Truck Jackknife Accident Lawyer in Texas
The freight and trucking industry is an integral part of the national economy and Texas businesses. Commercial trucks, however, pose extreme risks to everyone on the road. Tractor-trailers, eighteen-wheelers, tanker-trailers, semis, and other large trucks are ten times the size of a standard passenger car. When something goes wrong, people outside the truck are at greater risk than the truck driver. Jackknife collisions, in particular, create the potential for a massive pileup affecting every nearby vehicle. If you or a loved one were involved in a jackknife accident or collision, you could have a significant claim for damages based on the harm you and your family have suffered.
At the Gilbert Adams Law Offices, our jackknife truck crash attorneys help Texas injury victims and their families recover compensation for their losses from trucking companies, negligent truck drivers, and other parties responsible for the harm they have suffered. Truck accident lawsuits can be intricate and complex, requiring a knowledgeable legal team for any hope of maximum success. If you or someone you love was injured in a jackknife truck accident, our seasoned Texas commercial truck accident legal team is ready to help.
What Is a Jackknife Accident?
Big rigs are built such that the trailer is meant to follow the passenger cab in a straight line, only off-tracking during specific, deliberate turns. A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer off-tracks from the cab/tractor causing the tractor-trailer combination to fold, sometimes onto itself. The resulting “v” shape resembles a half-closed pocket knife.
Jackknife accidents are extremely dangerous. By the time the tractor-trailer combination reaches a jackknife, the truck driver has lost complete control which can result in rollovers, flying debris and of course swinging into multiple lanes of traffic. Other vehicles may be hit by the out-of-control jackknifed combination or collide with nearby vehicles while attempting to swerve out of the way. If any other cars are anywhere nearby a jackknife accident, catastrophic injury is likely to occur.
What Causes Jackknife Accidents?
Jackknife accidents happen because the truck driver loses control of the trailer. If the trucker was in control of the vehicle, a jackknife situation would never have occurred. There are any number of reasons why a truck driver might lose control of the tractor-trailer.
The dedicated truck accident legal team at the Gilbert Adams Law Offices has years of experience investigating jackknife and other large truck crashes; we know what to look for to determine how and why a jackknife crash occurred. We’ll help you and your family recover the compensation you are owed after jackknife accidents caused by, among other things:
- Negligent driver. If the truck driver speeds, passes on the right, or engages in other aggressive and unsafe maneuvers, a jackknife accident may result. Impaired, drowsy, fatigued, or distracted drivers are more likely to make mistakes leading to a jackknife or trucking collision.
- Commercial trucks are built for dozens of tons of weight. When a trailer carries too much or inadequately secured cargo, the driver is more likely to lose control over the tractor-trailer.
- Unbalanced or unsecured load. Cargo loads must be placed into the trailer correctly to remain balanced and secured throughout the drive. If a load is installed or secured incorrectly, either because of the freight company or a third-party contractor, the trailer can become unbalanced or the load can become loose and unsecured. Either can increase the likelihood of a jackknife accident.
- Inclement road or weather. Truck drivers must respond appropriately to inclement weather conditions such as wet roadways, rain, ice, snow, fog, or heavy winds, as well as to traffic congestion, felled trees, potholes, and other road hazards. Failing to drive in a responsible and careful manner almost always increases the risk of a jackknife collision.
- Hours of Service violations. Federal regulations dictate how many hours long-haul truckers can serve behind the wheel without adequate rest or breaks. Violating those rules increases driver fatigue, which in turn increases the risk of a jackknife crash.
- Defective truck part. If the truck brakes, the hitch, the steering, or any other component part of the truck fails, a serious crash is much more likely. The issue with the truck may arise because of a manufacturing defect or because the freight company failed to adequately monitor and maintain its fleet of vehicles.
- Traveling at a speed that is too fast for those circumstances is also generally a factor in the jackknife collision.
Call for Help With Your Texas Jackknife Truck Accident Injury Claim
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a jackknife accident in southeast Texas or statewide, contact the seasoned and dedicated truck accident attorneys at the Gilbert Adams Law Offices for a free consultation. Call 409-835-3000, or contact us online for immediate assistance.