If you’ve been hurt in a jackknife truck accident, contact a truck accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation.
A truck driver slams on the brakes. His truck trailer skids, swinging around at a 90-degree angle to the truck’s cab. The driver loses control of the truck, and the trailer moves across multiple lanes of traffic. The out-of-control trailer may hit other cars and trucks as it slides across lanes of travel. Other drivers may not have time to react or avoid a collision with the trailer blocking the roadway.
This type of accident, known as a “jackknife” is unique to articulated vehicles like tractor trailers. A jackknife accident is not only a terrifying experience, it can also cause devastating injuries. If you have suffered a serious injury in a jackknife truck accident, the veteran truck accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are here to help. Call or chat with us today to schedule a free consultation. There is no fee for our services unless we win your case.
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Why Choose a Jackknife Truck Accident Attorney at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys?
A jackknife truck accident can be a life-altering event. To get the compensation you need to rebuild your life, you’ll need an experienced, highly skilled attorney. While many personal injury lawyers claim to handle truck cases, only a handful have the experience and resources it takes to win one.
Our team has built a national reputation for our success in handling truck accident cases. Munley Law’s jackknife truck accident lawyers have achieved record-setting results for our injured clients, including a $26 million settlement in a truck crash case. We are the only firm in the United States with two attorneys who have served as Chair of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group, and we are among a small number of attorneys nationwide to earn board certification in truck law. Our experience, our results, and our dedication to this unique area of practice is what sets our firm apart. Fill out our email form, chat live, or call for a free consultation.
What Compensation is Available After a Jackknife Truck Accident?
Jackknife accidents often cause chain-reaction collisions involving many vehicles – and multiple victims. The scene of the crash can be a mess to investigate. Victims of jackknife crashes need immediate legal counsel; waiting to call a lawyer can mean losing the chance to collect and save critical evidence, to document the accident scene as it is just after a crash, and to obtain witness statements while the accident is fresh in their minds.
Munley Law’s truck accident lawyers respond immediately. We work with the industry’s top experts and investigators to determine what acts of negligence caused your accident, and hold the at-fault parties responsible. We will explore every possible source of recovery to ensure that you receive the compensation you need. As the victim of a jackknife accident, you may recover compensation for:
- Medical treatment
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
For more than 60 years, Munley Law’s truck accident attorneys have represented truck accident victims throughout Pennsylvania and across the United States. We understand the challenges – physical, emotional, and financial – that come with surviving a truck crash. We are proud that our team are some of the country’s leading jackknife truck accident attorneys.
Our mission is to hold the negligent party accountable and restore justice where harm has been done. For this reason, we do not collect a fee for our services unless we win your case. You will never have to pay us anything up front or out of pocket. Call today for a free case evaluation.
How Can a Jackknife Truck Accident Attorney Help Me?
There are many reasons you want an experienced lawyer in your corner after a jackknife accident. Jackknife accidents involving a large, heavy semi truck can result in serious, life altering injuries. An experience jackknife truck accident lawyer can help you seek the compensation you are entitled to for the injuries and losses you have suffered from the accident.
Semi truck accidents can be complex. Your Munley Law attorneys will know how to navigate you case. They will:
- Help determine who is liable for your accident: Was the driver speeding or driving recklessly? Did the trucking company fail to service the truck, fail to do required inspections, maintenance and repairs? Did the manufacturer of the truck’s parts supply defective parts?
- Interview witnesses and police: If there were witnesses to the accident, your attorney will interview them, collect information from police and responders at the scene, check for traffic camera recordings, cell phone photos from witnesses and, if the case goes to trial, will retain a professional witness for your case.
- Identify potential compensation: Your experienced truck accident attorneys know what you deserve to be compensated for. Many jackknife accidents cause severe injuries and you may have extensive medical expenses, lost wages, long-lasting pain and suffering, emotional distress, property damage to your vehicle, loss of your vehicle and personal property within the vehicle and more. Munley Law’s attorneys know who should be held liable, how to seek compensation for your damages and suffering and will fight to recover damages for ALL of your losses.
- Deal with the insurance company: After a jackknife truck accident, the trucking company’s insurance company will reach out to you to try to arrange a settlement. Do not accept any offer until you talk to an experienced truck accident attorney.
- Collect evidence: Proving liability in a truck accident case can be more complex than passenger vehicle accidents. Multiple parties can be at fault and knowing how to navigate the complexities of commercial truck insurance requires experience. Your lawyer will collect evidence from the truck driver’s log book, “black box” electronic data, the truck’s maintenance records, the trucking company’s safety record, truck driver’s cell phone data and more.
Determining the Cause of Jackknife Truck Accidents with Black Box Information
Some people may be unaware that, like planes, large trucks have a “black box” on board that records information. These black boxes can provide crucial information about how and why a collision occurred. For example, they record the truck’s speed, GPS location, seat belt usage, steering angle, braking time and force, airbag deployment, cruise control settings, tire pressure, and whether or not the driver communicated with the trucking company.
These black boxes record objective information about a crash, and the data can provide crucial evidence for a personal injury case against the truck driver or company. Nevertheless, this information can be difficult to attain, as most devices delete the records automatically after 30 days, and a trucking company may not be forthcoming in releasing the black box data.
The truck accident lawyers at Munley Law are highly knowledgeable when it comes to commercial truck technology and data. We have obtained and analyzed black box data on dozens of trucks and used that information to win a settlement or at trial. Munley Law knows how important this information can be in determining the cause of a trucking accident. We also know how to legally oblige the trucking company to hand on information to us which we can use to strengthen your case.
Should You Take the Offer from the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company?
Once you file a claim against the liable party (or parties), you can expect the liable party’s insurance company to reach out to you. This is even more likely if the insurance company finds their client to be liable.
When the insurance company contacts you, it will be with an offer that may seem fair. While you might be tempted to take the offer, you shouldn’t take any offer until you speak with a qualified jackknife accident attorney. Insurance companies have adjusters whose job it is to make you an offer that’s significantly lower than the amount you actually deserve.
Remember that insurance companies are in business to make money. It is in their best interest to convince you to accept a much lower settlement amount than you may be owed.
The insurance companies often count on the combination of the pressure of your present situation, of tactics like a limited time offer, and of the absence of a lawyer to get you to accept their offer.
Insurance adjusters will often make it seem like the insurance firm is doing you a favor and that you need to take the offer before it’s withdrawn. Do not accept any offer until you speak with your attorney. As experienced truck and tractor-trailer accident lawyers, we’re sure that you can always get a lot more than what the insurance companies offer you as compensation.
What Can You Sue for in a Jackknife Accident Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, you can sue to recover medical expenses. An ambulance ride, a visit to the emergency room, physical therapy and other medical costs can add up quickly. You may have expensive medications and medical imaging expenses. If the other driver or trucking company is found liable, they may be responsible for past and future medical costs.
Lost Work and Future Lost Wages
Your injury may keep you our of work for days. It might keep you out of work for months. This time is incredibly stressful for the victim and lost earnings can make life incredibly difficult. If the truck driver or trucking company was liable for your accident, your settlement should include all of your lost past and potentially lost future wages.
Property damage includes the necessary repairs to get your damaged vehicle back on the road so you can get back to your life. You might even have to replace your car if it was irreparably damaged in the truck accident. You can also sue for damage to other property such as personal items that were in the vehicle at the time the accident happened.
Quality of Life and Emotional Damages
Serious injuries, mounting medical bills, lost wages and caring for a loved one with debilitating injuries can seriously damage your emotional well-being. The courts can and will compensate a victim for loss of enjoyment of life and and emotional damage.
Where Can Jackknife Accidents Happen?
A large number of semi-truck accidents every year are jackknife accidents, with more than 4,800 fatalities in the United States in 2017, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Jackknife truck accidents involving passenger vehicles can happen anywhere but they are more likely to happen where semi trucks are traveling at a high rate of speed such as highways, interstates and in-state and interstate routes. In Pennsylvania, we have interstates such as:
- I-476 (PA Turnpike)
- Route 22 and 33 and many more.
Pennsylvania roads see a lot of semi truck traffic. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) latest crash statistics, there were more than 7,000 vehicle accidents involving tractor trailers with nearly all of the fatal accidents occurring on Pennsylvania state highways. Jackknife accidents can be some of the most serious. Although Jackknife accidents can happen anywhere you see semi trucks, they are most common in high-traffic situations and can be caused by exceeding the speed limit, poor weather conditions, reckless driving on the part of the truck driver — such as taking a turn too fast — among many others.
Jackknife Truck Accidents Involving Passenger Vehicles
Sometimes, a semi truck will jackknife and the incident does not involve any other vehicles. Far too often, however, a jackknifing truck crashes into passenger vehicles leading to devastating injuries and damages.
Many jackknife accidents are preventable. Vehicle failure, reckless driving, driver error such as distracted driving or failure to adjust speed due to extenuating traffic conditions or shifting or dangerous weather patterns can lead to a devastating accident. If the truck driver was negligent in their duty to other vehicles on the road or if any entity failed to repair, inspect or maintain the semi truck or if any of the parts of the truck such as wheels, tires, brakes or steering system had manufacturing defects, you need to contact our experienced truck accident law firm today to determine your rights and what compensation you may be entitled to for your suffering.
Jackknife Truck Accident FAQs
Q: What Causes a Truck to Jackknife?
A truck can jackknife due to a sudden change in speed or road conditions. The driver brakes, the cab slows, but the momentum of the trailer keeps it moving forward, causing it to pivot sideways. One of the most common causes of a jackknife accident, especially in Pennsylvania and the Northeast, is bad weather. Other causes include:
- Driver distraction – if the truck driver doesn’t pay close attention to the speed and flow of traffic, they may have to brake suddenly, and this can cause the truck to jackknife
- Drowsiness – a drowsy driver may nod off at the wheel, and lose control of the truck
- Vehicle maintenance – if the tractor trailer’s brakes have not been properly inspected and maintained, they may not perform properly
- Speeding – excessive speed may cause a driver to lose control, especially when approaching a turn or curve in the roadway
- Negligent hiring practices – when transportation companies employ drivers who lack proper training, certification, licensure, or those who have a poor driving safety record, accidents like jackknife crashes can occur and innocent people can get hurt
Other factors that can increase the chances of jackknifing include truck size and cargo weight. A jackknife truck accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys familiar with CDL laws and regulations will closely evaluate all factors that may have played a role in your accident.
Q: Do I Need a Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you or someone you love was seriously injured or killed in a jackknife truck crash, you should call a truck accident lawyer for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Because truck accident cases often involve large transportation companies and multiple defendants, individual plaintiffs stand little chance of receiving compensation without legal representation. These cases involve a complex network of federal motor carrier regulations, highly technical black box discovery, and other challenges best suited to an experienced truck accident attorney.
Q: What Compensation Will I Receive for a Jackknife Truck Accident Case?
As the injured victim of a truck wreck, you’ll likely be facing major costs, including your medical bills, rehabilitation therapy, missed time from work, repair or replacement of your vehicle, and more. You deserve fair compensation for these losses and the pain and suffering you have endured. Each case is different, so the amount of your compensation will depend on a number of factors, such as the severity of your injuries, and the available insurance coverage. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you may recover compensation for your:
- Current and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation, physical therapy
- Lost wages and/or lost earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering (typically, this will comprise the majority of your personal injury case)
Q: How Long Does a Truck Accident Case Take?
Every case is different; be aware that any lawyer who claims to be able to settle your case in a fixed amount of time is either not being honest, or may settle your case for less than it’s worth in order to resolve it quickly. The length of your case will depend upon the complexity of the investigation, the extent of your injuries and duration of your medical treatment, and whether or not your case will need to go to trial.
Truck accident cases commonly take up to a year or more to reach a settlement. Throughout that period of time, your legal team at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will serve as your personal advocates to guide you each step of the way. We will keep you informed about the status of your case, and will not accept an offer of settlement without consulting with you.
Q: What Happens When You Lose a Loved One in a Jackknife Truck Accident?
No amount of money can make up for the loss of a beloved family member or spouse. But, financial compensation can alleviate the financial burdens you may be facing, and provide future security for you and your family. And, the knowledge that those responsible for your loss have been brought to justice can provide some peace of mind.
As the spouse or relative of someone who died as a result of a semi truck accident, you may want to file a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you receive compensation for funeral and burial costs, medical costs, loss of income, lost pension, loss of services and support such as home management and child-rearing, and your family’s pain and suffering. Ask a Munley Law attorney today if you might be entitled to file a wrongful death case.
For more than 60 years, the fatal truck accident attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have fought for families and individuals who have lost a family member as a result of someone else’s wrongful action. We will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you were involved in a jackknife truck accident, we’re here to help. Contact the jackknife truck accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation. We will make things right again.