When the trailer of a semi-truck moves forward independently of its cab, it creates a 90-degree angle with the tractor. This phenomenon is called “jackknifing,” as it resembles a folding pocket knife. Jackknife truck accidents in Columbus can have major consequences for affected drivers, including severe injuries and vehicular damage.
If you were recently hurt in a jackknife incident, contact a well-practiced lawyer who will advise you on your legal options. You could be entitled to damages that pay for past, current, and future medical expenses, as well as lost income and vehicle repairs. Non-economic losses, including any mental and emotional issues stemming from the traffic crash, could also be included in a potential legal claim.
What Causes Jackknifing for Semi-Trucks?
A tractor-trailer may begin to jackknife due to several reasons, the most common of which is driver error. Contributing factors to these types of accidents include:
- Driver inexperience
- Distracted driving
- Driver intoxication
- Poor brake maintenance
- Hazardous road conditions
- Excess or shifting cargo
- Bald tires
These factors often cause truck operators to lose control of their vehicles, making them unable to stop their trailers from moving forward. For example, if a driver brakes too quickly in response to icy road conditions, they could lose control of their semi and cause it to jackknife. Executing a turn too sharply or quickly can also cause jackknifing, as well as incorrect downshifting. A skilled attorney could investigate a Columbus jackknife truck wreck to analyze the cause and identify any potentially at-fault parties, such as the trucker or vehicle manufacturer.
Dangers of Jackknifing Tractor-Trailers
Smaller vehicle drivers who are impacted by folding tractor-trailers may experience a variety of injuries. These could include:
Due to a trailer’s weight and size, motorists who collide with it directly often experience the worst injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10 percent of vehicle fatalities result from folded tractor-trailers. Additionally, secondary collisions often result from jackknifing trucks in Columbus, as drivers who attempt to avoid the accident scene may crash into other motorists trying to do the same thing.
Recovering Jackknife Truck Damages in Columbus
While an injured victim may consider filing a claim on their own after a jackknife tractor-trailer accident, it is always best to work with a nearby legal professional. At our firm, a diligent lawyer could identify compensation to which you might not realize you are entitled, such as non-economic damages for pain and suffering. Our local attorneys are also skilled at identifying all potentially liable parties in a jackknifing truck crash. This could include the vehicle manufacturer, distributor, trucking company, or mechanics in addition to the individual driver.
It is important to note that there are deadlines for recovering damages after a trucking wreck. According to Title 23, Chapter 2305, Section 2305.1 of the Ohio Revised Code, an injured victim has two years from the date of their accident to file for civil recovery. Failing to bring a claim within the statute of limitations can result in a case dismissal, so it is important to reach out to nearby legal assistance immediately after a jackknifing truck crash.
Consult an Attorney on Jackknife Truck Accidents in Columbus
If you or a family member is suffering after a tractor-trailer collision, get a seasoned attorney’s opinion on your circumstances. The lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy are experienced in claims involving jackknife truck accidents in Columbus, and we are ready to guide you through this difficult experience. Call our law firm today to schedule a consultation about your situation.