Jackknifing truck accidents are a particular type of trucking-related accidents that occur when trucks travel at a rate of speed that becomes out-of-control for drivers. The rear trailer can slide or drift in one direction, causing the front cab to fold inward towards the rear. It then looks similar to a fold-out pocket knife. There are many reasons why a jackknife can occur that include wet or icy roads. It can also include steep grades on downhill slopes and sharp curves, poorly adjusted brakes, or improper truck driver training.
For whatever reason, a jackknifing truck accident can cause several secondary accidents for other drivers afterward. This is why all jackknifing cases are treated differently due to natural or unnatural causes, that are investigated for each jackknife accident.
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What to do first in a jackknife truck accident?
Any kind of vehicle accident can be a traumatic shock if you have never experienced it before. However, the number of truck drivers who have completed safety training or are experienced will know their safety steps already. Despite the severity of a jackknifing accident, it’s important to follow these critical steps if you aren’t injured badly.
• Assess the situation quickly and see if others have been involved
• Using your mobile phone to contact paramedic service for your treatment and others who are injured
• Calling local police to secure the area and to create an immediate accident report
• Taking personal pictures of personal injuries, truck damage, and all other vehicle damages
• If there are no serious injuries or damage, move your truck the edge of the road
• Talking to all witnesses that saw what happened and get their contact information
• Making video clips of witness reports and ask if they agree to be filmed
• Contacting a specialized accident attorney or search for the right legal advice right away
Does my insurance cover a jackknifed truck?
There are too many conditions that will affect your case if a jackknifing accident has happened. Every driver may or may not be independently hired to transport cargo. Some drivers who work for companies directly will be covered by their company’s insurance plan. Independent truck drivers will need to pay for their insurance individually. This covers the driver and the truck but also includes conditionals such as liabilities, medical, and provisions for uninsured motorists.
Those who work for companies directly may not have the extra conditions that are in their favor for accidents. It may have negative effects that protect the company more than the driver. This is why hiring a specialized lawyer will increase the chances of not being stonewalled for an accident that the driver isn’t responsible for. Even those who are well-insured need the assistance of an accident attorney in jackknifing truck accidents. The next step is to take all the appropriate information about the accident to an attorney as soon as possible.
What kind of lawyer do I need?
If you’re the sole driver of a truck, you’ll need to hire an experienced trucking accident lawyer. Regular personal injury attorneys or god forbid family law attorneys do not know to handle and jackknifing or truck driving accident. Since these accidents are complicated, your truck driving attorney will know how to handle the investigation of the accident. There is also the issue of dealing with the trucking company and their insurance policy. This will have a better impact on your case, and a better outcome than an attorney who was less qualified.
In many of these cases, truck accident lawyers have more experience to gather the correct amount of evidence to defend your case. There may be a full investigation into the conditions that caused the collision. In which case, may or may not have directly involved other vehicles. Your truck driving attorney must have proven legal abilities and a record that can deal with various insurance adjusters. It should also be a must that their knowledge of working with state and federal authorities. This also includes dealing with law enforcement agencies that will further support your case.
Because many jackknifing truck accident reports are often mishandled, modern truck drivers are using onboard data recording equipment. As soon as an accidental jackknife has occurred, that information must be presented as soon as possible for your truck driving attorney to defend your case.
The personal injury law firm of Jerome O. Fjeld, PLLC has served injury victims in Texas for nearly two decades. Our firm’s primary office is in Houston, TX with offices in Austin and another office in Victoria. Our firm’s focus is personal injury and we help victims when someone is injured by the negligence or carelessness of another in the following types of cases: