Truck accidents can be extremely dangerous, especially when they result in a truck jackknifing. A jackknifed truck is when the trailer swings out and ends up at an angle to the cab, often blocking multiple lanes of traffic and increasing the risk of additional accidents and injuries. If you have been involved in an accident with a jackknifed semi-truck, having an experienced jackknife truck accidents lawyer on your side can make all the difference in seeking maximum compensation.

Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents

There are several potential causes of truck jackknifing accidents:

Driver Error

One of the most common causes of a truck jackknifing is driver error. Truck drivers have to be extremely skilled at handling these large vehicles and reacting to road conditions. Small errors can lead to the trailer swinging out. Some examples of driver errors include:

  • Taking a turn or curve too fast
  • Slamming on the brakes too hard
  • Overcorrecting after wheels drop off the road
  • Fatigue or distraction

Mechanical Failure

Even experienced truck drivers can end up in a jackknife situation if there is a mechanical failure of some kind. Some equipment issues that may contribute to jackknifing include:

  • Brake failure
  • Blown tire
  • Broken axle
  • Issues with the fifth wheel attachment

Hazardous Road Conditions

Icy, wet, or slick roads can also increase the chances of a truck losing control and jackknifing across the highway. Truck drivers may fail to slow down enough to account for these dangerous conditions.

Consequences of Jackknife Truck Accidents

When a loaded semi-truck jackknifes, it often results in devastating consequences:

Multi-Vehicle Pileups

The jackknifed trailer often blocks multiple lanes of traffic, unable to be moved until emergency crews arrive. Unsuspecting motorists may crash into the disabled truck at high speeds. This can easily create a chain reaction multi-vehicle accident.

Serious Injuries

Due to the massive size and weight of these trucks, jackknife accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries, such as:

  • Spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries
  • Amputated limbs
  • Severe burns
  • Broken bones
  • Internal organ damage

Sadly, many jackknife truck crashes also result in wrongful death.

Hazardous Spills

If the disabled truck was carrying hazardous materials or liquids, additional dangers and environmental harm may occur from spills. This can lead to evacuations, environmental cleanup costs, and chemical exposures.

Why You Need a Jackknife Accident Lawyer

The consequences of a jackknife truck accident are usually severe and life-altering. Crash victims and their families deserve experienced legal help to recover damages. A jackknife truck accident lawyer can:

  • Investigate all factors that contributed to the crash
  • Determine fault and liability
  • Assess the full extent of damages
  • Calculate past and future accident costs
  • Handle negotiations with insurance companies
  • Take the case to trial if fair settlements are not offered

Good lawyers have worked on similar truck jackknife cases before and know what evidence to collect, which experts to consult, and what settlement amounts are reasonable. They act as determined advocates to relieve accident stress so victims can focus on recovery.

Jackknife Truck Accident FAQs

What compensation is available after a jackknife truck crash?

You may be entitled to recover various damages after a jackknife accident, such as:

  • Medical bills, both current and future
  • Lost income and reduced earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Disability or disfigurement damages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium for family members
  • Wrongful death damages

Who is liable for my injuries in a jackknife crash?

Liability often falls on multiple parties in a commercial trucking accident. Your lawyer will investigate factors like:

  • Trucking company negligence in maintenance or hiring
  • Employer pressure on drivers to exceed safe hours
  • Truck manufacturer product defects
  • Trailer or tire defects
  • Dangerous road conditions

Is it worth getting a lawyer for my truck accident claim?

Absolutely. Large trucking companies and insurers fight hard against accident claims. An experienced lawyer levels the playing field and handles the complicated legal process so you receive full compensation. They work on contingency, meaning legal fees come from settlement amounts only if your case succeeds.

Choosing the Best Attorney for Your Jackknife Accident Case

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a crash with a jackknifed semi-truck, reach out to an accomplished jackknife accident lawyer right away. Key things to look for include:

  • Extensive expertise handling truck and jackknife claims specifically
  • Resources to thoroughly investigate accident causes
  • A track record of securing maximum settlements
  • Respect and influence with insurers and courts
  • Compassionate support for injured clients and families through difficult situations

Don’t wait to get legal help after a jackknife truck crash. The sooner an attorney can start building your case, the better your chance of a successful claim result. Consult an experienced jackknife truck accidents lawyer today for a free case review.


What is a jackknife truck accident?

A jackknife truck accident occurs when the trailer portion of a semi-truck swings out and ends up at an angle to the cab, often blocking traffic lanes. This may be caused by driver errors, mechanical failures, or hazardous road conditions. Jackknife crashes often lead to multi-vehicle accidents and catastrophic injuries.

What should I do after a jackknife accident?

If you are uninjured, pull over and call 911. Provide assistance to any injured parties if possible but avoid putting yourself in danger near the jackknifed trailer. Exchange information with the truck driver and document names/license plate numbers of others involved. Take photos of property damage and the accident scene from all angles. Seek medical care even for minor injuries which may worsen over time. Alert your insurance provider about the accident as soon as feasible.

How much time do I have to file a truck accident lawsuit?

Deadlines vary by state but generally range from 1 to 3 years after the date of accident. An experienced lawyer can evaluate applicable statutes of limitations for your state and ensure your claim is filed on time based on that deadline. It is wise to pursue legal representation shortly after a crash occurs so your attorney can promptly preserve evidence, interview witnesses, show negligence was the cause, and demonstrate the full extent of damages being claimed.

How much can I claim for my jackknife accident injuries?

There is no cap on the damages that may be recovered in truck accident injury claims. Your settlement may include medical expenses, lost income, decreased earning capacity, property losses, pain and suffering awards, and wrongful death damages depending on the specific losses sustained. An accomplished lawyer will seek full and fair compensation aligned with the profound impact the crash has had on the lives of you and your family.

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