semi-truck from the rear on highwayCommercial semi-trucks consist of a cab in the front and a trailer in the back. In a jackknife accident, the trailer swings out from behind the cab, causing the truck to take on the appearance of a partially folded pocket knife. These kinds of crashes are very dangerous and often lead to serious injury. Here is what you need to know in case you ever find yourself involved in a jackknife truck crash.

Who Is Liable?

There are many potential causes of a jackknife accident, including driver fatigue, equipment malfunctions, driver error, and improperly secured cargo. Since these are just a few of the scenarios that could lead to such a crash, liability can also be caused by various parties, including:

  • Truck drivers. Drivers have a legal obligation to drive safely and avoid such collisions. If they are found to have been breaking a traffic law, such as speeding or driving while intoxicated, they can be held liable.
  • Truck companies. The companies that employ truckers must also abide by a strict set of state and federal laws designed to keep big rigs safe on the road. If the company fails to follow these rules or is proven to have negligently sent a trucker out on the road, they can be held liable.
  • Parts manufacturers. In some instances, truck parts are to blame. From a sudden flat tire to brakes that fail to work properly, the manufacturer of the truck’s various parts can be called into question.
  • Another driver. Sometimes, another driver is to blame. While the big rig driver is usually considered first to be at fault, another negligent driver could cause a truck to jackknife.

What to Do After a Crash

If you are involved in a jackknife truck crash, the first thing you’ll want to do is call the police to make a report while you are still at the scene of the accident. Other priorities should include:

  • Seeking medical care should be one of the very first things you do. Always take care of your health before anything else.
  • Take photos and witness statements at the scene if you are physically able to do so.
  • Keep all medical records, bills, and any other paperwork related to the accident.
  • Reach out to your insurance company to see what is and isn’t covered.
  • Get in touch with a legal professional who is well-versed in big rig accidents.

Although it isn’t listed first on this list, contacting an attorney is one of the most important steps you can take after a jackknife truck crash. The sooner you connect with one, the better your case will be if you decide to seek damages.

Seeking Damages With the Help of an Attorney

There is potential compensation to be had if you’re the victim of a jackknife accident. Contacting an attorney immediately ensures you will receive all funds possible, including:

  • Reimbursement of any medical bills
  • Recovery of lost wages as you recover from the accident
  • Compensation for emotional pain and suffering
  • Reimbursement of any legal fees, as well as replacement of your vehicle or other losses

At SJ Injury Attorneys, we know how important it is to speak to a knowledgeable accident attorney right away. Too many crash victims are overwhelmed by the litigation process, and we are here to help you sort it out and make sure you receive everything you are owed. Call us today to start the process of building a strong, winning case.

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