Representing Victims Of Jackknife Accidents
Jackknifing occurs when the trailer of a truck skids and folds against the tractor at an acute angle, resembling the folding of a pocketknife. Motorists in close proximity are put in immediate danger as they can experience a collision with the trailer as it swings. Even worse, a car can be crushed between the trailer and the tractor, causing severe injuries or death to the passengers. If you or a loved one has suffered significant losses in a Washington jackknife truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for all resultant damages.
To attain the settlement you deserve, you need to establish liability. However, the negligent actions which contributed to the jackknife truck accident could have been performed by anyone at any level of the trucking industry, whether in manufacturing, loading, management, etc. The Seattle accident attorneys at Pendergast Law Personal Injury Lawyers can use their extensive knowledge and resources to conduct a thorough analysis of your case and extract valuable information that supports your claim. For a free consultation, please call 888-539-9211 today.
What Causes A Jackknife Accident?
A jackknife occurs when the trailer of a semi truck swings right or left into lanes of traffic, no longer under the control of the truck driver. The trailer, sweeping side to side, can smash into vehicles in adjoining lanes, and may cause a multi-vehicle accident with many injuries and deaths. In some cases, the jackknife causes the truck to roll over. The loss of alignment between the tractor and trailer could be caused by several conditions, including:
- Tired driver
- Distracted driving
- Drunk or drug intoxicated driver
- Driving too fast for road conditions
- Driving too fast for weather conditions
- Unevenly loaded truck
- Truck or parts malfunction (tires, brakes)
- Locked brakes
- Road debris
- Truck maintenance failures
How To Prevent A Jackknife Accident
While all motorists are expected to practice caution on the road, truckers must take extra care to keep everyone safe. Here are some tips on how to avoid jackknifing:
- Check your mirrors frequently for trailer swing, especially when hauling an empty trailer.
- Brake before turns, not during them.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes.
- If you need to avoid a hazard, try not to brake and swerve at the same time.
- When loading, make sure you keep a low center of gravity by distributing the weight evenly and on the bottom.
Executives in the trucking industry can do their part in preventing jackknife accidents by outfitting all of their trucks with the latest anti-jackknifing technology, such as anti-lock brakes, load-sensing regulators, and fifth wheels.
Types Of Injuries: Jackknife Accident Cases In Seattle, Washington
In a truck jackknife accident, the injuries sustained by other drivers and their passengers are often very serious or fatal. A commercial truck, fully loaded, can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. The sheer weight and force of a collision with a regular passenger vehicle is a disaster. A driver or passenger can suffer life-changing injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury (paraplegia, quadriplegia)
- Multiple fractures
- Disfiguring facial injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Head, back, and neck injuries
- Fatal injuries
Compensation For Truck Jackknife Accidents: The Value Of A Case
After a truck jackknife accident, a victim may have life-altering injuries that require months or years of medical care, surgeries, and rehabilitation. The person may be disabled, unable to work, and can no longer support themselves or their families. The compensation pursued, with the help of a talented truck accident lawyer, must reflect the full extent of the injuries, and all other losses, both personal and financial. These damages are in two categories:
- Economic damages: The financial costs of medical care, surgeries, ongoing treatment, nursing care, medications, prosthetics, transportation, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and other financial losses.
- Non-economic damages: These damages are often the highest portion of a settlement or jury award, and are a payment for pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, emotional anguish, and other personal losses.
Should You Accept An Offer Of Settlement?
If you or a loved one is the victim of a jackknife truck accident, you can expect to be contacted by the trucking firm’s insurance company. You may be offered a settlement that sounds appealing, and when unable to work and earn a wage, a settlement may sound appealing. However, you must exercise great care, as the settlement offered may be far lower than the amount to which you are entitled.
With the assistance of a talented personal injury attorney, your case can be correctly valued, with every type of damage pursued. Don’t take chances with your future financial and physical health – ensure you have assistance from a truck accident lawyer with a record of achieving high-value settlements and jury awards.
The Right Lawyer Matters
At Pendergast Law, we are widely recognized for our excellent legal work in personal injury cases. Mr. Pendergast is a member of both the Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums, is rated 10/10 Superb by Avvo, and named in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers. While 90 percent of cases are resolved with a settlement, when a trial is the only way to seek justice, your case will be in the hands of a true legal professional.