Daytona Beach, FL – Jackknife accidents account for 5-10% of all truck crashes in Florida. While they’re not the most numerous, they are among the deadliest types of truck accidents. If a tractor-trailer folds on itself, an accident is almost unavoidable and a 4,000-lb passenger car has virtually no chance of escaping undamaged. If you were recently involved in this type of crash, you should contact an experienced Daytona Beach truck accident lawyer right away. You may have extensive damages and recovering them depends on determining what caused the crash and who can be held accountable.
What are jackknife accidents?
The term jackknife accident refers to the fact that a tractor-trailer folding on itself resembles a pocket knife. The term is used to describe crashes involving any sort of truck that has two separate parts, the cab and the trailer. If for some reason the two parts swivel at the point where they are linked together, they will form a V-shape at 90 degrees.
The momentum of the swivel may propel the truck into incoming traffic and the collision will often be devastating.
What are the main causes of jackknife accidents?
Jackknife accidents can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as:
- Inexperienced truck drivers
- Improper braking
- Equipment failure
- Poor weather conditions, such as slippery roads
- Taking a turn too quickly
- Fatigued driving
- Load shifting
It is important that you get your own lawyer working on the case as soon as possible, as important evidence may be destroyed. If you want to recover damages, your lawyers will have to prove that the crash was caused by someone’s negligence, so it was not a simple accident no one could have prevented.
Who may be liable for damages?
In truck accidents you may have more than one party liable for damages.
If the truck is traveling over 55 mph, the driver may not be able to stop safely in an emergency. The trucker may slam on the brakes to avoid an obstacle, but this will only result in him losing control of the vehicle. In such a case, the trucker can be held accountable for speeding, but your lawyers will also want to investigate whether he had received adequate training. If the trucking company did not bother with properly training the new employees, it may be accused of negligence.
Experienced truckers can easily handle slight curves. However, if the curve is at a steep angle, there’s the risk that the trailer end will swing and cause the entire truck to lose control and fold in on itself. Again, lack of experience may play a role in what happens next.
This is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. If the trucker is exhausted after driving for long hours, any error of judgment can lead to a horrible crash. Your lawyers will request access to the data on the driver’s log to see how many hours the trucker had been driving in the past week. If he was not complying with federal Hours of Service regulations, your lawyers will want to know why. If it was the employer who urged the driver to skip mandatory rest periods, you may have a case against the trucking company.
Sometimes it may seem like it was the trucker’s error that caused the accident, but a thorough investigation might reveal otherwise. For instance, if there was a problem with the brakes or the hydraulic system, the driver may be innocent. Maybe he tried to stop on time, but the brakes failed and the truck jackknifed.
If the load is not properly secured and balanced, it may shift suddenly making the driver lose control of the vehicle. If that is the case, you may have a case against the shipping company, the cargo owner or anyone responsible for loading the truck.
If you were recently injured in a truck accident in the Daytona Beach area, schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer at Pappas & Russell PA
Pappas & Russell PA
213 Silver Beach Avenue
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118
Phone: (386) 254-2941