Because of how their cabs and trailers connect to each other via a rotating hinge, tractor-trailers are susceptible to a unique kind of automobile accident called “jackknifing.” This type of wreck usually stems from a truck’s tires losing traction with the road and the truck’s trailer skidding at a different speed and often in a different direction, resulting in the truck folding into a “jackknife” shape.
Jackknife truck accidents in Orangeburg and throughout South Carolina often end up involving several other vehicles before they come to an end, which means they often result in catastrophic harm to several people. If you were hurt in a wreck like this and believe it can be traced back to the misconduct of the truck driver or their employer, you should work with an experienced truck accident attorney to pursue financial restitution.
How Negligence Can Lead to a Truck Jackknifing
Given that jackknife truck accidents almost always stem from a loss of traction, speeding and improper braking by truck drivers are two of the most common causes of these sorts of crashes. Along the same lines, truckers who take turns too quickly, fail to adjust for inclement weather and subpar road conditions, or are simply not experienced with handling large vehicles are more likely to end up jackknifing. The same goes for truckers who drive while drunk, high, distracted, or overly fatigued.
When it comes to filing suit over a jackknife truck accident in Orangeburg, the important thing is not the exact way in which the wreck occurred, but whether the wreck was caused by a “negligent” act. All the behaviors listed above constitute violations of a trucker’s “duty of care” requiring them to always follow traffic laws and act responsibly behind the wheel. If a negligent action is the direct and primary cause of a collision, that trucker—and sometimes their employer in addition or as an alternative—may be liable for ensuing losses.
Recovering Fairly for All Available Damages
Both economic and non-economic forms of harm can be factored into a comprehensive lawsuit or settlement demand following a jackknife truck wreck in Orangeburg. Recoverable damages may include:
- Past and future medical bills for crash-related injuries
- Lost working ability and/or work income
- Vehicle repair/replacement costs and other forms of personal property damage, plus related expenses like rental car fees
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish and psychological trauma
- Lost enjoyment of life, potentially including lost consortium
As a legal professional could further explain, it may be important not only to prove someone else was at fault for the accident, but also that the injured “plaintiff” filing suit bears no fault themselves. Otherwise, a court that determines a plaintiff is partially liable for their own injuries based on their own negligence—for instance, by following too closely behind a truck that then jackknifed and hit them—may reduce the total compensation available through a favorable court verdict.
Contact an Orangeburg Attorney for Help After a Jackknife Truck Accident
Commercial truck drivers have an important responsibility to drive carefully, so they do not cause life-altering injuries to anyone else around them. Unfortunately, not every trucker lives up to this legal obligation, and careless truckers often cause jackknife truck accidents in Orangeburg that cause severe injuries and losses for everyone involved.
A dedicated accident attorney could help you make the most of your legal options. Call today to learn more.