Even if you haven’t put two and two together, if you’ve ever used or even just seen a pocket knife, you know where the word “jackknife” originates. The truck accident type known as a “jackknife” occurs when a truck with two independent parts—a cab and a trailer—folds in on itself at the point of separation. The cab and trailer swivel where they are connected, making a 90-degree “V” shape. The term “jackknife” is used because the effect of this hinge closely matches the impact of a pocket knife blade folding into its handle while shutting. You can hire personal injury lawyers to handle such situations legally.
This is why you need to find one of the best truck accident lawyers you can get to represent you and help you get the most in a settlement or at trial.
However, a truck folding in on itself does not offer protection, unlike a pocket knife. Instead, it brings about destruction.
Damages and Causes of Jackknives
Because of the size and weight of commercial trucks, every kind of truck accident has the potential to be disastrous. On interstate routes, commercial vehicles are permitted to tow 28-foot double trailers while weighing up to 80,000 pounds; this is a lot of weight.
Now picture a 28-foot-long, 80,000-pound piece of piercing metal swinging toward your car. This is a rather terrible thought.
More often than you might imagine, a jackknife disaster can result in serious personal injuries, tragic casualties, and unimaginable havoc. Jackknife crashes account for close to 5% of all truck accidents.
However, being aware of the circumstances under which these mishaps could happen can help you prevent them and protect your family. You should be mindful of the following conditions that frequently lead to trucks jackknifing:
- High speed rates. Large trucks find it very challenging to stop suddenly once they reach speeds of over 55 mph. If a truck driver slams on the brakes while traveling over 55 mph, the likelihood that the hefty trailer he is towing will swing out of control dramatically increases rather than gradually coming to a halt.
- Curves. For most commercial vehicles, slight curves shouldn’t be a problem, but the steeper the angle and the longer the trailer, the more likely it is that the trailer end may swing and cause the truck to lose control and fold in on itself.
- Weather and road conditions are slick. Weight shifting and sliding of the cab and trailer can result from any loss of traction with the road. Commercial trucks are so heavy and prolonged that even a little slide can cause the truck to jackknife.
Insurance for Personal Injury
Personal injury protection, generally known as PIP coverage or no-fault insurance, covers medical costs. It frequently includes missed wages as well. PIP might be necessary for your state, or it might be available but not necessary. This coverage might be helpful even if you’re not in your automobile. If you are hurt by a car while walking, bicycling, or even riding in someone else’s automobile, PIP may cover you up to the limits you select, depending on the state.
In several states, PIP is mandated. To make it easier to determine who is at fault for an accident, numerous states implemented laws in the 1970s introducing “no-fault” auto insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Hire a Lawyer
Truck accidents are severe and costly. However, all auto accidents are stressful and expensive. Victims of truck accidents may sustain severe, permanently debilitating, or even fatal injuries. You should ensure you are pursuing total compensation for all damages because the charges could be excessive. You might need clarification about the value of retaining a truck accident attorney.
Most of the time, the response is a resounding “yes.”
A truck accident lawsuit involves a lot of different variables. Insurance firms take a while to compensate victims for their losses, even when the damages are severe. The best action is to speak with a truck accident attorney before accepting anything or making any significant choices regarding your case.
Four Important Justifications for Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney
Following your accident, here are some of the main “benefits” of hiring a truck accident attorney. Remember that a lawyer will consider the particulars of your case. Every accident is different, so getting personalized legal counsel based on your circumstances can be helpful.
The Rules for Trucking Are Complicated
Truck drivers are required to uphold specific standards while driving because they are working as employees on the clock. These include:
- maintaining yearly checks
- monitoring planned maintenance
- keeping certifications
- recording work hours and rest times
Both state and federal laws govern the trucking sector. Despite this, truck drivers are frequently pressured to adhere to rigid schedules and tight deadlines. Although most truck drivers are cautious and responsible, unavoidable accidents can happen when drivers don’t get enough rest or neglect the necessary maintenance to stick to a schedule.
Additionally, all commercial truck drivers are required to adhere to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirements (FMCSA). Breaks, lights, and infractions involving repair or maintenance are frequently identified during these checks. A transportation accident may result from infractions like these.
Determining which circumstances contributed to the accident can be challenging due to the intricacy of trucking rules. An expert truck accident attorney can investigate the incident and determine precisely what caused the collision. It might be challenging to know what questions to ask or where to look without the assistance of a legal expert.
Various People Could Be at Fault
When compared to other auto accidents, truck accidents frequently include multiple parties. Depending on the specifics of the mishap, the responsible party can be:
- The lorry operator
- The transport business
- A repair or maintenance business
- Another driver on the road
To ascertain who was ultimately responsible for the accident and your damages, a truck accident lawyer will know where to do their research. They must investigate the trucking firm, the driver’s logbook, and the vehicle’s driving, inspection, and maintenance.
Damages in Truck Accidents Are Frequently Far More Severe.
Large trucks’ immense size and weight can cause terrible damage in the event of an accident. If the vehicle is carrying dangerous or flammable cargo in its entirety, the situation may get worse.
Because truck accidents result in substantial medical costs, extended absences from work, mental harm, and other effects, the damages are frequently much larger. Truck accidents often result in fatalities, leaving dependents or other family members unsure about what to do.
Additionally, it’s incredibly challenging to think about what comes after a vehicle accident. It can be challenging to think logically while you’re in physical agony from your injuries and dealing with the emotional effects of such a terrible and terrifying situation.
Different Insurance for Trucks
After an auto collision, personal injury claims are made with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. After a truck accident, this becomes more challenging because sometimes, there are multiple insurance plans in effect. The truck, the trucking firm, and the driver can all have insurance. The contents of the vehicle may occasionally also be protected by insurance.
With the insurance procedure being so complicated, things can quickly get unclear. Additionally, insurance companies always look for ways to save money since they dislike paying a lot for accident claims. If you hire a knowledgeable truck accident attorney, you won’t have to worry about how to handle everything.