Although any type of truck accident can be devastating, jackknife accidents may be particularly dangerous. These are usually preventable crashes that often stem from driver error, in which case a truck accident lawyer in Colorado can help injury victims pursue a truck crash claim for damages like medical bills.
What can cause a truck to jackknife?
When a truck jackknifes, the trailer swings into a folding position. It can end up resembling the form of the letter “L” or “V.” This can result in a truck accident in which the trailer scrapes or crushes another vehicle.
There can be a variety of reasons that a truck jackknifes. One is when a driver slams on his or her brakes. The sudden stop may cause the trailer to move faster than the cab, which could lead to it swinging around.
The reason for slamming on the brakes might have been unavoidable in some cases – such as an object falling into the road or to avoid another accident in front of the truck. But there are certain situations in which it could have been prevented.
For instance, if the driver followed another vehicle too closely and had to stop suddenly. It takes large trucks much longer to stop than passenger cars, so there needs to be plenty of space in between.
Another cause could be a truck driver not paying attention and having to stop suddenly. This could be the result of inattention due to talking on the phone, texting or some other distractive type of behavior.
Sudden braking when the roads are uneven or slippery from rain, snow or ice could cause this to happen. Drivers have a responsibility to slow down and drive safely at all times, especially when road conditions are hazardous.
In addition to driver error, a jackknifing accident could happen if the brakes aren’t properly maintained. Front brakes that are depowered or removed increase the chance of this type of crash. As a result, the trucking company could be liable for allowing an unsafe vehicle to be on the road. In some cases, more than one party could be at fault, such as another business or contractor who is responsible for maintaining the trucks but that failed to do so.
If the trailer wasn’t properly attached to the cab, it could cause the truck to jackknife. The responsibility for this might lie with the driver, employer and anyone else that played a role in securing the trailer.
Who can be liable for injuries caused by a jackknifing accident?
Determining who was at fault is sometimes a challenge and may require the assistance of a Colorado truck accident lawyer. Even errors made by truck drivers could lead to others being liable. The trucking company, owner of the trailer/truck, the company that leased the trailer/truck, and manufacturer of brakes or other parts that contributed to accident may be liable.
When an injured victim needs legal advice, a truck accident lawyer in Colorado may be able to help. D. J. Banovitz understands the complexities involved in these cases and can help victims pursue a case of negligence against parties liable for a jackknife truck accident.