Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyers in Houston
Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyers in Houston
In Houston, large 18-wheelers and commercial trucks are everywhere. While they play a big role in our city, they can also be involved in dangerous accidents. One of the most serious is the ‘jackknife’ accident, where the truck’s trailer swings out at a sharp angle.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in such an accident, the Houston truck accident lawyers at Johnson Garcia are here to help. Our team knows victims’ challenges and is ready to stand by your side, fighting hard for your rights.
What Is a Jackknife Truck Accident?
A jackknife truck accident happens when the trailer of a large truck, like an 18-wheeler, swings out to the side, forming a 90-degree angle or less with the truck’s cab. Imagine the way a folding knife looks when it’s partly closed – that’s how this type of accident got its name. These incidents often occur when the truck’s brakes lock up, causing the trailer to skid and swing out to the side.
Given the enormous size and weight of commercial trucks, a jackknife accident can be very dangerous. Not only is the truck driver at risk but other nearby vehicles can also be caught up in the chaos, leading to multi-vehicle collisions. The outcome of such accidents can be severe property damage, injuries, or even fatalities.
Common Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents in Houston
Jackknife truck accidents can lead to devastating consequences, impacting not just the truck driver but also other road users. For those who have been unfortunate enough to experience such a harrowing incident, understanding the reasons behind these accidents can be an important part of the recovery and potential litigation process.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Truck drivers operating at excessive speeds are at increased risk of jackknifing, especially when faced with unexpected road conditions or traffic patterns. The momentum of a speeding truck makes it harder to control. The sudden braking that occurs as a result can easily lead to the trailer swinging out.
Brakes that are not functioning optimally or are applied abruptly can lead to a difference in the stopping power between the truck and its trailer. This difference can cause the trailer to skid and potentially jackknife.
Poor Road Conditions
Rain-soaked, icy, or uneven roads pose a significant risk. A truck’s tires losing grip on slippery surfaces or hitting potholes can disrupt the vehicle’s stability, making it susceptible to jackknifing.
Sudden Lane Changes
Abrupt lane changes, without proper signaling or space, can destabilize a truck, especially if it’s carrying a heavy load. The quick shift can cause the trailer to swing out, particularly if done at higher speeds.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
When cargo is unevenly distributed within a trailer, it can affect the balance of the entire vehicle. If the weight is not evenly spread out, it can cause the trailer to behave unpredictably during certain maneuvers. This can increase the risk of a jackknife truck accident occurring.
Navigating steep downgrades requires truck drivers to maintain consistent speeds and brake appropriately. Misjudging these downgrades can lead to excessive speeds and potential loss of control.
Tired drivers might not react as quickly or effectively to sudden changes in road conditions or traffic situations. Delayed reactions can escalate situations where rapid decisions might have prevented a jackknife incident.
A truck’s maintenance is essential for its safe operation. Any failure in critical components, be it in the transmission, tires, or elsewhere, can precipitate a jackknife if it affects the vehicle’s stability or control.
Adverse Weather Conditions
Beyond just wet roads, factors like strong winds, fog, or snow can challenge a truck driver’s ability to maintain control. Reduced visibility or gusts hitting the broadside of a trailer can increase the chances of an accident.
With the rise of technology, distractions have become a significant concern on the roads. A momentary lapse in attention, whether due to a phone, radio, or any other distraction, can be all it takes for a truck driver to lose control.
For those who’ve faced the aftermath of a jackknife truck accident, understanding these common causes can be integral when considering legal action. Having knowledgeable legal professionals by your side can make all the difference in such stressful times. The team at Johnson Garcia is well-versed in navigating the complexities of truck accident cases and stands ready to advocate relentlessly on behalf of affected individuals.
Common Injuries from Jackknife Truck Accidents
Jackknife truck accidents are among the most violent and destructive types of commercial vehicle crashes. A fully loaded tractor-trailer’s immense size and weight can lead to devastating outcomes when its trailer swings around uncontrollably.
For those unfortunate enough to be involved in such an accident, the resulting injuries can range from minor scrapes to life-threatening conditions. It’s essential to understand the potential injuries that can arise from these incidents, especially if one is considering pursuing legal avenues for compensation.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
A jackknife accident’s violent jolt and impact can result in traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. They can affect cognitive functions and potentially lead to long-term disabilities.
Spinal Cord Damage and Paralysis
The force exerted during a jackknife accident can lead to significant spinal cord injuries. In severe cases, these injuries may result in either partial or complete paralysis, dramatically altering the victim’s quality of life.
Bone Fractures and Breaks
The immense pressure during the collision can cause bones to break or fracture. Depending on the severity, recovery can involve surgeries, physical therapy, and prolonged healing times.
Internal Organ Injuries
During a jackknife accident, the abrupt forces can damage internal organs like the lungs, liver, or spleen. These injuries can lead to internal bleeding, requiring urgent medical attention.
Severe Lacerations and Abrasions
Broken glass, metal fragments, and debris can cause deep cuts or scrapes. These wounds can lead to significant blood loss, scarring, and potential infections if not treated promptly.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
The sudden stop or change in direction can cause the neck to jerk violently, leading to soft tissue injuries commonly referred to as whiplash. This can result in pain, limited range of motion, and chronic discomfort.
Crush Injuries from Entrapment
Given the weight and size of commercial trucks, smaller vehicles can get trapped underneath during a jackknife. This can result in crush injuries, causing severe damage to limbs or other body parts.
Burn Injuries due to Explosions or Fires
In some jackknife accidents, fuel lines rupture, or electrical faults occur, leading to fires or explosions. Victims can sustain burn injuries, which can be particularly painful and require specialized treatment.
Psychological Trauma and PTSD
Beyond physical injuries, the sheer trauma of experiencing such a harrowing event can lead to psychological issues. Some victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), struggling with flashbacks, anxiety, and depression.
Soft Tissue Injuries
The strain from the accident can lead to sprains or strains in muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Though often overlooked, these injuries can cause significant pain and require therapy.
Jackknife truck accidents leave a profound mark on their victims, both physically and emotionally. The journey to recovery can be lengthy and challenging, emphasizing the need for support, comprehensive medical care, and, in many cases, legal representation.
If you or a loved one has been affected by such an accident, seeking guidance from professionals like Johnson Garcia can help navigate the complexities ahead, ensuring that your rights and interests are relentlessly advocated for.
How Can the Truck Accident Lawyers at Johnson Garcia Help You?
Understanding the next steps might be challenging if you or a loved one was involved in a jackknife truck accident. At Johnson Garcia, we’re dedicated to guiding you. With more than 35 years of experience, our team is well-prepared to assist you.
We Look into Your Case Carefully
After a truck accident, there are many questions. Who is at fault? Were any rules broken? At Johnson Garcia, we deeply study all the details of your accident. Using our understanding of trucking regulations and safety measures, we build a strong case. We gather evidence, speak to witnesses, and make sure no detail is overlooked.
We Talk to Insurance Companies for You
Insurance companies might not always have your best interests at heart. Sometimes, they offer less money than you deserve. That’s where we step in. We negotiate on your behalf, aiming for the best outcome. We have the knowledge and readiness to challenge them in court if they don’t give a fair amount.
We Work with Medical Experts
Injuries from jackknife truck accidents can be complex. By working with medical professionals, we can clearly explain the nature and severity of your injuries. These experts can detail how the accident affected your health and life, strengthening our case for you.
We Make a Plan Just for You
Your accident, your story, and your needs are unique. At Johnson Garcia, we craft a strategy tailored just for you. This personalized approach ensures we tackle your case from the best angle, focusing on your concerns.
We Keep You in the Loop
Clear communication is essential. We pride ourselves on always keeping our clients informed. You’ll always be in the know whether it’s an update, a new finding, or any development. Facing the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming. But you don’t have to face it alone.
The dedicated Houston-based team at Johnson Garcia stands ready to support and guide you every step of the way. If you’re dealing with the impact of a jackknife truck accident, reach out to us. Call 832-844-6700 or contact us online for more information.