Jackknife accidents are to trucks as rollover accidents are to SUVs. Because of their design, these vehicles are predisposed to these kinds of accidents, which is why according to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, their operators are expected to use appropriate caution when driving them.
Tractor-trailers or “semis” are most especially prone to jackknifing because in many cases when the driver brakes too hard at high speeds or the road is wet or slippery, the trailer follows the laws of inertia and continues to travel, slewing around the stationary tractor. Unfortunately, because semis are typically huge vehicles, one that jackknifes almost inevitably involves vehicles, structures, and people in its immediate area usually causing major property damage and injury.
The same thing can happen when semis in Houston, for example, are involved in vehicular collisions, because it still means sudden deceleration. And to add insult to injury, these trucks usually carry cargo that can at the very least cause traffic to halt if it spills over or in some cases pose a threat of toxic or hazardous material exposure or fire. As a Houston personal injury lawyer may point out, these can have serious effects on property and individuals for an extended period of time.
When truck drivers make a mistake or act recklessly and cause a jackknife accident, they are considered liable. However, while in many cases jackknife truck accidents are due to driver error (either the truck operator or the other vehicle’s driver), in some instances a defective or malfunctioning part may be the culprit, so it may not be in the power of the driver to prevent the incident. In such cases, liability may lie elsewhere, such as the truck company that was aware of the problem but neglected to do anything i.e. needed brake repairs or the truck manufacturer or part manufacturer for defective design or part i.e. faulty tires.
In any case, if you have been seriously injured in a jackknife truck accident, you may be able to get compensation for your injuries. Consult with a truck accident lawyer in your area for more information.