Texas Jackknife Accident Lawyer | Help, Causes, & Lawsuits
When a vehicle as large loses control and causes a highway collision in Texas, the risk of catastrophic and debilitating injuries is high. If you or a loved one was involved in a jackknife accident in Houston, Dallas, Austin, or San Antonio elsewhere within the State of Texas, contact our personal injury attorneys today. Attorney Niles Sneed is a Jackknife Accident lawyer and regularly helps families recover full compensation following the crash. Lets discuss the legal ramifications of your case today.
Since opening our doors 5 years ago, Sneed|Mitchell LLP has represented victims from some of the nation's largest truck accident catastrophes. Our attorneys secure million for truck and 18 Wheeler accident victims and can assist your family today. As always, consultation with our firm is free and you owe us nothing until we are successful on your behalf.
What Is A Jackknife Accident?
Jackknifing refers to the dangerous situation in which a large truck and its attached trailer become misaligned during towing and create the form on an “L” or “V”. The phrase gets its name from the shape of the semi as it resembles a switchblade when its blade is unfolded from its handle. When trucks jackknife the wheels lose traction and lock while the rig swing sideways out of the contractor.
A jackknifed truck generally catastrophic injuries and necessitates an extensive legal investigation. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a total of 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018. Around Sixteen percent of these fatalities were truck occupants, while sixty-seven percent of fatalities were occupants of passenger cars, and fifteen percent were pedestrians (commuters, joggers, bicyclists, children).
A jackknife incident ranks amongst the most dangerous forms of trucking accidents due to the immeasurable destruction caused by the trailer swinging in an uncontrollable manner. On that page we’ll go into detail about what causes a truck to jackknife, along with how a commercial truck driver and standard passenger drivers can avoid being involved in this type of accident.
What Is The Main Reason Trucks Jackknife?
The most common reason trucks jackknife is poor brake maintenance. Brake issues contribute to 27% of truck accidents according to the Transportation Research Board's (TRB) and cause around 40,000 trucking accidents every year. There are a number of manners in which brakes fail, including poor maintenance, poorly adjusted brakes, improper brake alignments, sticking calipers, and insufficient brake fluid levels.
To determine if deficient breaks caused the jackknife collision an attorney must hire an accident reconstruction expert and forensic engineer to inspect the air brake failure and black box information aboard the damaged tractor-trailer. Other times, a driver’s unsafe actions could cause the truck’s axles to lock and the tractor to slide into the jackknife position. An attorney should always interview all witnesses to determine if the driver was operating the semi in an unsafe manner at the time of the collision.
Because brake locking often causes jackknife situations, engineers have designed technologies that alter the design of breaks and load-sensing regulators that reduce the brake pressure to the wheels when the load is light.
What Other Reasons Cause These Crashes?
Other reasons trucks end up in a jackknifed position include:
Poor road conditions make trucks lose traction and slide; when the driver can’t regain control of the vehicle, the truck can jackknife.
Debris in the roadway can lead to a jackknife as the driver tries to maneuver through difficult terrain.
Driver inexperience also contributes to many jackknife incidents. An inexperienced or fatigued driver has trouble guiding a truck through unexpected or challenging situations. Consequently, better training and plenty of sleep reduce the likelihood of a jackknife accident.
What Should I Do If I Was Involved In A Truck Wreck?
After a trucking accident you should immediately check for injuries to yourself and any passengers. Oftentimes, accident victims are not physically able to engage in additional tasks, but if possible, following some or all of the following steps will help secure the scene and protect your claim for legal compensation.
Call 911 immediately
Record the name of the truck trucking company from the tractor or trailer of the 18 Wheeler
Record the truck driver’s name, address, and phone number
Obtain insurance information (company name and policy number) for both the truck driver and the company that employs him.
Take photos of the damage to both your vehicle and the truck. Report the accident to your insurance carrier.
Do not provide a recorded statement. These statements can be used against you and are often taken out of context.
Call the trucking accident injury attorneys at Sneed|Mitchell Law Group
Take photos of any visible injuries caused by the accident.
Seek medical attention immediately. It is possible to lose your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits if you do not receive treatment for your injuries within 14 days of the accident.
Allow our Jackknife Accident Lawyers to review the facts surrounding the semi accident to determine your legal rights and options. Clients are never charged for consultations with our attorneys and you owe us nothing until we are victorious for you.
What Injuries Result From Semi and Tractor-Trailer Collisions?
Large tractor-trailers are common vehicles on Texas roads and cause catastrophic injuries at higher rates than in any other State in the nation. Because of their sheer weight, truck wreck injuries take months to heal. In worse cases, the accident causes permanent consequences. Some of the medical compilations and conditions our clients commonly experience includes:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - A head wound sustain from the force of the collision or object penetrating the skull during the jackknife crash can cause brain bleeding and swelling. These injuries, often called TBI's can cause permanent brain dysfunction, resulting in cognitive issue and a loss of sensation. Issues with thinking, memory, concentration, and movement are all possible. If the TBI is severe, a victim could be in a coma or vegetative state. Other TBI complications include concussions, internal bruising, "locked-in" syndrome, blood vessel damage, and memorial issues.
Amputations - In a major jackknife trailer collision, amputations can occur. Other times significant trauma can compromise a victim's legs, arms hands, or digits to the degree that necessitate surgical removal. The loss of limbs are life-altering and can effect the victim's quality of life moving forward and even earning potential.
Crush Injuries - Crush injuries happen when a part of the body is squeezed between two objects. This catastrophic condition often happens during vessel collisions crushed between barges or when there are mechanical breakdowns.
Eye Injuries - Ocular trauma in truck wrecks are caused by object penetrations or blunt trauma when the head hits the steering wheel or airbag. Complications include corneal abrasions, retinal hemorrhages, blindness, and even orbital floor fractures.
Rotator Cuff Injuries - Shoulder injuries are one of the most common forms of can stem from a multitude of accidents aboard, including slipping and falling, improper line training, equipment crashing into the shoulder area, winches jerking and pulling the arms and shoulders. These accidents can cause tendon tears, dislocation, damaged collarbone, bursitis, and shoulder instability.
Scarring & Disfigurement - According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), hypothermia and frostbite are major risks to maritime workers that fall overboard or are working on increment weather conditions. Symptoms of hypothermia occur when the body reaches 89 degrees Fahrenheit and can be mild, moderate, or profound.
Hypothermia - According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), hypothermia and frostbite are major risks to maritime workers that fall overboard or are working on increment weather conditions. Symptoms of hypothermia occur when the body reaches 89 degrees Fahrenheit and can be mild, moderate, or profound.
Spinal Cord Injuries - Trauma to from the brain stem to L5-SI often cause paralysis, edema, difficulty breathing, reproductive dysfunction, or loss of muscle tone. Injuries to the spinal column often necessitate extensive treatment and rehabilitation and alter the course of the victim's life.
Additional injuries that may result from jackknife often include burns from seat belt friction or contact with an deployed airbag. Victims of truck crashes often exhibit symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the near-death experience. The care of a plastic surgeon is also customary for clients that suffered severe lacerations.
If you need an experienced Jackknife Accident Lawyer that handles serious injuries, call Niles Sneed. Niles Sneed regularly secures maximum compensation for clients injured in semi and tractor-tailor wrecks and can discuss your legal options today. Niles unique understanding of complex traffic accidents and that allows him to effectively and successfully advocate for those harmed in trucking accidents.
How Can Texas Drivers Avoid Truck Crashes?
Even the most defensive and skilled driver can’t avoid being hit by a large truck in all circumstances. However, the best techniques to practice when in the proximity of a truck is to allow more space when trailing or passing, avoid ever being in the truck's blind spot, and to use the appropriate signals to inform the truck driver of your intentions.
How Can Truck Drivers Prevent Jackknifing?
Drive carefully with light loads as they produce less traction with the road.
Apply brake pressure evenly but don’t lock the brakes.
Drive slowly when road conditions are bad.
Brake over the longest distance possible.
Increase your following distance.
Avoid braking or decelerating on a curve when possible.
Use extreme caution for applying your engine brake or retarder.
Avoid skidding. That's how jackknifing starts.
Maintain your tractor and trailer.
Modern anti-lock braking systems prevent brake lockup by automatically adjusting braking force.
The jackknife prevention tips above also apply to noncommercial drivers towing smaller loads, such as livestock trailers.
Texas Truck Accident Lawyer
The attorneys at Sneed|Mitchell LLP specialize in personal injury law and the litigation of commercial trucking and 18 Wheeler accidents. We have a reputation for dealing aggressively with insurance adjusters and fleet operators of all kinds as part of our commitment to obtaining the highest possible settlement for our clients under Federal and State Law. We refuse to back down to big powerful insurance carriers and will fight to force the Defendants to respect our client and how the accident has impacted your life and livelihood.
In addition to our highly trained personal injury attorneys, we hire the nation's leading accident-scene investigators, reconstruction experts, safety engineers, and consultants familiar with the latest Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration guidelines (FMSCA).
Our meticulous approach is why we are undefeated in the courtroom and often titled the best trucking accident lawyers and litigators. Clients trust Sneed|Mitchell LLP because our reputation of success is based upon our many notable verdicts and settlements, coverage in local news, and many additional peer review awards. Speak with a jackknife accident lawyer from our firm today. It is our priority to work tirelessly to determine the cause of the trucking accident and assist you and your family during this most critical time.