Big trucks are critical to ensuring that goods make it from one place to another. These workers spend a ton of time on the road, and they work hard. Unfortunately, a jackknife accident, or any other commercial trucking accident, can be catastrophic. Jackknife truck accidents in particular account for more than 5,000 accidents every year.
If you are injured in a jackknife accident, be proactive in contacting an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer. They just might be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
What is a Jackknife Accident?
If you are not familiar with the term “jackknife” and how it relates to big trucks, this is a type of accident in which the truck’s trailer swings out sideways, creating an acute angle between the truck and the trailer.
When a truck jackknifes, that trailer can hit anything in its path. In addition, the driver could roll, spin out, or lose control. These accidents can lead to extensive injuries or even death to any nearby drivers on the road.
Common Causes of Jackknife Accidents
Accidents happen every day, and while some cannot be prevented, there are many that could be avoided with precautions. If you consider the massive size and weight of a semi truck with a loaded trailer, caution is always necessary around them. They should also be following strict guidelines to keep others safe on the road.
A semi truck, or an 18-wheeler, could be up to 80,000 pounds based on the allowance by the US Department of Transportation. Your vehicle will likely weigh a maximum of 6,000 pounds, so it’s a sizable difference.
There are many different things that might cause a truck to jackknife. Check out these common issues:
- Weather Conditions: High wind or rain and snow can create a hazard for big trucks. In poor weather, trucks should slow down to avoid jackknifing issues. If it is really bad, they may need to stop for a time as well.
- Speeding: Speeding, especially around curves, in high traffic, or in poor weather, can lead to accidents. When a truck is going fast, it takes much longer to slow down or stop, and reactions are slowed as well. This is a common cause of jackknifing.
- Braking Incorrectly: Probably one of the most common problems is when the brakes are used too forcefully or suddenly for a truck’s load. Rather than stopping, the truck could skid or lock up, which could increase the potential for jackknifing.
- Load Size and Details: A load that is too heavy or isn’t balanced properly could also be a problem as it impacts the center of gravity for the truck and can easily throw it into a jackknife.
- Mechanical Issues: Equipment that isn’t properly maintained or is faulty is another major problem. This includes brakes, tires, and other elements of operation.
What to Do When Injured by a Jackknife Truck Accident
When you or a loved one face an injury from accidents like these, you may be eligible for compensation to assist with medical expenses, lost wages, recovery, pain and suffering, and other expenses associated with injury.
The best option is to hire an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer and let them help you seek compensation following an accident.