The trailers of semi-trucks are connected to the truck’s cab by a rotating hinge, which gives the vehicle a greater turning radius and makes it easier for the truck’s driver to maintain control while driving. However, this hinge allows the trailer to move somewhat independently of the cab, meaning that a loss of traction with the road surface can lead to a truck’s trailer skidding at a different angle or speed than the trailer ahead of it.
When a semi-truck’s trailer kicks out to the side of or all the way in front of the cab, it creates what is known as a “jackknife” crash that can end up causing catastrophic harm to multiple other vehicles and people nearby. If a jackknife truck accident in Waco left you seriously injured, a skilled truck crash attorney can help you understand and make effective use of your right to demand civil restitution.
In mechanical terms, jackknife truck crashes in Waco and across the state of Texas occur when a tractor-trailer’s cab and trailer end up traveling at different rates of speed and/or in different directions from each other. This is almost always proceeded by the truck’s tires losing their grip on the road—something that often comes from the truck’s driver acting in a reckless or careless way.
Some common ways in which negligent driving can lead to a jackknife wreck include:
Regardless of exactly what type of irresponsible behavior leads to this sort of wreck, any trucker who directly causes such a crash by acting irresponsibly can be considered legally “negligent” and therefore at fault for any resulting injuries and losses. In many situations, it is also possible to hold trucking companies vicariously liable for negligence by one of their employees. A knowledgeable attorney in Waco can assess the cause of a jackknife crash and pinpoint how a trucker’s negligence led to the incident.
A comprehensive civil claim built around a jackknife truck crash in Waco can seek compensation for various economic losses connected to the wreck and to ensuing injuries, including medical bills, lost work income, lost ability to hold gainful employment, and car repair/replacement costs as well as other personal property damage. Numerous forms of non-economic harm can be factored into this sort of claim as well, such as physical pain, psychological distress, and lost overall quality of life.
However, even if the effects of a jackknife collision are expected to last for a lifetime, Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003 grants injured individuals just two years after initially getting hurt to begin filing suit, with very few exceptions. Support from experienced legal counsel can be absolutely essential to building a strong, evidence-based jackknife crash claim within applicable time limits.
Jackknifing trucks often cover multiple traffic lanes and hit multiple other vehicles before coming to rest, which makes these kinds of accidents uniquely hazardous. After a wreck this severe, getting help from experienced legal counsel could make the difference in your chances of collecting the compensation you need.
A conversation with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can give you clarity and confidence about your next steps following a jackknife truck accident in Waco. Call today to set up a meeting.