Jackknife semi-truck accidents are among the most serious on the road. A jackknife occurs when the driver loses control of their trailer, causing it to swing out at right angles to the cab of the truck. When this happens, the trailer can cross over multiple lanes and even oncoming traffic, sideswiping any other cars nearby and making a fast-moving barrier that other cars crash into.
Because of the nature of the crash, fatalities and serious injuries are frighteningly regular. If you or a loved one has been involved in a jackknife accident, you’re at major risk of long-term injuries and suffering, including:
- Grave injuries to head, neck, spine, and limbs
- Lifelong physical and mental distress
- Ongoing rehabilitation
- Financial difficulties from medical bills and loss of income
However, you’re not alone. Here’s why you might be able to get compensation to help with the physical, mental, and financial burden of an 18-wheeler accident.
How Do Jackknife Semi-Truck Accidents Happen?
Once a driver loses control of their vehicle in a jackknife situation, there’s almost nothing they can do to recover. More often than not, the crash will happen in a split second, and even the most skilled driver won’t be able to react.
There are three main reasons why a semi-truck can find itself in this position:
- The weather – Rain, snow, and ice all play a part in creating hazardous conditions on the road, leading to skids and slides. The trailer often slides out because of this or by the driver overcompensating for the road conditions.
- Driver error – Although all truck drivers in Houston are required to undergo training and certification, the truth is that 18-wheeler accidents are often caused by the driver. These vehicles are always difficult to control and require the utmost concentration to stay safe.
- Road hazards – Other than the weather, potholes, unpaved roads, soft shoulders, and other road hazards can also cause the trailer to swing uncontrollably and eventually jackknife.
Driver Error and Liability
Despite strict regulations surrounding driver hours, overwork and fatigue are common among truck drivers. Distraction is also an issue for long-haul truckers, and all it takes is a couple of seconds of lost concentration for a tragedy to happen.
If they haven’t followed the rules or were otherwise found to be at fault for the accident, then drivers and, potentially, their employers could be held liable for negligence under civil law. In that case, compensation is highly likely.
Judges often try to make an example of companies or individuals that are knowingly and willingly negligent, making them pay what is known as “punitive damages.” These damages are a punishment to the company, not compensation, but they are still paid to the claimant and can run into the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars.
The Houston Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers That Get You Results
When you’re looking for maximum injury compensation, you need to look for a team that will get you results—a team that will go through every avenue, law, and piece of evidence to make sure you get the payout you deserve.