A jackknife accident is a terrifying sight to witness. Obviously, it is even worse if your vehicle is involved in the crash. Jackknife accidents can lead to severe injury and even death for the occupants of smaller vehicles.
Jackknife truck accidents in Memphis are almost always the result of driver negligence, although other parties might share responsibility. When an injured person can prove another party’s negligence caused a crash, they can then hold the negligent party liable for their injuries and losses.
Contact a truck accident attorney immediately when you or a family member suffers harm in a crash with a commercial vehicle. The Law Office of David E. Gordon works hard to secure compensation for your medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost income, as well as the mental and physical pain you suffer due to the crash.
How a Jackknife Accident Happens
A jackknife accident occurs when a trailer veers away from the truck’s cab, rather than following behind it. The trailer then moves into an adjacent lane, impeding other vehicles or colliding with them. These accidents usually result in the trailer and cab overturning. They may also cause a cargo spill, adding to the hazard.
Sometimes an unforeseen event—like a mechanical failure or a sudden powerful gust of wind—causes a jackknife, but this is rare. Almost all jackknives result from negligent conduct, such as:
- Misuse of brakes
- Unbalanced load
- Mechanical failure
- Poorly secured cargo
- Failing to complete an inspection
Memphis attorney David E. Gordon can investigate the cause of a jackknife truck accident, collect supporting evidence, and determine whose negligent conduct led to the crash. Contacting a legal professional immediately is critical, both to comply with the one-year statute of limitations and to prevent the trucker or trucking company from losing or destroying important evidence.
Truck Jackknife Accidents Can Cause Severe Injuries
Jackknife accidents happen suddenly. In most cases, vehicles in adjacent lanes cannot do anything to avoid them. Given the weight of a loaded trailer, it is not surprising that jackknife accidents can cause devastating injuries. Occupants of other vehicles might suffer cuts, abrasions, and broken bones. Seat belts and airbags can cause friction burns, whiplash, and internal injuries. Catastrophic injuries such as amputations, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries are also possible in a jackknife accident.
Motorists who sustain injuries in a truck crash can seek financial compensation, or damages, from the parties whose negligence led to the accident. In fact, trucking companies carry commercial insurance policies with high coverage limits for this exact purpose. Our Memphis attorneys can negotiate a settlement that provides reasonable compensation for the losses suffered in a jackknife accident.
Who Is Liable for Damages in a Jackknife Crash?
Driver error leads to many truck accidents. If the driver is a trucking company employee, the employer is vicariously liable for the driver’s error in most cases. However, even if the driver is an independent contractor, it may still be possible to hold the trucking company responsible.
If an attorney discovers the truck driver had inadequate training or a spotty record, the company might be liable for negligently entrusting the driver with the responsibility of transporting goods. If the company set an unrealistic delivery schedule, it might be liable for forcing the driver to violate work hours regulations. If the company owned the truck and a mechanical problem contributed to the jackknife, the company may be liable for negligent maintenance.
Additionally, poor loading can cause jackknifes, so the company that loaded the truck might also be liable for an injured person’s injuries and losses. The Tennessee Code Annotated § 21-1-119 allows an injured person to sue multiple parties that might have partial responsibility for a crash. David Gordon can help injured parties determine who is responsible for a Memphis jackknife truck accident and hold them accountable.
Contact a Memphis Attorney to Pursue Damages After a Jackknife Truck Crash
Trucking firms and their insurance companies will not offer a reasonable settlement without a fight. When you sustain injuries in a jackknife truck accident in Memphis, you need an aggressive advocate to help you get justice.