Today we are going to be talking about needing a St. Louis jackknife truck accident lawyer from Cantor Injury Law and why you might need one. If you ever do find yourself in a situation like below, contact a personal injury attorney from Cantor Injury Law today.
Many drivers are afraid to drive near large commercial trucks, for a good reason! On average, trucks typically weigh 16 times more than the weight of a car; legally, a fully loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, whereas a car weighs around 3 to 5 thousand pounds. This makes jackknife truck accidents especially dangerous.
The size difference between a semi-truck and another vehicle alone increases the chances for an accident to result in serious injuries, property damages, or even death. Additionally, the size and force of the trucks when they jackknife can result in a multiple-vehicle collision.
Hiring an experienced St. Louis jackknife truck accident lawyer to file a lawsuit, represent you, and help you seek maximum compensation is important if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident. We have 30 years of experience winning truck accident claims at Cantor Injury Law, and we’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients. An attorney from our firm will help you preserve evidence and guide you through the claims process.
Call (314) 628-9999 today for a free consultation with a jackknife truck accident lawyer in St. Louis.
What Is A Jackknife Truck Accident?
“Jackknifing” refers to the closure of a pocket knife or switchblade so that it resembles a V or L shape. When applied to semi-trucks, big rigs, or tractor-trailers, jackknifing refers to a trailer coming out of control and swinging perpendicular to the cab, often creating a V-shape.
While trucks are extremely heavy, it often is due to the cargo loaded into the trailer. When the trailer swings uncontrollably, it makes it difficult for a truck driver to steer. This can result in catastrophic jackknife accidents.
Common Causes Of Jackknife Truck Accidents
Many things can cause a jackknife truck accident to occur. Some of the common causes include:
Improper Weight Distribution
A truck’s trailer needs to be loaded correctly and with proper weight distribution to drive and operate safely. The items going into the trailer should be packed to balance the weight.
When the weight is more heavily distributed on one side of the trailer or the load moves from one side to the other while the truck is in motion, the trailer may swing out of control and cause the truck to jackknife.
Missouri experiences all kinds of weather; some make driving more hazardous as they affect road conditions. Whenever it rains, snows, or the temperature drops below freezing, it can cause the roads to become wet, snowy, and icy.
Slick roads make it harder for the truck’s wheels to keep their traction, which can cause the trailer to trail off to the side of the cab, resulting in the truck jackknifing.
Sometimes sharp curves pose significant threats to drivers of big rigs and semi-trucks. When a truck driver enters a curve too quickly, it can result in jackknifing if the driver has to oversteer or understeer to prevent spinning or plowing out.
Speed limits exist for a reason: to keep drivers safe. Truck drivers must follow the speed limit. It takes a large truck 40 percent more time to stop than a car.
Additionally, the weight and size of the trailer make it take longer to slow down than the truck’s cab. If a truck operating at high speeds needs to break suddenly, it can easily cause the trailer to swing out of control.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers drive routes and are often on strict schedules. This means they sometimes have to drive without getting enough rest. Tired truck drivers can be hazardous: they usually have slower reaction times or could doze off at the wheel.
Defective Parts Or Lack Of Maintenance
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates how often a semi-truck must get maintenance. This ensures that the trucks on the road have correctly functioning parts.
However, there are instances where truck companies neglect to get routine maintenance and necessary repairs, which can result in faulty brakes and parts or even a malfunctioning transmission.
If a truck driver needs to brake and they lock up, it can easily result in jackknifing.
Common Injuries Caused By Jackknife Truck Accidents
Jackknife truck accidents result in severe outcomes. The National Center for Statistics and Analysis conducted research and discovered jackknifing trucks cause nearly 10% of all semi-truck fatalities. Some common causes of these fatalities include decapitation, crushing, or catastrophic organ trauma.
In Addition To Death, Jackknife Truck Accidents Result In The Following Injuries:
- Brain damage
- Neck injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head trauma
- Pelvic fractures
- Broken bones
Our experienced St. Louis jackknife truck accident attorneys can help you navigate the claims process and deal with insurance companies.
Who Is Liable In A Jackknife Truck Accident?
In order to receive compensation to help pay for medical bills and damages, you need to establish negligence.
When It Comes To Commercial Trucks, There Are Multiple Parties That Can Be Held Liable, Including:
- The Truck Driver: If the truck driver was speeding, driving while intoxicated, distracted, or didn’t have the proper qualifications to be operating a large truck.
- The Trucking Company Or Truck Owner: If the trucking company or truck owner failed to inspect or maintain the vehicle, the cargo was improperly loaded or secured, an unqualified driver was allowed to operate the semi-truck, or the truck did not pass federal and/or state regulations.
- Truck Parts Manufacturer: If a specific part or mechanism of the truck, such as an anti-lock braking system, was defective.
- Highway Safety Agencies: If there was no warning of a sharp curve or there was debris in the road that forced the truck driver to oversteer to avoid it.
At Cantor Injury Law, we have comprehensive knowledge of both federal and Missouri truck regulations and laws. We know what evidence to look for and gather, and we have experience with conducting our own thorough investigations to determine negligence and liability.
Why You Should Hire A St. Louis Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer
The trucking industry is well-equipped to defend itself against liability claims. It’s likely that they will send insurance adjusters and investigators to the scene of the accident immediately, who will try to get a statement from you to devalue your claim or prove that you share liability for the accident. It’s important that you never give a statement without an attorney present.
Jackknife truck accident cases are complicated to investigate. The attorneys at Cantor Injury Law are recognized leaders in truck accident litigation in Missouri. A St. Louis jackknife truck accident attorney from our firm will help gather the necessary evidence, going so far as to stage an accident reconstruction and obtain black box data.