What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?

Jackknife truck accidents occur when the “trailer” portion of a tractor-trailer swings out from behind the cab of the truck and forms a 90-degree angle with the cab, resembling an open jackknife. These incidents can lead to significant injuries and property damage on the roadways. Here, we want to examine how jackknife truck accidents typically occur along with the importance of speaking to a truck accident attorney in Irvine if you have been harmed due to this type of crash.

Why do Trucks Jackknife?

There are various reasons why trucks jackknife on the roadway. Generally, trucks jackknife when the front of the vehicle slows down or skids but the trailer attached to the front of the vehicle does not slow down or stop. This can lead to the trailer pushing towards the front of the vehicle, falling into a sideways motion, and creating the telltale “jackknife.”

Large commercial trucks can jackknife due to a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Wet or icy roadways
  • Improper braking
  • Equipment failure
  • Inexperienced commercial truck drivers
  • Turning too quickly
  • Operating at unsafe speeds
  • Inadequate truck maintenance
  • Fatigued drivers
  • Other types of intentional driver actions
  • Improper loading of the cargo

Jackknife truck accidents, unfortunately, often lead to significant injuries and major property damage. This is particularly true if smaller passenger vehicles get caught up in the jackknife incident. Additionally, a truck that jackknifes can potentially block all lanes of traffic, and this can lead to major pile-ups amongst other vehicles on the roadway.

It is not uncommon for jackknife truck accident victims to sustain injuries such as spinal cord trauma, traumatic brain trauma, broken or dislocated bones, severe lacerations, internal organ damage, and more.

Do You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a jackknife truck accident on a California roadway, we strongly encourage you to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. It is critical to seek medical care not only for your health and well-being but also to maintain the integrity of the injury claim.

We strongly encourage jackknife truck accident victims to contact a skilled truck accident lawyer who has experience handling these claims. A jackknife truck accident will inevitably lead to a battle with insurance carriers and legal teams, which could jeopardize your claim. Ultimately, truck accident victims harmed due to the negligent actions of a truck driver or another party on the roadway should be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost income, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering damages.

Determining liability for these claims can be challenging, but a truck accident lawyer will be able to handle this process for you. This includes conducting a thorough investigation into the incident to obtain the evidence needed to discover liability. This evidence can include photographs taken at the scene of the incident, surveillance footage from nearby cameras on homes, businesses, or dashcams, as well as statements from eyewitnesses to the incident. Due to the complexity of many truck accident claims, it may be necessary to work with a skilled accident reconstruction expert who can piece together what happened and render the incident into a computerized 3D model. Reach out to our Irvine injury attorneys to get a free consultation.