A mundane trip on the freeway can quickly become terrifying when you see an 18-wheeler semi-truck begin to lose control in front of you and jackknife. If you are involved in this type of crash, your vehicle may have been crushed, causing you severe injuries.
If you were harmed in such a crash, speak to a St. Augustine jackknife truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. A semi-truck crash injury attorney with experience in these types of cases may be able to help you identify the responsible parties, organize your case, and file a claim. With their help, you could hold those liable for your losses responsible.
What is a Jackknife Accident?
A jackknife occurs when an 18-wheeler or any truck with an articulated trailer loses control and the trailer swings out at a 90-degree angle. The truck will resemble a pocketknife folding in on itself, and depending on the size of the vehicle, it may block every lane of the highway. At this point, the only option other drivers on the road have is to slam their breaks to prevent hitting the trailer now blocking the roadway. Unfortunately, if the traffic was traveling at a high speed or there are poor road conditions, this may be impossible.
How Jackknifes Can Happen
Defining just how this crash occurred will be the first step for the plaintiff and St. Augustine jackknife truck accident attorney to begin building a case. The most common causes of jackknife accidents include:
- High speeds. The faster a trucker is traveling, the more likely it is they will need to slam on their brakes if they need to stop quickly, potentially causing the trailer to swing out
- Improper brake maintenance and adjustment. If the brakes are poorly calibrated, the trailer axles could lock before the tractor’s axels, causing a jackknife
- Sharp curves and evasive maneuvers. While gradual bends in the roadway should not pose an issue, dramatic turns at high speeds might cause trailers to swing
- Poor road conditions and weather. While Floridians typically do not have to deal with snowy or icy road conditions, potholes, rain, and other outside factors may affect drivers
- Driver fatigue and inexperience. Both tired and new drivers may have slower reaction times, make a careless error, or panic if a dangerous situation arises
No-Fault Laws and Damages
Florida like many states in the United States follows a “no-fault” rule in auto accident cases. This means that both drivers will first turn to their insurance companies in an accident, regardless of who was at fault. However, because a jackknife accident has the potential to cause a severe crash, it is not unlikely that the plaintiff’s insurance will not cover the full extent of their medical expenditures and damage to their vehicle.
If this is the case, the plaintiff may be able to pursue their economic and non-economic damages from the defendant, whether the trucker, truck company or other liable parties. Economic damages refer to the actual out-of-pocket costs the plaintiff suffered including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, as well as past and future lost wages. Non-economic damages account for pain and suffering, mental distress, loss of consortium, disfigurement, and other psychological trauma. A jackknife truck accident lawyer from St. Augustine could help victims to calculate and pursue these damages if needed.
Call to Speak with a St. Augustine Jackknife Truck Accident Attorney Today
A collision with a jackknifing truck is one of the most destructive types of accidents that can occur on the road. If you have endured such a crash, call today to speak with a St. Augustine jackknife truck accident lawyer. After a consolation, you may be able to organize a case to get compensated for your losses after contacting an attorney.