Wilmington Jackknife Accident Lawyers
Legal Help After a Catastrophic Truck Crash
Jackknifing is a unique danger of tractor-trailers. These accidents occur when a truck comes to a sudden stop, but its trailer swings around, ending up at a 90-degree angle to the cab. When this happens, anything in its path can be crushed.
When truck drivers are reckless, negligent, or careless, they can be held responsible for the damage their trucks cause. If the company pushed the driver to speed, or did not conduct safety checks on the truck or its load, it may also be liable to the victims.
After a truck crash, you can’t afford to wait – call a Wilmington truck accident lawyer at Rhine Law Firm, P.C. Trucking companies have powerful insurers and multi-million-dollar policies to protect. We prefer to be called within 48 hours of the wreck, so we can dispatch our experts and investigators to the scene and take action to find and preserve evidence.
Common Causes of Jackknife Accidents
While jackknife accidents are almost always caused by a big rig coming to a sudden stop, there are many reasons why that sudden stop was necessary, such as:
- Distracted driving: Looking up from a smartphone suddenly, etc.
- Fatigued driving: Falling asleep and jerking awake at the wheel, etc.
- Driving under the influence: Impaired drivers have slower reaction times and less focus.
- Reckless driving: Large trucks shouldn't attempt to make tight maneuvers, merge aggressively, or turn suddenly.
- Speeding: The higher the speed, the more distance a trucker needs to come to a stop.
In these situations, the truck driver is most often liable for a jackknife. However, there are situations in which someone else can be held responsible for a truck crash. These potentially liable parties include:
- Owner of the truck
- Trucking company
- Loading company
- Truck manufacturer
If a mechanical error caused the truck to jackknife, or the truck was not loaded properly, it’s probably not the truck driver’s fault. Manufacturers, inspectors, and cargo-loading companies are required to ensure the truck is road-safe and will not malfunction or cause an accident.
In addition to being responsible for the negligent acts of their employee drivers, trucking companies also have certain responsibilities imposed by numerous federal and state regulations. As a simple example, the company must hire competent drivers and are responsible for training their truck drivers on numerous issues that are usually at issue in a truck accident case, such as space management, speeding, and much more. Of course, this hiring, training, and compliance costs time and money, and too many companies place a priority on profit rather than safety and forego their duties. Through the court system, we seek redress for these transgressions, and because the trucking companies we sue are consumed with their money, we change their behavior when we force them to pay our clients.
What Compensation Can a Jackknife Victim Receive?
When a tractor-trailer collides with a smaller vehicle, the driver and passengers in that smaller vehicle suffer worse injuries. Accident victims may be left dealing with the consequences of the crash for months, or even years, to come. Catastrophic injuries are expensive to treat, and victims are often out of work for an extended period of time.
If the truck crash was someone else’s fault, filing a personal injury lawsuit is the best way to claim compensation for your injuries. Financial compensation can cover the costs of:
- Medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Rehabilitation costs
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death damages for survivors
- Repairs or replacement of a vehicle
An experienced Wilmington personal injury lawyer can review your case and advise on the full amount of compensation that may be available.
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If you or someone you love has been involved in a jackknife accident, call the Rhine Law Firm, P.C., at (910) 501-2474. We will review the facts of your case, conduct an investigation to determine who is liable, and hold them responsible for paying any compensation you deserve. Get the help you need and contact us today.
“Joel Rhine and his staff did everything possible to help us in a very dark period of our lives.”- John
“We were blessed to have them fighting for us and never giving up.”- Stewart
“Joel and Chris were there for us in every need.”- Mary
“Rhine Law Firm has a friendly, caring, professional staff and they worked hard for me.”- Becky
“We were very pleased with the outcome of working with Rhine Law Firm.”- Former Client