If you or someone you care about was injured in a jackknife truck accident, you might be eligible for compensation for your damages. When a truck jackknifes, it can cause an even larger accident because of how other traffic is affected. A skilled jackknife truck accident lawyer in Oklahoma will guide you through the legal aspects of filing a claim while fighting to protect your rights.
The Oklahoma City truck accident lawyer at BDIW Law has the experience and the insight to help those injured in jackknife truck accidents to pursue the damages they are due. We have the resources to investigate your accident, identify the liable parties, and then file a claim with the appropriate insurance companies.
How a Jackknife Truck Accident Occurs
When a truck jackknifes, when a tractor-trailer truck is driving, and the front of the vehicle stops at the same time as the trailer on the back, the trailer attached to the vehicle may go in a different direction. This can swing to the side and for a 90-degree angle with the front portion of the vehicle. If drivers brake suddenly or take turns too sharply, the loss of traction can cause the truck to swing to the side and out of control.
The truck is heavy and impossible to control. This can mean danger for other motorists, pedestrians, and personal property. Because of the weight of these trucks and the speed they are traveling, they have the potential to cause serious accidents that cause severe injuries or even death to those unfortunate enough to share the road with them.
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Common Causes Jackknife Accidents
Jackknife accidents occur because the brakes lock up. There are some common reasons these accidents occur listed below:
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs can be the cause of a jackknife accident.
- Blind spots, especially the large ones that tractor-trailer drivers must deal with, can induce jackknife trucking accidents as well.
- Poorly maintained and defective trucks are also to blame for jackknife accidents.
- Trucking companies can be negligent, causing jackknife accidents to occur.
- Distracted drivers cause errors that can sometimes cause them to brake hard and fast, causing the brakes to lock and the trailer to become impossible to control, resulting in a jackknife.
- Fatigued drivers have similar reflexes as those who have been drinking or doing drugs. Since drivers are pressured to make deliveries within a potentially unreasonable amount of time, they may be driving when they should not, which could mean the trucking company shares the blame for the jackknife accident.
Determining Liability in an Oklahoma Jackknife Truck Accident
Vehicle safety is paramount when operating a commercial delivery vehicle. Drivers must have appropriate training and adhere to the rules requiring them to take breaks to rest during their drive. They must know how to correctly maneuver their vehicle to avoid jackknife accidents.
Trucking guidelines are outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that are to be followed by trucking companies, their drivers, and the manufacturers of the commercial vehicles. Trucking companies must ensure driver logs are kept, schedules are adhered to, and the cargo is appropriately loaded. Making sure the weight restrictions are followed so that the trailer does not shift or sway to the side because the weight was not adequately distributed is a part of these responsibilities.
The following entities may be liable for a jackknife accident. Your Oklahoma jackknife accident lawyer will be able to determine which of these entities are accountable for your accident:
- The driver of the truck may be the sole responsible party.
- Trucking companies can share the blame or even shoulder the responsibility if they are at fault for failing to maintain the vehicle or pushing the driver to skip their breaks.
- Repair companies can be to blame if they did a faulty repair or did not maintain a vehicle properly, leading to an accident.
- Truck manufacturing companies could be responsible if they manufacture a defective or poorly designed product that led to the jackknife accident.
Trucking Company Lawyers
Trucking companies usually have a team of attorneys at their disposal. They will investigate the accident and try to dispute evidence that puts any responsibility at their feet. They will minimize their wrongdoings and do their best to show that other factors caused the accident.
Having an experienced jackknife accident lawyer in Oklahoma beside you is crucial early on to ensure your rights are protected. Seeking counsel early in the process can make your claim easier to prove since your attorney will provide evidence gathered on your behalf and preserved.
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Challenges Following a Jackknife Trucking Accident
When filing a claim after being involved in a jackknife trucking accident, you will find them far more complicated than a straightforward car accident with another motorist. The rules the driver was required to follow, and the regulations the trucking company was supposed to adhere to must be investigated when determining liability.
Depending on where the trucking accident occurred may mean different rules apply. Semi-truck drivers who only travel within Oklahoma may be a bit more simple to hold accountable. If a trucker is traveling through Oklahoma, they may have other rules that apply to them.
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Trucking regulations are in place to keep drivers and other travelers safe. Trucking companies may push their drivers to ignore some of the rules so they can make more deliveries faster. This profit over safety management technique can end tragically, leaving the trucking company responsible for the catastrophe.
Most safety regulations cover the following:
- Safety restrictions
- Adherence to particular sizes and weights
- Truck maintenance policies
- Restriction from drug and alcohol use
- Load securing regulations
- Employee background checks and screenings
- Adherence to the rules concerning hours of service
Regulations that are disregarded so that truckers can meet unrealistic deadlines contribute to semi-truck accidents. Having an experienced jackknife truck accident attorney in Oklahoma can help you fight against the tactics the trucking companies will use to deny or reduce your claims.
Often, trucking companies and their insurance carriers are so eager to avoid large payouts that they send out rapid response teams who begin building their defense before the first responders arrive on the scene. Retaining one of the experienced attorneys with BDIW law is in your best interest.
Compensation for Oklahoma Jackknife Accident Victims
You may be entitled to compensation if you have suffered damages due to a jackknife accident. Your Oklahoma jackknife truck accident attorney will help you determine what you are specifically entitled to. Listed below are some damages you may be entitled to following the accident:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Anxiety and depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of future income
- Loss of educational opportunities
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Home alterations
- Property Damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Wrongful death claims
There are economic and non-economic damages that you may be entitled to seek. Punitive damages are occasionally awarded, though they are capped at $500,000 or double the amount of damages awarded to the victim. These damages act as a deterrent to repeating the behavior.
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While semi-trucks are necessary for our world to function the way it does, we understand there are risks. Jackknife truck accidents can result in serious and even fatal injuries. To protect your rights or the rights of a loved one, contact one of the talented attorneys with BDIW Law so that we can begin building a case and advocating for you.
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