Large trucks are essential for hauling items and interstate commerce. While these vehicles are crucial for so many industries, they pose a number of dangers that have to be taken seriously. Major collisions with large trucks can result in catastrophic injuries and even death. That’s why it’s important for people in Kirkland, Redmond, and Bellevue, WA to speak with a skilled truck accident attorney following a crash.
Attorneys Matthew Quick and Elizabeth M. Quick would like to discuss a specific type of collision known as a jackknife accident. You may have heard the term but are unfamiliar with what it entails. Let’s go over basics below.
What Is a Jackknife Truck Accident?
A jackknife truck accident is a type of crash involving large trucks with a trailer. In these kinds of accidents, the trailer folds in toward the cab. The motion is similar to a folding knife or a pocket knife, hence the name. These kinds of large truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries and even fatalities.
Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents
The most common causes of jackknife crashes include:
- Sudden stopping that causes trailer brakes to lock
- Malfunction of the tractor-trailer brakes
- A collision that causes the trailer to skid
- Icy roads and surfaces
- Wet roads and surfaces
- Debris in the road
There are some cases in which a truck driver will intentionally cause the vehicle to jackknife. In these instances, it’s usually a last resort by a truck driver to slow down an out-of-control vehicle and prevent an even more serious collision.
The Dangers of Jackknife Truck Accidents
When a truck jackknifes, it puts other vehicles at risk. The trailer can skid into adjacent lanes, which can strike other motorists as well as bicyclists and pedestrians. Even after jackknifing, a large truck continues to travel down the road, which means potential rear end collisions with motorists.
The dangers do not end there. Vehicles behind the jackknifed truck also risk collisions as they slow down to avoid the crash up ahead. As traffic backs up, the risk of collisions behind the jackknifed truck increase. Multi-car pile-ups are likely in such instances, causing immense property damage and putting multiple lives at risk.
Who Is Responsible for Jackknife Truck Accidents Happening?
Determining liability in a jackknife truck accident can sometimes be difficult. One would assume that the truck driver is responsible for the vehicle folding in on itself, but that isn’t always the case.
Jackknifing could be the result of mechanical problems or design issues with the vehicle itself. That goes for both brake systems as well as trailer safety systems. One can also look over the trucking company’s safety records to see if a lack of maintenance contributed to the incident. If poor weather or hazardous road conditions contributed to the crash, the driver may not have been able to avoid jackknifing.
Holding Negligent Parties Accountable for Crashes
The above factors are why it is so important to speak with skilled attorneys about your crash. We can go over all of the evidence available and help you understand what your best options are for covering medical expenses from injuries, vehicle damage, and other losses associated with the collision.
Learn More About Truck Accident Cases
If you live in the greater Redmond and Bellevue area and would like more information about your legal options following a truck accident, be sure to contact a skilled injury accident attorney. You can reach Quick Law Group, PLLC in Kirkland by calling (425) 576-8150.