Commercial truck drivers are an integral part of our economy, responsible for transporting goods across the state. You should expect these drivers to know how to handle the 80,000-pound tractor-trailer rigs they operate. However, knowledge and skill are sometimes insufficient to avoid jackknife crashes.

During these horrific incidents, truckers often lose control of the rig. If you happen to be in an adjacent lane or behind a trucker in this situation, you may be

Significant and devastating injuries requiring extensive medical care are common in these collisions. Sadly, these crashes are often fatal. However, our skilled tractor-trailer crash attorneys at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda could help you. If you or a loved one were hurt in a trucking collision, contact a lawyer to discuss jackknife truck accidents in Columbia.

How Does a Jackknife Truck Accident Occur?

A commercial truck with a trailer jackknifes when the parts fold in on each other, resembling a pocketknife, the more common term for a jackknife. These collisions happen when a trucker attempts to brake but skids instead. In these situations, a truck’s tires lose traction, causing operators to lose control of the rig because the trailer’s weight pushes the truck forward. Finally, a tractor-trailer will spin backward on the road, swerving until it rests at a sharp angle.

During these incidents, vehicles are often crushed when a truck rolls over on them. Likewise, semis can push cars and their passengers off the road. In some cases, drivers can make deadly decisions involving other motorists behind them in a panicked effort to avoid the truck. Additionally, a truck’s sweeping motion can strike numerous vehicles at high speeds as it jackknifes. An experienced attorney could review a jackknife crash to determine how injured parties should proceed.

What Causes Jackknife Truck Accidents in Columbia?

Most truck accidents are attributable to driver error, and there are many ways truckers can make mistakes that breach a standard duty of care.

The trucking company, the truck’s mechanic, and the manufacturer of any faulty parts contributing to an accident may also be liable and ordered by the court to pay compensation to motorists injured in truck accidents. For example, if a trucker’s brakes fail while trying to stop, the skid may be exacerbated, leading to catastrophic consequences. Common causes of pocketknife truck accidents include:

  • Truck drivers who do not reduce their speed by one-third of the speed limit as required under federal law in inclement weather and then skid on an icy patch
  • Trucking companies who push truckers to drive more hours than allowed by federal law to deliver cargo quickly, even though drivers are fatigued
  • Mechanics who fail to check operating systems such as brake lines, or tire pressure
  • Truckers who do not possess a commercial driver’s license so never learned the techniques for correcting a jackknife

Several other scenarios cause tractor-trailers to jackknife, especially when truckers are in a hurry. Consult a local lawyer familiar with jackknife truck collisions to discuss the cause and potential compensation after your wreck.

A Columbia Jackknife Truck Accidents Attorney Works for You

Truckers who drive tractor-trailer rigs are primarily well-trained and responsible, transporting cargo safely to their destinations. But sometimes, truckers make errors, miscalculating road conditions, braking incorrectly, or exceeding the speed limit, all of which can cause jackknife accidents.

Jackknife crashes are devastating physically and financially to other motorists, resulting in considerable medical bills and lost wages. Your pain and mental anguish should be worth something. To us, it is. If you were injured in a Columbia jackknife truck accident, contact our office to learn what our legal team can do for you.

Whetstone Perkins & Fulda