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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Who's At-fault in Jackknife Accidents? | Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys

Jackknife truck accidents can be some of the most devastating casualties on the road. When a semi-truck jackknifes, the trailer swings out at a 90-degree angle, creating a dangerous situation for everyone.


These accidents are often caused by the truck driver after losing control of their vehicle due to various reasons, including distracted driving or defective brakes. The result is usually catastrophic, with serious injuries and even fatalities.


When a jackknife truck accident occurs, several liable parties are involved, including the truck driver, the trucking company, and other motorists on the road. Determining fault in a jackknife accident can be a complicated process. It requires a thorough investigation of the scene, witness statements, and other evidence.


An experienced jackknife truck accident lawyer can help victims determine who is responsible for the accident and hold them accountable. Schuerger Shunnarah can also advise on who's at fault in wide turn accidents.


What Is a Jackknife Truck Accident?

What Is a Jackknife Truck Accident?


Jackknife truck accidents happen when a semi-truck's trailer swings out to a 90-degree angle, forming a "V" shape with the cab of the vehicle. This type of accident gets its name from the way a folding pocket knife or "jackknife" looks when it's opened and the blade is perpendicular to the handle.


Victims of jackknife accidents can suffer from serious injuries, such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain concussions.


These injuries can result in long-term hospital care and expensive medical bills. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help victims recover compensation for their injuries and other damages, such as lost income, physical pain, and mental suffering.


Determining Liability in Jackknife Truck Accidents


In Houston, Texas, jackknife truck accidents are unfortunately all too common. With so many semi-trucks on the road, it's crucial to ensure that drivers operate their vehicles safely and responsibly.

  • Truck Operators and Employers

Truck drivers and vehicle companies have a legal duty to operate their commercial trucks safely and responsibly, but third-party factors can also contribute to or cause jackknife accidents.


In most cases, the truck driver and their employer can be held liable for a jackknife truck accident.

This is because the motorist is responsible for operating the vehicle according to road laws. On top of that, the commercial truck company is also liable for ensuring that its drivers are adequately trained and that the automobiles are well-maintained.


On the other hand, if the accident was caused by distracted driving, such as texting while driving, or if the truck driver loses control due to fatigue, they can be held partially liable.


However, in such truck accident cases, the company is still responsible if it pushes the operator to meet tight delivery schedules.

  • Third-party Cars

In some cases, a third party may be responsible for a jackknife truck accident. This is usually when another car cuts off the truck, causing the large vehicle to swerve or change lanes. It is essential to investigate the accident to determine the actual fault thoroughly.

  • Improper Braking

Truck drivers have to be appropriately trained to handle large cargo vehicles. Braking suddenly or due to road rage can cause a jackknife accident, resulting in multiple vehicles crashing on the highway.

  • Speeding

Intentionally driving above the speed limit can make the driver lose control and cause a jackknife crash. Trucking companies must ensure truck drivers abide by road laws and operate safely.


In general, semi-trucks with heavy cargo need 40% more space than other vehicles on busy highways.


Common Injuries Caused by a Jackknife Accident


Distracted driving, speeding, and negligence of truck drivers can cause a semi-truck to lose control and jackknife. Equipment failure, such as defective brakes, can also contribute to such crashes. Two of the most severe injuries caused by jackknife accidents are:

This is a common injury from a car accident when the head and neck are violently jerked forward and back. It can cause damage to the soft tissues, resulting in pain and limited mobility.

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

TBI causes a severe concussion, which leads to long-lasting brain damage - sometimes even full-body paralysis or death.


Jackknife truck accidents can also result in multiple casualties, making them even more devastating. In addition to the physical and emotional toll, victims of such incidents may also face financial difficulties due to medical bills and lost wages.


How Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help Injured Drivers

How Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help Injured Drivers


Truck accident cases are notoriously complex, and determining fault can be difficult. However, Houston truck accident lawyers will be able to investigate the matter carefully and determine who the liable parties are.


In some cases, the at-fault party may be the truck driver. On the other hand, it could also be the trucking company, a third party, or even a manufacturing company responsible for defective brakes or equipment failure.


An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to help victims of jackknife crashes determine who is responsible and build a strong case for financial compensation.


One of the most significant advantages of hiring a car accident lawyer is that they can handle communication with insurance companies on the victims' behalf.


Insurance agencies aggressively try to settle for lower amounts than what victims deserve, and an experienced lawyer can ensure that plaintiffs receive the financial compensation they are entitled to.

Additionally, many lawyers offer free consultations, allowing clients to discuss their cases without obligation. Schuerger Shunnarah can also help answer questions like, "Who's at fault in rollover accidents?"


Final Words


Jackknifing accidents are common on US roads, usually involving semi-trucks and top-heavy tractor-trailers.


The at-fault parties in a jackknife crash can vary, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

In general, the truck driver or the company could be held legally responsible for the incident. However, other drivers on the road, bad weather, and poor maintenance of the vehicle could also be contributing factors.


Partnering with a renowned law firm can help ensure victims receive fair compensation for their injuries. Boasting a slogan that says "We Go to War for You," Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help drivers determine who the at-fault parties are and work with them to file a personal injury claim.


They can help victims recognize their legal rights and options and help them get the fair compensation they deserve.

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