In 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 74,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks. There are many types of trucking accidents including head-on collisions, rollovers and underride accidents. One of the most common types of trucking accidents can also be the most deadly: a jackknife accident.

Depending on the weight of the truck and the accident conditions, a jackknifed truck can take out several smaller vehicles as it slides, causing major property damage and serious injuries along the way.

Causes of Jackknife Accidents

In a typical jackknife accident, a tractor towing a trailer skids, causing the trailer to push it from behind until it spins around so it faces backwards. When a truck jackknifes, it resembles the angle of a folding pocket knife.

After a truck jackknifes, the cab is facing in the opposite direction of the trailer, making it impossible for the cab to move. Oftentimes, other vehicles on the road are unable to stop in time and have no passageway, so they crash into the truck. It is not uncommon for jackknife accidents to take place in rainy or snowy weather.

Jackknife accidents can be caused by a variety of factors. The most common causes for a jackknife accident are:

  • Truck Axle Locks – When the truck brakes are not designed properly and the truck axle locks sooner than the tractor axles do, a jackknife can occur.
  • Speeding – Speeding and unfavorable conditions can contribute to a jackknife accident
  • Sudden Application of Brakes – When a huge truck that can weigh up to 40 tons when fully-loaded slams on the brakes, it puts the truck in jeopardy of jackknifing
  • Driver Error – A driver braking and swerving at the same time can cause a jackknife.
  • Improperly Adjusted Brakes – An unloaded trailer can also jackknife when the brakes are not properly adjusted. A truck driver may travel several miles with soft brake pedals, which can signal brake failure. If the driver does not adjust them immediately, a jackknife accident can result.

Jackknife Accident Lawsuits

Jackknife accidents can leave their victims with severe injuries. In the worst cases, these crashes can result in a wrongful death. If a truck accident victim or their family is able to establish liability, they may be able to receive compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses and ambulance costs
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

After a truck accident, its imperative for an investigation to be conducted immediately before important evidence disappears. A skilled truck accident attorney can make sure that your accident has been properly investigated.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you may be eligible file a lawsuit to recover your damages. Contact The Edwards Law Firm to explore your legal options. The Edwards Law Firm is available to assist truck accident victims in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.

To schedule a no-obligation consultation, complete the Free Case Evaluation form on this page.