Mississippi Tricking Accident Attorney Explains Jackknife Trucking Accidents

Driving near tractor-trailers can make people nervous. After all, the weight of these vehicles is 20-30 times what a passenger car is, and when a truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are the ones that typically suffer the most severe injuries and a higher risk of death. While there are certain aspects of truck driving that make it more challenging, and potentially more likely for the truck driver to cause accidents, not all truck accidents are caused by truck drivers. With that said, the size and weight of commercial trucks makes it more difficult for them to stop quickly, especially on wet or icy roads, and truck drivers are more likely than other drivers to spend extremely long periods of time behind the wheel.

It seems that jackknife accidents would be clear examples of accidents that are the fault of a truck driver, and not the other driver, however, even in these cases an injured person will have to prove liability.

What is a jackknife accident?

Large tractor-trailers consist of a cabin and the trailer. When the driver in the cabin loses control over the trailer part of the truck, and the truck takes on the shape of the letter “L” or a “V,” this is referred to as “jackknifing.” The name is derived from a folding knife because the shape is similar to that of a partially folded blade.

What are the risks associated with jackknifing?

If a truck loses control and jackknifes, the trailer could cross the road, including the traffic in lanes traveling in the opposite direction. This can cause cars to crash head-on into the trailer with little opportunity to get out of the way or stop. There is also a large risk of a truck rolling when it jackknifes, creating an incredible risk to everyone on the road, and at times risking spilling cargo that could also be hazardous.

What causes a truck to jackknife?

When a truck driver slams on the breaks, the cab might stop, but the trailer may continue to move forward. This could occur because of inclement weather, curves in the road, or because the truck driver was trying to avoid something in his or her path.

Many times, these accidents could be caused by negligence on the part to the truck driver. For instance, the need to slam on the breaks could often occur as the result of the driver speeding, or driving at a speed that might be under the speed limit, but still reckless due to the weather or other conditions. Of course, not every accident involving jackknifing will necessarily be the fault of a truck driver. If the trucker only attempted to stop abruptly because of a car accident that occurred immediately in front of the truck’s path, then the driver might not have been negligent, but rather caught in a helpless position.

It is important to remember that if you were in an accident with a truck that jackknifed and your own driving might have contributed to the injuries that you suffered, you can still collect compensation from the other negligent driver under Mississippi law, your compensation will just be reduced to reflect your share of the fault.

Any accident involving trucks is frightening and can potentially cause catastrophic harm. Be sure to speak with an attorney to have your claim evaluated and to determine your best course of action.  Contact Barrett Law PLLC today to speak with our seasoned Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorney.



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