Were You Injured in a Jackknife Accident?
Attorneys who hold the trucking companies accountable
A jackknifing semi-truck is a nightmare for everyone else on the road. If you’ve been hurt in a jackknife accident, you deserve answers about why this happened to you – and full compensation to help you rebuild your life. To the trucking company and their insurance company, you’re just a threat to their bottom line. To us, you’re a person who has lost something precious and needs strong advocacy to move forward.
We can help. The Swanson Law Group has the experience and resources to stand up to the trucking companies when they try to take advantage of an injured person. Don’t go it alone. Contact us to speak with an experienced jackknife accident attorney about your case.
When a truck jackknifes, negligence is usually the cause
Fundamentally, jackknifing is a result of a loss of traction and stability. Either the tires on the cab lose traction and the force of the trailer pushes it into a fold, or the trailer itself loses traction and swings around into a fold, forming the angled shape of a jackknife. There are several reasons this can occur, but most involve negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company.
- Improper braking: When a truck driver brakes suddenly, the drive axles may lock up. This causes the cab to slow down while the trailer keeps moving forward, folding into the jackknife shape. This can occur because the trucker failed to pay attention and reacted slowly to a hazard or failed to maintain a safe following distance.
- Improper steering: If a trucker turns too abruptly, the trailer may destabilize, causing a jackknife or rollover. This may happen due to an improper turn or lane change, or if the trucker must swerve to avoid a hazard.
- Unsafe speeds: The faster a truck is going, especially in slippery conditions, the faster its weight shifts during maneuvering, which can cause a dangerous loss of stability. Truckers often go too fast because they are under pressure to meet an unrealistically tight delivery deadline or cover too many miles in a day.
- Poor maintenance: A truck’s brakes need to be properly maintained in order to stop an 80,000-pound vehicle. If the brakes are not maintained, they may become prone to locking up even if the driver uses them correctly.
- Overloading and improperly loaded cargo: The shifting distribution of cargo weight in a truck’s trailer can cause it to become unstable as the truck maneuvers. This can drastically increase the risk of jackknifing, especially in combination with other factors.
Often, driver inexperience is the cause of jackknife accidents. Experienced truck drivers know how to avoid jackknifing and how to steer out of a jackknife in an emergency. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their drivers are trained and experienced to handle their vehicles safely. They are also responsible for giving their drivers realistic schedules and implementing policies that keep them alert, attentive and safe on the road.
Our attorneys will fight to build a strong case on your behalf
Truck accidents are high-stakes cases, especially when they involve serious injuries. The trucking companies and their insurance companies will deploy every tactic they can come up with to deny injured people justice. They will point the finger at each other or try to gaslight you into thinking it was your fault. That’s unacceptable. From the moment you hire us, we’ll handle the negotiations with the insurance company so that we can counter their tactics and protect your rights. Your job is to focus on healing.
We will launch a full investigation to understand why the jackknife accident happened and hold the responsible party accountable. We’ll look at the trucking company’s hiring and supervision records. Was the driver trained and experienced to handle a jackknife situation? Did the trucking company conduct a background check to confirm the driver was a safe and responsible operator? We review records such as the hours of service (HOS) log and “black box” GPS data to see if the driver may have been fatigued or speeding. We interview witnesses and pore over accident reports. That’s how we build cases that we’re ready to take to trial.
When the trucking company and the insurance company see that we are prepared to take them to court, they usually come to the table ready to offer a fair settlement. They know our reputation and our track record of results. If they don’t, though, we won’t hesitate to argue your case before a judge and jury. No matter how the process unfolds, we will answer your questions and make sure you know what to expect at each stage.
You can afford to level the playing field
We do all this on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t owe us anything out of pocket. Our firm advances the cost of litigation and invests our own time and money into your case. If we win, our fee is a percentage of the money we recover for you; if we don’t win, we don’t get paid. In other words, regardless of your ability to pay, you can protect your legal rights and level the playing field with the trucking company.
It’s important to act quickly, though. We need to intervene to preserve evidence and take legal action before important deadlines expire. If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one in a jackknife accident, we would be honored to meet with you in a free consultation. There’s no cost, no obligation, and no pressure, just answers about your legal options.