The incredible size and weight of heavy trucks make them inordinately dangerous in relation to the smaller passenger vehicles with which they share Florida roads. This is especially true in a type of accident known as a jackknife which occurs when a truck trailer and cab are propelled into opposite directions, creating a sharp 90-degree angle.
The resulting loss of control can prove catastrophic to any vehicle in the truck’s path. If you have been harmed in this type of scenario, a Tampa jackknife truck accidents lawyer is prepared to seek compensation on your behalf. Contact a qualified and experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Factors Precipitating Truck Jackknife Events
Broadly speaking, a jackknife of a tractor-trailer is caused by an unanticipated, abrupt drop in speed. The underlying reason could be a belated realization of the need to brake, an obstacle in the way that prevents the cab’s forward movement, or the like.
Ultimately, these events generate momentum capable of sending the trailer portion of the truck in a sideways manner that places everything around it in real jeopardy. Other common causes of truck jackknife events include:
- Malfunctioning brakes
- Poor weather
- Improperly maintained roads
- Excessive rates of speed
- Defective axle locks
- Driver fatigue
- Driver distraction
Dangers to Other Motorists Posed by Jackknifed Trucks
As mentioned earlier, semi-trucks are typically 20-30 times heavier than their passenger car counterparts and have much more significant ground clearance. Thus, whenever a truck jackknifes and part of it collides with a smaller vehicle, it is likely that dire harm will follow. Injuries common to unfortunate drivers and passengers caught up in a jackknife event include:
- Spinal cord injuries/potential paralysis
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe bone fractures
- Lasting disfigurement
- Harm to internal organs and tissues
Exacerbating the physical harm experienced in a jackknife truck accident are the emotional and psychological manifestations that often occur. When suffered together with the financial strain of medical bills, lost wages, and other damages, the aggregate impact on entire families can be devastating.
Whenever a jackknife crash happens, the immediate assumption is often that the driver of the truck must bear sole responsibility. Though it is true that driver fatigue, error, distraction or the like could have played a key role, there are other scenarios in which ancillary parties are also to blame. Trucking companies themselves may not have properly trained drivers to avoid jackknifing.
Those responsible for maintaining the trucks in question may have been negligent in the performance of their duties. Defectively manufactured equipment may have caused the tragic outcome. A skilled Tamps jackknife truck accident lawyer will explore the facts and identify all legitimate targets of litigation.
Reasons to Consider Pursuing a Jackknife Accident Claim
Anyone who has been in a serious car or truck accident understands how rapidly expenses and losses can mount, placing their future in real peril. Fortunately, the law gives victims of negligence the right to seek fair compensation from those responsible for their suffering. Payment may be available for:
- lost wages
- reductions in earning potential
- present, past and future medical bills
- therapy, care and rehabilitation expenses
- lost financial support for dependents
- physical pain and suffering
- emotional distress
- loss of consortium and other familial relationships
- funeral costs, in cases of fatality
Aggressive Pursuit of Accountability for Jackknife Truck Victims
Jackknife truck accidents are among the most terrifying events one can witness or experience while on the road. If you or a loved one has been hurt or worse in an event of this nature, a Tampa jackknife accidents lawyer is prepared to commence the fight for fairness, compensation, and justice in your case.