Helping Victims of Chicago Truck Jackknife Accidents Recover Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Jackknife accidents occur when an articulated vehicle, or a vehicle that is towing a trailer, folds in the roadway, causing an accident or multi-vehicle pile-up. This type of accident is called jackknifing because the vehicle literally folds in half on itself like a folded pocket knife.
Many jackknife accidents occur when a big rig’s drive wheels automatically lock during wet or slippery road conditions. Jackknife accidents involving large tractor-trailers can occur at high rates of speed on freeways, causing the semi to roll over in the middle of the roadway resulting in accidents across multiple lanes of traffic.
Smaller vehicles and SUVs are no match for large trucks and tractor-trailers. Consequently, truck jackknife accidents can result in very serious injuries and damages. If you have sustained injuries in a Chicago truck jackknife accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. The truck accident attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. fight for the rights of seriously injured accident victims, including taking on major trucking companies after a jackknifed semi-truck causes an accident.
Common Causes of Truck Jackknife Accidents
Truck jackknife accidents can occur under a variety of circumstances. Some of the most common causes include:
- Equipment failure
- Malfunctioning or poorly maintained truck braking systems
- Poor road conditions
- Adverse weather conditions
- Truck driver carelessness, negligence, or inexperience
Avoiding Truck Jackknife Accidents
When truck drivers are in training, they learn various techniques to control commercial vehicles in operation on Chicago highways and roadways. By taking the following actions, truck drivers can avoid—or decrease the chances of— causing a serious jackknife accident:
- Maintain a safe travel distance between the front and rear of the tractor-trailer and other
- vehicles on the road
- Spread out braking over long distances
- Refrain from traveling around sharp bends
- Release the brakes and “drive into” a skid before the vehicle jackknifes
By taking these actions, truck drivers can significantly lessen their chances of causing a jackknife accident. However, when truck drivers operate their vehicles in a careless or reckless manner, they can still cause serious accidents.
Speeding While Traveling on Highways
Tractor-trailers, big rigs, semi-trucks, and other large trucks weighing many tons often exceed safe speeds on Chicago highways. When a fully loaded truck travels too fast around sharp curves, the tractor and trailer can jackknife. A smaller, lighter vehicle does not stand a chance against a loaded semi in the event of a collision.
Careless and Reckless Driving
On Chicago highways, truck drivers tend to drive like they rule the road. Drivers will switch travel lanes abruptly, quickly maneuver around slower-moving vehicles, and tailgate another vehicle traveling slightly more slowly in the fast lane. Typically, their goal is to arrive at their final destinations sooner—but these tactics often cause deadly accidents.
Despite the financial incentives for truckers to speed and deliver cargo on time, truck drivers still have a duty to drive reasonably and safely when they operate their vehicles. When they fail to do so and cause a truck jackknife accident, injured accident victims may hold both the trucker and the trucking company accountable for all of the injuries and damages incurred.
At-Fault Parties in Truck Jackknife Accident Cases
If a driver operates his or her truck in a negligent manner, such as by speeding or distracted driving, then the injured accident victim may be able to file a claim or lawsuit directly against the driver. If the driver is employed by a trucking company, then the trucking company may also share in the liability. The theory is that by virtue of the employer-employee relationship, the employer is vicariously liable for the negligent actions of its trucker employees.
If the jackknife accident was caused by a defective vehicle part, such as a defective braking system, the truck accident victim may also be able to make a claim against the part manufacturer or distributor based upon strict product liability or negligence. Manufacturers must make sure that the products they sell and distribute are in a reasonably safe condition at the time they enter the stream of commerce.
Finally, if the jackknife accident occurred as a result of faulty mechanical repairs, the injured accident victim may be able to take legal action against the negligent repair facility.
A Chicago truck accident attorney can review your case with you and help you determine who may be held liable for your losses under the unique facts and circumstances of your case.
Severe and Catastrophic Injuries Sustained in Chicago Jackknife Accidents
Truck accidents have the potential to bring about severe and catastrophic injuries and damages. Serious injuries commonly sustained by accident victims in truck accidents may include some or all of the following:
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and closed head injuries
- Muscular Tears
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Permanent impairment
- Spinal cord injuries
Injured truck accident victims may be able to recover for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, psychological trauma, and more. An injured accident victim may also be able to recover compensation for future medical treatment, such as future surgery and ongoing care.
A Chicago truck accident attorney can review the facts and circumstances of an individual case and determine which types of damages are recoverable in light of the injuries sustained.
Call a Chicago Truck Accident Attorney Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
If you have been injured in a truck jackknife accident that resulted from someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries and losses under Illinois law. in your case, because the law imposes strict deadlines on bringing accident cases. You should not delay in retaining an attorney who can represent you and fight for your rights against both the trucking company and the insurance company, while you focus on your physical recovery.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Chicago, Illinois truck accident attorney, please call us today at 312-924-7575 or contact us online.