.
Jackknifes and Liability
There may be multiple potentially liable parties in a truck jackknife accident, including:
Truck driver: The most obvious at-fault party is the driver of the truck. Because jackknifes are often caused by a loss of control, it is important to look at why the driver lost control in the first place. Were they drinking? Were they fatigued? Were they distracted? Whatever the reason, if the driver was acting negligently, then they should be held responsible.
Trucking company: Companies are responsible for their drivers and making sure their drivers act responsibly. If a company pushes drivers to act negligently in the favor of delivering more goods faster, and thus making more money, then it should be held responsible for such actions.
Responsible mechanic: A trucking company may choose to work with a third-party mechanic for the upkeep of all trucks. If the mechanic fails to catch a clear issue, such as a defective brake, and that issue goes on to cause a jackknife accident, then they may be considered responsible.
Another at-fault driver: Another driver on the road may be responsible for the accident. If they swerved suddenly or braked without giving the truck driver enough time to stop, then the jackknife may actually be their fault.
Work with the Best in Denver
Our Denver truck accident attorneys at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients and are strong advocates for accident victims. Our firm is often retained by other attorneys and medical providers when they suffer a personal injury. To receive the best legal aid in Colorado, contact us at (303) 502-5587 if you or a loved one was injured in a jackknife accident.