A jackknife accident occurs when the truck’s trailer swings out toward the cab, forming the shape of an “L” or “V.” These collisions are often catastrophic because the trailer swings into multiple lanes of traffic and in some cases the truck also rolls over on its side onto nearby vehicles. Multiple vehicles could be involved, and many injured victims could be filing claims for compensation. If you sustained injuries in a jackknife crash, it is important to identify all of the negligent parties to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Negligent Parties in Jackknife Accidents
Many jackknife truck accidents are caused by truck driver errors. Speeding, taking curves too fast, over or under steering, and not driving for the weather conditions are a few of the causes of these tragic wrecks. However, in other cases, truck maintenance, improper loading, or other reasons may have contributed to the truck jackknife.
You will need to determine the cause of your accident in order to identify the liable parties. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you do this. Possible negligent parties can include:
- Trucker. In most cases, the truck driver will be at least partially at fault in causing a jackknife accident. Even when the cause is something other than his driving practices, he may face liability if he violated his duties to conduct inspections of the truck that would have resulted in the discovery of improper loading, lack of truck maintenance, or other problems.
- Trucking company. In Virginia, a trucking company can be vicariously liable for the negligent trucker’s actions—and responsible for compensating you for your injuries. If the trucking company violated federal regulations or other duties that led to your crash, you could have an additional reason that establishes a claim against them.
- Maintenance facility. Many trucking companies contract with a maintenance facility to perform routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs. If a tire blowout, defective brakes, or other maintenance problems caused your collision, you may be able to file a claim with this party’s insurance company.
- Shipper. You may have a claim against the shipper if the shipping company was responsible for loading the cargo and it was improperly loaded or secured.
- Manufacturer. In some cases, defects in the design or manufacture of truck parts could be the cause of a truck jackknifing. In this situation, a products liability claim may need to be filed against the truck and parts manufacturers.
Let Us Fight for the Compensation That You Deserve
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a jackknife truck accident, our skilled attorneys are here to investigate its cause and to pursue claims against all responsible parties. To schedule your free consultation, fill out our online form or call our Norfolk office today.