Jackknife accidents are unique to large trucks because it involves the trailer uncontrollably swinging to a 90-degree angle from the cab. From there, the driver has no way to take back control of the motor vehicle, meaning the 18-wheeler will stop only when it crashes into something.
Due to the nature of these types of accidents, they can cause serious damage and injury. Get in touch with a Tulsa truck accident lawyer from Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle, and Wicker (BDIW) if you or a loved one has sustained personal injuries from a jackknife truck accident.
The Causes of Jackknifing
It is not easy for an 18-wheeler to jackknife since these trucks are enormous and they have experienced drivers behind the wheel. However, this does not mean that it cannot happen. In fact, in the latest year of recorded data, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that out of all the different causes for truck accidents jackknifing is responsible for 5% of them in the US. That equates to roughly 7,000 jackknifing wrecks on America’s roads.
If jackknifing is not that easy to do, then why are there thousands of jackknifing accidents? This is because of the numerous ways for a jackknife to occur. The list of causes behind tractor-trailer jackknifing includes:
- Weather conditions
- Winding roads
- Truck Maintenance Issues
- Driver speeding
- Driver being fatigued
- Driver being distracted
- Negligent hiring practices
Rainy and icy roads are never good to maneuver, especially for semi-trucks. Jackknifing often happens when the vehicle’s brakes malfunction and the driver tries turning to slow the vehicle or pull off to the side of the freeway. Yet, the most common cause of a jackknife truck accident actually has to do with the driver behind the wheel.
The FMCSA also reports that 87% of the causes of jackknife crashes deal with driver-related issues. Whether it is speeding on the highway, falling asleep at the wheel, or spending too much time with their eyes on their phone and not the road ahead of them, truck drivers are consistently at-fault for these deadly motor vehicle accidents.
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Determining Who Is Liable
Even though truck drivers are responsible for 87% of jackknife truck accidents, we cannot automatically assume that they are at fault. It is still important to figure out who exactly is legally liable. That way, when you hire a Tulsa jackknife truck accident attorney we know precisely who it is that we are suing.
Truck drivers are often independent contractors, meaning that they own and operate their personal semi-trucks rather than driving one on behalf of a larger company. Filing a claim against the truck driver and their insurer is the smart thing to do when you have suffered a jackknife truck accident-related injury with an independent contractor behind the wheel. A trucking company can be found vicariously liable in the courtroom if the truck driver is employed by them and caused the crash.
Suing the truck manufacturer is the best plan of action if there is a mechanical failure or a manufacturing defect that causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle. We can even file a lawsuit against the shipping company if there was a cargo loading error that caused the wreck. Cargo loading errors make it more difficult for the truck driver to brake, and they can increase the chances of the truck bed dangerously swinging.
Black Boxes on Trucks
Plenty of victims of truck accidents have been apprehensive about speaking with a personal injury attorney. This is because they believe that they could never successfully sue a large trucking corporation or motor vehicle manufacturer. Do not continue to suffer in silence just because you are afraid you will waste your money on legal fees and waste your time fighting for justice.
With the help of an experienced jackknife truck accident lawyer in Tulsa, you could be awarded financial compensation and have justice served to the at-fault party. Every trucker on the road, whether they work for a trucking company or they are an independent contractor, must have an event data recorder (commonly referred to as a “black box”) in their vehicle. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) and its latest year of reporting, every commercial truck is required to have a black box, and even 96% of passenger cars have event data recording capabilities.
Truck drivers are required to utilize this device while doing their job because it monitors their driving performance and how closely they follow company guidelines and state/federal laws. These safety parameters that black boxes record include the speed of the vehicle, seatbelt status, GPS location, brake application, and how long they were on the road (along with many other factors).
With the help of a truck’s black box and all of its recorded data, our truck accident lawyers at BDIW can use this information to help prove that the truck driver, truck company, or truck manufacturer was liable for the crash. Even though you or your loved ones might be concerned about taking a large corporation to court, just remember that we have all the knowledge and resources needed to help you be successful in seeking justice and compensation.
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How a Tulsa Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
There is no need to continue to suffer all alone with personal injuries sustained from a jackknife truck accident. A jackknife truck accident attorney in Tulsa can help argue for financial compensation by basing it on current and future medical bills, rehabilitation costs, physical therapy costs, loss of wages, loss of earning potential, loss of consortium, and overall pain and suffering.
Not only do we intend to help you file a claim and win a lawsuit against a truck driver or a trucking company, but we will provide counsel to you and your family and make this entire process less difficult and emotionally taxing for you. Get in touch with a Tulsa jackknife truck accident lawyer today and receive a free evaluation of your case.
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