Houston Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer
A jackknife truck accident occurs when the front (or cab) of a big rig folds into the attached trailer in a “V” shape. These types of crashes often happen when a truck driver loses control of the vehicle, especially when there is a sudden change in speed.
Like all truck accidents, jackknife crashes can result in catastrophic injuries to anyone in the vehicle’s path. The trailer can swing wide across multiple lanes of traffic, striking numerous motorists in a matter of seconds. The truck could also wrap around a vehicle in front of it, potentially crushing its occupants. Jackknife accidents can also be perilous for truck drivers, who may run off the road as the vehicle skids out of control.
Have you been hurt or lost a family member due to a jackknife truck accident in Houston? You could be entitled to compensation if someone else is at fault. Seerden Law Firm can help you fight for the money that you are owed.
Call or contact us for a free consultation today.
Common Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents
The most common causes of jackknife accidents include:
- Speeding: Tractor-trailers need more time to stop due to their huge size and weight. If a trucker is driving too fast for the road conditions and needs to brake suddenly, the quick change in momentum could cause the truck to jackknife.
- Bad weather: Slick and slippery roads can cause a truck’s tires to lose traction, increasing the chances of the trailer sliding out to the side.
- Driver error: Operating a truck takes specialized training, including learning how to maneuver around tight turns and brake properly. An unqualified and inexperienced driver could make impulsive decisions in emergency conditions that might work in a standard car, but can lead to disaster in an 18-wheeler.
- Poor maintenance: Trucks must be inspected and repaired by following a regular maintenance schedule. When companies do not ensure that their fleets are performing optimally, they can be held accountable if a jackknife accident injures or kills someone else.
- Improperly loaded trailers: The weight of a truck’s cargo must be measured carefully to ensure that the load is balanced and won’t shift too much during travel. If the cargo is too light, it could throw a truck off balance and cause a truck to jackknife.
- Drowsy driving: Fatigue is a common problem among U.S. truck drivers. Although there are mandatory rest periods intended to reduce the risk of a wreck, these rules are not always followed.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a jackknife truck accident in Texas, a proven attorney with experience in commercial truck accidents can review your case and develop a strategy for obtaining compensation from the liable parties.
Injuries Caused by Jackknife Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, truck accidents often lead to severe and catastrophic injuries. Airbags and crash avoidance systems are not always enough for cars involved in a jackknife collision. Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are in greater danger because they cannot be similarly shielded from harm.
The more serious a victim’s injuries, the more expensive they will be. They are also likely to have long-term consequences. For example, statistics from the Texas Brain Injury Alliance show that transportation-related accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) for people between the ages of 15 and 64. An estimated 314,000 Texans are living with a disability caused by a TBI today, with more than 5,700 of those residents suffering from a permanent disability.
Other examples of injuries resulting from a jackknife truck accident include:
- Spinal cord injury (paralysis)
- Broken bones
- Back or neck injuries
- Facial injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Psychological distress (e.g., post-traumatic stress syndrome)
Without a doubt, truck accident injuries can take a financial and emotional toll on a victim’s life — perhaps permanently. Rather than try to pay for these costs alone, get advice from a jackknife accident lawyer who can help you seek justice and prepare for the future. Talk to Seerden Law Firm today.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Texas Truck Accident Claim?
Texas is a fault state when it comes to truck accidents. That means if you are injured in a jackknife crash, you must prove that someone else is to blame in order to recover compensation. This is called proving negligence.
One or more parties could be held liable for a jackknife accident, including:
- The truck driver
- Trucking companies
- Maintenance companies
- Cargo loaders
- Manufacturers and designers of faulty parts
- State or governments or municipalities
- Other drivers
After your lawyer has identified all potentially liable parties, he or she will launch an investigation to gather evidence of negligence.
Examples of evidence could include:
- Medical records
- Proof of lost income
- The truck driver or other motorists’ own statements of guilt
- Traffic violations identified in the police report
- Photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert opinions from accident reconstruction specialists, vocational professionals, and financial planners
- Physical evidence taken from the crash site, such as bloody clothing or empty beer bottles
- Data from black box recorders
- Truck driver logs
- Employment records
- Proof of regular inspection and repairs
- Receipts and other documentation from the trip
At Seerden Law Firm, you can count on our legal team to conduct a thorough investigation into your truck accident claim. We understand how vital it is to obtain maximum compensation for crash victims. Rest assured that we will leave no stone unturned as we prepare your jackknife truck accident claim.
When to Contact a Lawyer After a Texas Jackknife Truck Accident
It’s wise to consult with an attorney if you’ve been hurt in any type of commercial vehicle accident. The trucking industry is regulated by strict federal and state laws. That means that the path to compensation will be much more complicated than in a traditional car accident claim.
Trucking companies usually have multiple insurance policies and are protected by corporate attorneys who will be fighting for you to receive the lowest settlement possible. You’ll need an aggressive lawyer with the skills and determination to enforce your rights and ensure that you are not unfairly blamed for the crash.
Being assigned a fair portion of fault is critical to your claim. In Texas, you can only receive compensation if you are found to be 51 percent or less responsible for the crash. A single percentage point higher, and you will be barred from receiving any compensation at all. For that reason, it’s a guarantee that insurance adjusters will be pushing as hard as possible to push the blame onto you. Accident victims will benefit from having an attorney on the front lines to fight for them.
In addition, other drivers are often involved in chain-reaction crashes caused by the jackknifed truck. That means your lawyer will need to identify each involved insurance company and negotiate with them as well. You shouldn’t have to deal with this when you are recovering from serious injuries. Let a compassionate truck accident attorney take the lead.
How Can Seerden Law Firm Help Me?
Houston attorney Andrew Seerden is board certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He focuses his law practice exclusively on representing individuals who have been harmed due to another’s recklessness.
At Seerden Law Firm, we know a truck accident causes more than just financial devastation. In Texas, you can also obtain compensation for pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and other non-economic losses. Our legal team makes sure to account for all of your losses in our demand for maximum compensation.
- Meet with you in a free and confidential consultation
- Listen to your story and evaluate the facts
- Discuss all of your legal options
- Explain the personal injury process and what to expect as your case proceeds
- Conduct a detailed investigation of your claim to determine all liable parties
- Gather medical records, accident reports, witness statements and other evidence from the accident scene
- Identify experts who can testify to the severity of your injuries and how they will affect your life
- Handle all negotiations with the insurance company(s) for you
- Communicate with you regularly so that you always know the status of your case
- Discuss the risks and benefits of trial if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached
At the end of the day, our legal team wants you provide you with high-quality legal services that can give you the best possible outcome for your claim. Although no law firm can guarantee you a successful result, Seerden Law Firm can promise you that we will do everything in our power to build a strong claim for compensation and represent you effectively and efficiently.