If you are involved in a jackknife truck accident, chances are your injuries are catastrophic, leaving you in significant pain and on a long road to recovery. You may wonder who to turn to for help paying medical and household bills if you cannot work. The truck driver may insist an outside force, such as the weather, caused the accident, but truckers are professionals and may be considered negligent if they do not compensate for road conditions.
Additionally, the commercial trucking company that hired the driver may be responsible for compensating you. If a mechanical malfunction is partly to blame, the truck or its parts manufacturers may also be defendant candidates. Seasoned 18-wheeler crash attorneys understand federal trucking laws and could negotiate an insurance payout or bring a lawsuit on your behalf. Call today to discuss jackknife truck accidents in Red Bank with a knowledgeable legal professional.
When a commercial truck’s wheels lose traction, they lock up. Truckers instinctively engage the brakes, which stop the powered cab but do nothing to stop the attached trailer, causing it to swing sideways. The trailer continues to skid, resembling a jackknife blade closing into the handle. The higher the truck speed, the worse the accident—especially if the truck tips over on its side and continues to slide into other vehicles that do not have enough time to avoid a crash.
During their training, truck drivers learn three techniques for braking depending on the conditions they face. They can engage the locking differential to gain extra traction. They can lock the steering axle brakes, which will slowly bring the truck to a stop as it continues to move forward. Or they can lock the drive axles, although there are better resolutions for a jackknife. Truckers who use the wrong braking technique and cause a wreck resulting in injuries may be found negligent in court. Consult with an experienced attorney to help determine fault after a jackknife truck crash in Red Bank.
Truckers must earn a special commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate big rigs. Part of the coursework involves learning how to prevent and minimize damage from accidents. Still, truck accidents happen, many times because of driver error. Some common reasons trucks jackknife include:
A proactive lawyer could investigate an accident scene to collect evidence necessary to prove a truck driver’s negligence. A trucker’s black box, like the ones used on airplanes, should be examined, along with trucker logs, including maintenance. Witnesses could be interviewed, and any surveillance or cell phone video scrutinized. A good attorney should leave no evidence untouched after jackknife truck wrecks in Red Bank.
Although the truck driver may have been at fault for a collision, a diligent Red Bank attorney will consider other possible defendants, such as the trucking company that may be vicariously liable for the torts of employees, or the manufacturer of any faulty system that contributes to the accident, based on a defective products claim.
Negligence involves four elements. The defendant must owe the plaintiff a duty to behave rationally as a reasonable person in a similar situation would behave. If the defendant breaches that duty—causing an accident that injures the plaintiff—compensation or an insurance settlement may be awarded.
The driver may be negligent for driving distracted, failing to brake correctly, or driving while intoxicated. The trucking company may be negligent for failing to train the driver properly or pushing the driver beyond the road hours allowed by federal law. The braking system manufacturer may be liable for putting a faulty product into the stream of commerce.
If you are involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer, you will likely suffer catastrophic injuries due to the truck’s size. You will face a long and costly recovery period, and the parties responsible for your plight should compensate you.
Our attorneys are well-versed in the federal laws that govern truck driving, including insurance requirements. They will not settle for less than you deserve. Skilled legal professionals can negotiate with insurers and litigate a negligence lawsuit for you. Call today to schedule a consultation if you suffered injuries in a jackknife truck accident in Red Bank.