Jackknife Truck Accidents

By Michael London on May 10, 2019


A large truck collision with a passenger vehicleA jackknife truck accident refers to a type of crash involving tractor-trailers. In these kinds of collisions, the trailer folds in toward the cab, in a motion that is similar to a folding knife or a pocket knife. Hence the name jackknife accident. These kinds of collisions can result in catastrophic injuries and even fatalities.

The New York lawyers of Douglas & London have assisted clients who have sustained serious injuries in a tractor-trailer crash or large truck accident. Our team understands the dangers and the tragedies linked to these sorts of crashes. With this in mind, attorneys Gary J. Douglas and Michael A. London would like to consider the deadliness of jackknife collisions and what we can do to help you and your loved ones.

Causes of Jackknife Accidents

The most common causes of jackknife crashes are as follows:

  • Sudden braking causes trailer brakes to lock
  • Trailer brake malfunction
  • Forceful collision causes trailer to skid
  • Icy road surfaces
  • Wet road surfaces
  • Issues with debris in the road

Sometimes when a truck driver cannot regain control or slow down their vehicle, they may intentionally cause the vehicle to jackknife as a last resort.

The Dangers of Jackknife Truck Accidents

When a truck jackknifes, it puts countless other vehicles on the road at risk. The trailer skids into adjacent lanes, which can lead to catastrophic crashes and even fatal injuries. Even after jackknifing, a large truck will continue to travel down the road, which means potential rear end collisions.

The danger does not end there. Vehicles behind the jackknifed truck also run a risk of collision as they slow down to avoid the accident ahead of them. As traffic ties up suddenly, the risk of rear end crashes and other kinds of collisions behind the jackknife crash increase.

On busy New York highways and roadways, a jackknife crash can lead to a catastrophic multi-car collision, tying up traffic for miles. This slows down emergency responders, which can mean the difference between life and death for those involved in a serious crash.

Who Is Liable in a Jackknife Crash?

Determining liability in a jackknife truck accident can be challenging. Generally you would assume the truck driver is solely responsible for the vehicle jackknifing, but that isn’t always the case. Problems with the tractor-trailer must be considered, whether due to mechanical problems or the design of the vehicle and its brake systems. The trucking company’s safety and maintenance records must be considered as well, as these can contribute to an accident. If weather or road conditions caused the crash, the driver may not have been able to avoid jackknifing.

This is why it’s so important to consult with attorneys about your legal options. They can assess the evidence in the case and determine if you should seek damages against a truck driver, trucking company, or even the designer and manufacturer of a large truck.

Seeking Legal Damages

When seeking legal damages in a jackknife truck accident case, our New York injury and wrongful death lawyers will seek compensatory damages in order to cover vehicle damage, medical expenses, lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, and even funerary expenses linked to the crash. We may also seek punitive damages against the liable party if the circumstances surrounding the crash warrant such actions.

Learn More About Truck Accident Lawsuits

For more information about your legal rights and options after a catastrophic truck accident, be sure to contact our team of catastrophic injury lawyers. The team at Douglas & London is here to help. You can reach us by phone at (212) 566-7500.

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