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San Diego Jackknife Truck Accident Attorney

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There were 169 fatalities from over 1,000 jackknife truck accidents in 2020, leading experts at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to acknowledge the severity of the problem. When a large commercial truck jackknives on the roadway it may impact multiple lanes of traffic and result in serious injuries to others, often while the truck driver emerges unscathed. A truck jackknife accident is terrifying and traumatic to all parties involved.

What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?

Jackknife accidents occur when the trailer of a large commercial truck slides sideways out of alignment with the cab. When the trailer swivels at its joining point and folds inward, it causes a shape like a partly opened jackknife or a V shape. The trailer in a jackknife accident swings widely out of its lane and sometimes pulls the cab along with it so the truck driver no longer has control. Other vehicles on the roadway face grave danger when a truck and trailer are moving out of their lanes and out of control. About five percent of truck accidents are jackknife accidents.

Common Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents in San Diego

Several circumstances could lead to a dangerous jackknife truck accident. When a truck travels at high speed and the driver slams on the brakes to avoid a collision with an obstacle or another vehicle, the forward momentum of the trailer cannot stop as quickly as the truck’s cab. Instead, the force causes the trailer to swing sideways into a jackknife position. Truck drivers taking a curve at high speed may also result in the trailer swinging out of alignment and causing a jackknife accident. Slippery roads, light loads, or unsecured cargo shifting suddenly sideways inside the truck’s trailer are also common causes of jackknife accidents.

In some cases, brake failure, a problem with the trailer hitch, or poor road conditions cause jackknife truck accidents in San Diego or the surrounding area.

Common Injuries in Jackknife Truck Accidents

When smaller vehicles are involved in collisions with massive jackknifing tractor-trailer trucks, it often results in serious or even catastrophic injuries to those in the smaller vehicles. On divided highways, a jackknife accident may result in multi-vehicle pileups as vehicles cannot stop in time to avoid a collision with the trailer or cab as it swings into their lane. On two-lane highways, oncoming vehicles may collide with the truck or trailer in head-on collisions. Some jackknife accidents result in cars sliding under the trailer with devastating impacts on motorists. Common injuries in San Diego jackknife accidents include the following:

When trucks carrying chemicals or fuel crash, victims of jackknife accidents may face impacts from chemical exposures.

Who Is Liable for Damages in a Jackknife Truck Accident?

Truck accident claims for damages like medical expenses, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering are complex. Multiple entities could bear liability for the accident depending on the circumstances. For example, any of the following could be liable for an injury victim’s damages after a jackknife accident:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • A freight loading company
  • A truck maintenance company
  • The manufacturer of a defective truck or trailer part
  • A negligent road maintenance agency

It takes a meticulous investigation to determine the cause of a truck accident and the correct liable party before an injury victim can file a claim for compensation for damages like medical expenses, lost wages, future income loss, and pain and suffering.

Call the Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyers in San Diego

Truck accident cases are difficult to navigate, requiring an investigation, detailed documentation, and a compelling case against the correct liable party. The San Diego truck accident lawyers at Haffner & Morgan, LLP understand the trauma and toll an accident takes on the victim and their entire family. We are ready to help with your financial recovery while you work on your physical and emotional health. Call our San Diego truck accident lawyers today at (619) 541-8787 so we can take action on your claim.