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Santa Barbara Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyers

Advocating for Injured California Truck Accident Victims

Truck jackknife accidents can be disastrous for another motorist on the roadway. This particularly dangerous type of crash occurs when the truck’s trailer swings out to the side of the cab, forming an “L” or “V” shape. Vehicles in adjacent lanes can be struck by a jackknifing rig. The trailer can block several lanes of traffic, causing deadly multi-vehicle pileups.

What Are the Causes of Truck Jackknife Accidents?

Weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and ice, can contribute to truck jackknife accidents. More often, this type of crash is caused by driver error or negligence, including:

  • Traveling too fast for conditions: Too much speed for road and traffic conditions makes it more difficult for a driver to slow down, stop, or control a semi tractor-trailer.
  • Improper braking: When a truck driver brakes incorrectly, it can cause the front wheels to lock while the rear wheels continue moving, throwing the rig into a jackknife.
  • Distracted driving: Driver distraction is a major contributing factor to all types of motor vehicle crashes, including large commercial truck accidents.
  • Poor vehicle maintenance: Equipment failure due to improper maintenance can cause a jackknife wreck.
  • Improperly loaded cargo: Weight distribution of the cargo can have a significant impact on the stability of the load and the driver’s control of the vehicle.

How Is Liability Determined in a Truck Jackknife Collision?

Determining liability can be complicated when a large commercial truck jackknifes. There may be multiple potentially liable parties, including:

  • Truck driver: If driver error caused the crash, the truck driver will bear some responsibility for resulting injuries. Truck drivers may be held responsible for accidents when they violate traffic laws, fail to comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours of service regulations, drive impaired by alcohol or drugs, or otherwise exercise negligent driving behavior.
  • Trucking company: As employers, trucking companies may set unreasonable expectations for their drivers in terms of delivery time. They may fail to properly screen their drivers, fail to perform routine drug and alcohol screenings, or fail to properly maintain their vehicles.
  • Cargo loading company: Improperly loaded or overloaded cargo can cause weight imbalance or instability that can lead to jackknife truck accidents.
  • Parts manufacturer: Defective truck parts can cause equipment failure, and that can lead to all types of truck accidents, including jackknifing.
  • Truck maintenance company: If the trucking company contracts out its vehicle maintenance, a maintenance company may be responsible if it failed to properly maintain the semi tractor-trailer or to replace worn truck tires.

What Types of Injuries Are Commonly Sustained in Jackknife Accidents?

The sheer size and weight of large commercial trucks can make collisions deadly for passenger vehicle occupants. Truck jackknife collisions can potentially cause severe, catastrophic, or fatal injuries, including:

Why Do You Need to Speak with an Attorney First?

If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck jackknife accident, it is important to consult with an experienced Santa Barbara personal injury lawyer before speaking with insurance agents. Insurance companies are in business for profit. They have teams of lawyers dedicated to fighting claims and minimizing their payouts. In truck accidents, passenger vehicle occupants are more likely to suffer serious, life-changing injuries that require extensive medical treatment and time away from work.

At NordstrandBlack PC, we have the resources and experience fighting large insurance companies to win at trial. Our Santa Barbara truck accident attorneys have more than 75 years of combined experience. We have been fighting for and winning maximum compensation for seriously injured clients since 1989. Call us at (805) 962-2022 to schedule a free consultation.