Los Angeles Jackknife Accident Lawyers
Did You Suffer Serious Injuries in a Freeway Truck Crash?
Few things are as terrifying as seeing a tractor-trailer spin out of control. Commercial trucks are massive, powerful machines that travel at high speeds and carry a lot of weight, making stopping difficult for them. When a truck tries to stop too quickly, or turn too hard, a jackknife crash can occur, and the consequences are often catastrophic for other drivers in the area.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with a commercial truck, you may deserve compensation. Trucking companies have their own attorneys to fight against you, but don’t be intimidated. You do have options, and your voice is important. Call Novik & Stanley, A Professional Law Corporation, at (818) 305-6041 to put an experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorney to work for you.
What Is a Jackknife Accident?
The term "jackknife" refers to a pocket knife with a folding blade. When it comes to commercial trucks, a jackknife accident is one in which the cab slows or comes to a stop, but the trailer continues to move, which causes the trailer to swing out to the side and the whole vehicle folds – essentially like a pocket knife closing in on itself.
Causes of Jackknife Accidents
The mechanics of a jackknife accident have to do with how semi-trucks stop, and the fact that they have multiple sets of brakes. In practice, a jackknife is almost always due to a trucker’s mistake or failure to exercise proper caution in a certain situation. Some common causes of jackknife accidents include:
- Poor weather. Slippery road conditions, from rain or ice, can cause a jackknife.
- Improper maintenance. If the brakes on a truck are not properly adjusted and maintained, a jackknife is more likely.
- High speeds. The faster a truck goes, the more likely a jackknife becomes.
- Driver fatigue. Tired truck drivers have slowed reaction times, and are more prone to driving errors.
- Driver inexperience. Controlling a massive truck with a heavy payload is difficult, and inexperienced drivers are more likely to make mistakes.
Who Else May Be Responsible?
Sometimes, the truck driver might not be the only one responsible. There are two important legal terms to discuss: negligence and liability.
Negligence means someone acted in a way that a reasonable person would not have in the situation. For example, if a truck driver goes well beyond the speed at which he can maintain control of his truck, that can be seen as negligence. A reasonable person is expected to stay within a speed limit. Liability means someone’s negligence directly contributed to or caused an accident. If a jackknife occurs because the truck driver was going too fast, he can be held liable for that accident.
In some situations, this can become more complicated. For example, perhaps the driver was going too fast due to instructions from his employer, and his brakes were improperly maintained, which made the jackknife accident more likely.
Since the causes of a Los Angeles jackknife accident are not always simple and clear, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney look at the situation and figure out how things went wrong. If you or a loved one has suffered due to a jackknife accident, call Novik & Stanley at (818) 305-6041 to discuss your options. Truck accident aren’t like car accidents, and our skilled L.A. car crash lawyers know how to tackle these cases successfully.
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