Being injured in a jackknife accident caused by a big rig can be a terrifying experience, resulting in serious injuries to yourself and your loved ones. This type of accident is always unexpected. You are driving down the road, possibly with your loved ones along, and the rear of a tractor-trailer or tanker truck suddenly starts swinging around, aiming straight for your vehicle. You have no time to react and no place to go, and the big rig collides with your passenger vehicle or smaller pickup. Now you are faced with mounting medical bills, time in the hospital, rehabilitation and lost wages on top of everything else.
If you need immediate assistance after a collision involving a jackknifed truck, call the Law Offices of David Azizi at (800) 991-5292 to begin a free review of your important case.
Jackknife accidents are often caused by truck driver negligence, and you may at least be able to claim compensation for your injuries. While it will not take away your pain and suffering, at least it removes the burden of your financial loss.
Justice with Semi-Truck Jackknife Accident Lawyer
David Azizi uses his legal acumen, dogged determination and care for his clients, combined with investigative techniques, to help them obtain the compensation they deserve following an injury accident. David gathers all the evidence to build a strong case that can be used in negotiating with the insurance company or in preparing a case to present in civil court. He begins by checking for inaccuracies in the police report and interviewing witnesses to the accident as well as searching for video footage from traffic cameras and nearby businesses.
At the LA truck accident law firm of David Aziz, he strongly believes that someone who is injured by another’s negligent actions shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden. He is comfortable both in court and in his dealings with the insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve. Call David at (800) 991-5292 for your free case review with no obligation on your part. David will look over the case, tell you about the available options for you to recover damages and can even estimate how much you might be expected to recover.
What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?
A jackknife happens when a vehicle pulling a trailer, tanker or motorhome has the part being pulled start to slide around to the side, eventually forming a 90-degree angle. The name comes from how a jackknife blade forms the same angle with its handle. Jackknifes are dangerous in themselves but often result in a rollover of the big rig, increasing the danger and potential for injuries.
What Causes a Truck to Jackknife?
In some cases, slippery roads can lead to a jackknife. In others, speeding or taking a curve too fast can lead to one. It happens when the trailer is moving at a faster speed than the tractor pulling it. The problem is that there are three braking options a truck driver can use in an emergency to slow or stop the big rig. The driver has the option of using the trailer axle brakes, the drive axle brakes or the steering axle brakes.
By using the brakes on the steering axle, the vehicle moves straight but interferes with steering. That can obviously cause a big problem. By locking the drive axles, a jackknife is bound to happen eventually, so the longer the distance the big rig travels, the more likely a jackknife will occur. By locking the trailer brakes, the driver loses his ability to control the direction the vehicle is moving in, and this will cause the trailer to swing out, making the rig unstable and at risk of jackknife and rollover.
Can Truck Drivers Avoid Jackknifing Accidents?
Companies that hire inexperienced drivers increase the risk of a jackknife. By hiring drivers with experience, that risk is lowered. However, any driver can find himself or herself facing this dangerous type of problem. Ways to avoid a jackknife include not panicking and locking the drive axles and keeping a safe distance behind other vehicles. Truckers should also brake gradually, adjust their driving depending on the condition of the weather and stay alert to potential problems.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Jackknife Accident
Because jackknife accidents cause about 10 percent of all fatalities and serious injuries in truck crashes, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, knowing what to do afterward is important.
Following an accident that involves a jackknifed truck, motorists should:
- Remain calm and do not leave the scene of the accident. Leaving could result in charges of hit and run, even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
- Check for injuries. If anyone is injured in the accident and requires fast medical care, call 911. Those who suffer even minor injuries can get checked out by their local physician or at an emergency room. Remember, some symptoms of accident injuries are delayed. Having a record of your involvement in a traffic collision can help support your claim later.
- Turn on your flashers and set out flares or triangles to warn oncoming motorists that an accident has occurred. If you exit your vehicle, do so on the side facing the roadway, and get well back from the accident. Many additional collisions happen involving people who’ve been in an accident and get out of their vehicle.
- Call and report the accident to the police, even if none of the injuries were serious. A police report is recommended to file an insurance claim, even if it’s for vehicle damage. Unless the vehicles involved in the accident pose a traffic hazard or danger, leave them where they are.
- Be truthful when talking to the police, but do not be apologetic because this might be construed as an admission of guilt. If you are uncertain of some facts, say so. If you are asked if you are injured and you don’t know, say you don’t know. In addition, you should check that statements made by the other driver are accurate and tell the police if they are not as you remember the course of events.
- Exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident if police do not come to the crash site. If they do, they will obtain this information. Include the name, phone number and address of everyone involved, including witnesses. In addition, get their insurance information and ask to see their insurance card.
- Take photographs if you have a cell phone or camera along of the visible damage to vehicles and your injuries and those of your passengers. However, make sure this does not intrude on the investigation by the police.
- Report the accident to your insurance company and to your lawyer. Your lawyer will advise you further on what actions to take to protect your rights.
Free Case Review with a Los Angeles Jackknifed Truck Accident Law Firm
David has an outstanding record of helping his clients win 98 percent of his cases through his doggedness, legal expertise and compassion. This is one of the reasons that Super Lawyers, the legal ranking firm, lists him every year as one of the top personal injury lawyers in the Los Angeles area. For a free no-obligation consultation, give David a call today at (800) 991-5292 to talk to him about your case and see how he can help you. You can also connect with him by sending an online message to him at his website, and he will get in touch with you as soon as he is able.