Jackknife accidents are some of the most dangerous types of truck accidents that can occur on our roadways. Victims should seek legal counsel immediately, as they may be eligible to receive full compensation for their injuries and suffering.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a jackknife truck accident, it’s crucial to contact a skilled truck accident lawyer in Rock Hill as soon as possible.
At Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys, we understand the complexities of jackknife accidents and how they can affect victims and their families. Our experienced truck accident lawyers will investigate your case conclusively and provide you with the legal advice and representation you need to seek a positive outcome. We also offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and help you determine the best course of action.
What is a Jackknife Accident?
A jackknife accident occurs when a large commercial vehicle such as a semi-truck or tractor-trailer skids and the trailer part of the truck folds up against the cab, causing it to resemble a pocket knife.
When jackknifing occurs, the truck driver often loses control and cannot slow the vehicle until it skids to a stop or careens into something else.
Common Causes of Jackknife Accidents in Rock Hill, SC
Most jackknife accidents often occur when a large commercial truck travels too quickly for road conditions or cannot brake suddenly. Other common causes of jackknife accidents include:
- Poorly maintained brakes: When brakes are inadequate, it can lead to the truck skidding and the cab and trailer folding together.
- Improper braking: Braking too hard and locking up the drive axles may cause the trailer to push forward into a jackknife.
- Poorly loaded cargo: If the cargo is not evenly loaded or too heavy for the truck, it can cause a loss of control.
- Bad weather conditions: Rain, fog, and other issues can reduce traction, distort visibility, and amount to a driver being unable to see or react to a hazard in time.
- Driver fatigue: Operating for too long without rest may make a driver react too late.
- Moving too fast while turning: Since the cab and the trailer do not turn or go through rounds in perfect curves, the trailer can easily push forward and cause a jackknife accident.
Injuries to Drivers Caught in Jackknife Accidents
Jackknife crashes can cause severe and life-threatening injuries to other drivers, including:
- Broken bones: The impact of trucks can cause broken arms, legs, ribs, and other bones in the body.
- Soft tissue injuries: These include bruises and lacerations caused by blunt force trauma. They may also include whiplash, herniated discs, nerve damage, etc.
- Head injuries: Brain injuries can result from blunt force trauma to the head or objects striking the head.
- Spinal cord injuries: These can range from minor to severe, depending on the extent of the damage.
- Burns and scarring: Depending on the severity of the crash, drivers may also sustain burns that may leave permanent scars.
- Internal organ damage: It is not uncommon for drivers to suffer from internal bleeding, damage to the lungs, and other organ damage.
- Death: Sadly, some jackknife accidents can be so severe that they result in loss of life.
Who is Liable for When a Truck Jackknifes?
One of the most critical steps in determining compensation eligibility in a jackknife accident is identifying the parties at fault. Here is who may be responsible:
The truck driver
The truck driver may be liable if they negligently operated the vehicle. This could include speeding, not following traffic signs and signals, driving while fatigued or impaired, etc.
The trucking company
Suppose the trucking company is found to have been negligent in its hiring practices, not properly maintaining its vehicles or pressuring drivers to drive recklessly. In that case, it can also be liable for a jackknife accident.
The truck manufacturer
The truck manufacturer may be liable if the vehicle was somehow defective. For example, it may have had a malfunctioning brake system or steering column that contributed to the accident.
How Our Attorneys at Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys Can Help
If you have been injured in a jackknife truck crash, contact our experienced truck accident lawyers in Rock Hill immediately. We can help you understand your legal rights and options and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your losses.
Our services include:
- An initial case review. We will take the time to thoroughly review all the facts and evidence in your case and advise you on the best course of legal action.
- Evidence-gathering. From the accident reconstruction to witnesses’ interviews, our team will collect the necessary evidence to prove fault and liability.
- Completed paperwork. Our attorneys are experienced in filing all required documents related to a truck accident claim and can ensure everything is in order.
- Negotiations with insurance companies. We understand how insurance companies work and how to negotiate effectively to help you get a fair settlement for your damages.
- Litigation. In some cases, going to court may be the best option for getting justice. Our attorneys have extensive trial experience and can represent you in court.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to file a claim after a jackknife accident?
You have three years from the accident date to file a claim in South Carolina. However, it is best to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure you meet all the crucial deadlines.
What types of compensation can I receive after a jackknife accident?
You may be eligible to recover your medical bills, lost wages, lost future earning capacity, pain and suffering, property damage, loss of enjoyment of life, and other forms of compensation.