Jackknife Truck Accidents

A truck accident is often very serious. The average length of a tractor trailer is 28 feet with an average weight of 80,000 pounds. When a tractor trailer is involved in a jackknife truck accident with a passenger vehicle, the damage is often catastrophic. A jackknife truck accident occurs when the cab of a truck and the trailer it is hauling fold inward and create a 90-degree angle, which looks similar to a pocketknife. Passenger vehicles, smaller trucks, and vans that get wedged between this jackknife position commonly suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents

Truck and tractor trailer accidents can happen to even the most safety conscious driver, but in most cases, a jackknife truck accident can be prevented.  The most common causes of jackknife truck accidents include:

  • Mechanical failure
  • Sudden swerving
  • Speeding
  • Brake malfunction or lock up
  • Over-braking
  • Poor weather or road conditions
  • Misjudgment on a wide-angle turn
  • Driver error
  • Skidding

Truck drivers and fleet owners have a legal responsibility to keep their trucks safe and in proper working order. Routine inspections, maintenance, and upgraded equipment are necessary to ensure that large commercial trucks are safe to operate. Poorly maintained trucks and those that have outdated equipment or parts pose a serious risk to all those on the road.

Driver training is also essential to on-the-road safety for commercial trucks. Inexperienced and improperly trained drivers can cause serious and fatal truck accidents. Even experienced drivers should receive ongoing training that focuses on new equipment, safety updates, and new laws and regulations affecting the trucking industry. Drivers and fleet owners that are non-compliant with the laws and regulations of the trucking industry can be held liable for injuries and damages resulting from a trucking accident.

Common Injuries Resulting from a Jackknife Truck Accident

When a jackknife truck accident occurs, those in passenger vehicles can suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries when their vehicle becomes wedged between the truck cab and trailer. Injuries also happen when motor vehicles get struck by the truck’s cab or the trailer while it is in motion. Because a jackknifed truck often blocks an entire road, rear-end collisions and pile ups can occur when traffic stops suddenly.

Injuries sustained in a jackknife truck accident are often catastrophic and can sometimes lead to death. The most common types of injuries resulting from a truck accident include:

  • Fractured and crushed bones in the arms, legs, and chest area
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Skull, face, and neck injuries
  • Concussions
  • Spinal injuries that cause paralysis
  • Internal organ damage
  • Burns
  • Severe lacerations and contusions
  • Nerve damage

These types of injuries can be life-altering, often causing permanent disability or disfigurement. Medical costs from emergency rooms, hospitalizations, surgeries, prescription medications, ongoing physical or cognitive therapy, and lost wages from long recovery periods or permanent disability can wreak havoc on a victim’s financial health. Negligent truck drivers and commercial fleet owners can be held liable for injuries sustained in a truck accident.

Consult with an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

Whenever a truck accident results in injury, victims need to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable truck accident lawyer. Evidence to determine fault for the accident is imperative to a successful claim. An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to gather pertinent data related to the accident, truck maintenance records, driver training, and witness testimony that can support a claim.

Oftentimes, commercial truck fleet owners have large legal teams prepared to fight claims for liability. A reputable truck accident lawyer familiar with federal and state laws and regulations can stand firm against these large legal teams and fight for the compensation injured victims deserve. In some cases, victims may be able to collect compensation for damages, such as the emotional pain and suffering caused by the truck accident.

Our Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Help Victims of Truck Accidents Claim Compensation

If you were injured in a truck accident, contact the Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers today. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will fight to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve for your injuries. Call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.


381 Edwin Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Ph: 757-352-2237 | Fax: 757-352-2220

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