Jackknife Truck Accidents

Jackknife accidents are often the result of reckless and negligent truck drivers. Not only are they scary, but these accidents can cause catastrophic and fatal injuries.

If another vehicle collides with a jackknifing truck, the collision may destroy the smaller vehicle, kill the driver and passengers, or cause serious, life-changing injuries. The larger size and weight of commercial trucks means multiple vehicles may be involved, further complicating the situation.

If you are involved in a jackknife truck accident in Denver, we are here to help. At Levine Law, we understand the seriousness of these collisions and are dedicated to helping victims recover the compensation they deserve. 

Understanding Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife Truck Accidents

Jackknife accidents occur when the trailer of a large truck, such as an 18-wheeler or semi-truck, swings out and forms a sharp angle with the truck’s cab, resembling the acute angle of a folding pocket knife. 

This type of accident is extremely dangerous, posing significant risks to the truck driver, all nearby vehicles, and pedestrians.

Causes of Jackknife Accidents

Several factors can lead to a jackknife accident, but they often revolve around conditions that cause the truck’s drive wheels to lock up while the front wheels and the trailer continue moving forward. 

Common causes include:

  • Sudden Braking: If a truck driver applies the brakes too suddenly or forcefully, the drive wheels can lock up, especially on slippery roads or in poor weather conditions, leading to loss of control and a jackknife scenario.
  • Speeding: High speeds reduce a driver’s reaction time and increase the distance needed to stop, heightening the risk of jackknifing when braking quickly in response to road conditions or traffic.
  • Curves and Turns: Taking curves or turns too quickly can cause the trailer to swing out due to momentum, initiating a jackknife accident if the driver cannot regain control.
  • Improper Loading: Incorrectly loaded or unsecured cargo can shift, causing imbalances that may result in the trailer swinging unpredictably when the truck is in motion.
  • Equipment Failure: Faulty brakes or tire blowouts can also lead to a loss of control, making it difficult for the driver to maintain the trailer’s stability.

Understanding the dynamics of jackknife accidents is crucial for preventive measures. It allows truck drivers and trucking companies to implement safety practices that minimize the likelihood of these dangerous occurrences.

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Common Injuries Seen in Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife accidents often result in catastrophic outcomes for those involved. The nature of these accidents can lead to a variety of severe injuries, including the following:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

High-impact collisions between a jackknifing truck and other vehicles can cause drivers and passengers to suffer traumatic brain injuries. These injuries range from mild concussions to severe brain damage, potentially leading to long-term cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The force exerted during a jackknife accident can be enough to cause spinal cord injuries, resulting in temporary or permanent paralysis. Victims may face a lifetime of disability and require ongoing care and support.

Broken Bones and Fractures

The violent forces involved in a jackknife accident often result in broken bones and fractures for those in the impacted vehicle(s). Recovery can involve surgeries, physical therapy, and extended periods of immobilization.

Lacerations and Abrasions

Flying debris, shattered glass, and twisted metal can cause deep lacerations and abrasions, potentially leading to significant blood loss, infection, and permanent scarring.

Internal Injuries

The blunt trauma associated with jackknife accidents can cause internal injuries, damaging internal organs and leading to internal bleeding. These injuries are dangerous because they may not be immediately apparent and can rapidly become life-threatening.

Psychological Trauma

Beyond physical injuries, survivors of jackknife accidents often experience lasting psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. The emotional fallout can profoundly affect their quality of life, relationships, and ability to function normally in daily activities.

Given the severe and diverse nature of injuries resulting from jackknife accidents, victims often face extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and the need for psychological support. Our jackknife truck accident lawyers in Denver can help review the facts of your case and file a claim representing all your injuries and losses. 

Proving Liability in a Jackknife Accident Case

Jackknife Truck Accidents

Proving liability in a jackknife accident is necessary to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Establishing who is at fault involves investigating the circumstances leading to the accident. 

Gathering and Analyzing Evidence

Evidence plays a fundamental role in proving liability in jackknife accident cases. Essential evidence includes:

  • Truck maintenance records
  • Driver logs
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Road conditions report
  • The truck’s electronic logging device (ELD) data

Accident reconstruction experts may also analyze the crash scene and vehicle dynamics to determine how and why the jackknife occurred.

Understanding the Role of Negligence

Proving liability means proving that the truck driver, trucking company, or another party acted negligently or failed to meet their duty of care on the road. This can include reckless driving, improper cargo loading, failure to maintain the vehicle, or other federal and state trucking regulations violations.

Identifying All Responsible Parties

Liability in jackknife accidents can extend beyond the truck driver to include trucking companies, cargo loaders, and even manufacturers of faulty vehicle components. We will carefully investigate your accident to find all potentially liable parties. 

Using Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses, such as accident reconstructionists, mechanical engineers, and medical professionals, can provide valuable insights into how the accident occurred, the severity of injuries, and the impact of those injuries on the victim’s life. Their testimony can be beneficial in establishing fault and demonstrating the extent of damages suffered by the victim.

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Let Levine Law Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyers Help with Your Case

Any accident involving a commercial truck can be deadly. If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a jackknife accident, we are here to help. 

Contact our Denver jackknife truck accident attorneys today to schedule a free consultation. 

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