Collisions with commercial trucks are some of the most dangerous accidents that can occur on Texas roads. These life-threatening crashes can cause serious injuries to victims that lead to lasting damage such as loss of limb or paralysis. Accidents involving a truck that has jackknifed can be just as destructive.
The average 18-wheeler truck can weigh up to 40 tons and can occasionally measure up to 80 feet with trailers attached. The combined size and weight of these trucks can impact the severity of the injuries that a victim experiences after an accident and, oftentimes, a jackknife truck collision can be fatal. If you have suffered serious injuries after a Texas truck accident or are representing a family member who lost their lives in a jackknife truck collision, it is important to know the basics before pursuing a truck accident claim.
What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?
When a commercial truck loses control or experiences a loss of traction, the cab and the trailer can move independently of each other to create a “V” shape. This shape is similar to that of a folded pocket knife, also known as a “jackknife,” which gives the accident its name.
These collisions most frequently happen when streets are wet or icy from inclement weather, causing commercial trucks to slide across the road in a dangerous pattern across multiple lanes. Loss of traction can also occur when the truck brakes too quickly, encounters a sharp turn or experiences a shift in cargo that can unbalance the weight distribution. Mechanical failure and faulty parts have also been known to cause jackknife accidents for commercial trucks.
One of the most dangerous aspects of a jackknife truck accident is that they can damage multiple vehicles at once due to the “V” shape that allows the vehicle to sweep across the road in different directions. Once a truck has lost traction and is moving independently of the trailer, it can be difficult for the driver to regain control.
Liability in Texas Jackknife Truck Accidents
When they are on the road, truck drivers are expected to pay attention to their surroundings and navigate with extreme caution at all times. When a driver fails to focus on the road or becomes distracted for even a short time, serious accidents can occur. This lack of care is referred to as truck driver negligence.
Jackknife Truck Accidents in Texas
Texas drivers should always exercise caution when they drive, but it is especially important to be aware of your surroundings when sharing the road with a commercial truck. This is especially true if the roads are slick or difficult to navigate for any reason. Devastating jackknife accidents are not isolated events: they occur frequently on different roadways across the state.
Recently in Dallas, a FedEx truck shut down a stretch of I-45 after jackknifing and blocking all lanes plus both shoulders of the road. Another jackknifed truck accident occurred in Harrison County, Texas, where a driver was fatally injured after his vehicle veered out of control for unknown reasons and caused him to hit a guardrail. Most jackknife truck collisions are more dangerous for the truck driver than they are for the other cars on the road with them.
Common Injuries Reported from Jackknife Truck Accidents
If you are caring for someone who was injured in a Texas jackknife truck accident or if you have been involved in one yourself, you understand how devastating and impactful they can be. These incidents can result in a variety of different injuries that can be physical, emotional, or psychological. Some of the most common injuries that victims experience after a jackknife truck accident include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Lacerations and cuts
- Severe burns and electrocution
- Internal injuries
- Loss of limb
- Loss of earning capacity
- Wrongful death
Get in Touch with a Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer in Texas
In many cases, the damage that victims experience can result in a lifetime of medical expenses that they cannot afford. When catastrophic injuries occur, it can be challenging for victims to recover physically while also recovering financially. Nobody is guaranteed a settlement or court award after a jackknife collision; however, working with an experienced truck accident attorney will give you the best chance of resolving your claim favorably.