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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Who's at Fault in Jackknife Accidents? | Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer

Semi-trailers cause significant damage in collisions since they are larger and heavier than the average car. Truck operators must drive with extra caution when near other vehicles. An error can lead to multiple consequences.

Jackknifing is one kind of accident that trucks can get into. Despite the speed with which they can occur, jackknife truck accidents can have long-lasting consequences. Also, Semi-trailers make wide angle turns when turning. It is important to know who's at fault in wide turn accidents.

A victim can claim compensation from the liable party, but they need to prove negligence. The first step is to find the cause of the crash.

After a truck accident, many people may not know what to do. Fortunately, the best truck accident attorney in Long Island can protect a person's rights to compensation.

What Is Jackknifing?

What Is Jackknifing?

Truck collisions happen in many ways, and one type is a jackknife accident. 18-wheelers consist of a trailer and cab, and jackknifing is when the trailer begins to swing to one side. The huge truck resembles a pocket knife when it is folded as the backside pulls inside toward the cab. As a result, when a truck jackknifes, it causes serious damage to the car in the lane next to it.

Every year, jackknife truck accidents take the lives of hundreds of people, and many of these incidents take place on busy interstate highways. Semi-trailers often travel on interstates and highways to complete their deliveries. As a result, a truck accident is more likely to happen.

Of course, other kinds of roads could result in an 18-wheeler jackknifing. Also, learn who's at fault in rollover accident.

Top Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents

Improper Braking by Truck Drivers

Poor braking by the driver is a common cause of truck jackknifing. Compared to conventional cars, semi-trucks require more training. Large commercial truck drivers need to be aware of when and how to safely apply the brakes with a tractor-trailer.

A truck driver might not know the correct procedure or may negligently operate the vehicle. Nevertheless, if the driver suddenly tries to stop, the momentum may cause the trailer to fold inward toward the cab.


Another risk factor for documented incidents of jackknife truck accidents is speeding. Vehicles or semi-trucks must keep a large stopping distance as they increase their speed. Additionally, compared to cars, trucks with high loads need between 20% and 40% more space. Unsafe road conditions also have an impact on the repercussions of speeding.

If a tractor-trailer exceeds the legal limit, they are more likely to stop quickly to avoid rear-ending another vehicle. Although the front end has slowed down, the trailer is still moving. The truck's momentum could cause it to collide with a close by car.

A Flaw in the Mechanics

An annual proportion of jackknife crashes are related to equipment failure. Any component of the commercial truck is prone to malfunction. The brake system could malfunction, or the battery could have an issue. Tire flaws are to blame for approximately 30% of accidents involving trucks.

A mechanical failure might have a number of causes. In some cases, a truck component was defective when manufacturers installed it.

However, in other instances, poor maintenance and inspections caused a vehicle to jackknife while driving.

Unfavorable Weather Conditions

Any vehicle on the road could be put in danger due to bad weather, but commercial vehicles are extremely vulnerable. The likelihood of a jackknife accident increases threefold in poor weather, according to the NHTSA data.

Jackknife incidents are usually caused by slippery roads, which reduce traction. Poor lighting on roadways also increases bad weather risk, as large truck drivers can’t see or anticipate the coming road conditions.

Who Is Liable for Jackknife Accidents?

After a victim suffers injuries in a jackknife accident, they should contact an experienced truck accident lawyer for their injury claim. To determine whether another person is liable, a truck accident attorney will closely review the facts of the accident and who was involved.

If a party’s negligent action caused injuries, they are responsible for the damages. In many jackknife accidents, the truck driver and/or their employer are at fault.

The Truck Driver

The truck driver was negligent if they did or did not act in the same way as a reasonably sensible person would. Examples of truck driver negligence include ignoring traffic rules or failing to adhere to recognized trucking industry standards.

Driver’s Employer

Essentially, employees are usually legally responsible for the actions of their employees. If a trucker is hired by a trucking company, the employer is responsible for any negligent conduct committed by the driver while on the job.

There is one crucial exception, though: if the truck driver is an independent contractor rather than a paid worker, a plaintiff might not be able to hold the employer liable.

Other Drivers

It's also possible that other drivers contributed to the jackknife accident and severe injuries. Other drivers might have violated the rules of the road, been drowsy or preoccupied, or both. They could have also neglected to maintain their car, or they were using drugs or alcohol when they were driving.


There are times when the cities, counties, or other municipalities in charge of the roads or the signs are negligent and are the cause of a jackknifing truck accident. Sometimes, the person at fault may even be a third party, such as the construction company that the municipality hired to repair the roads.

In order for a victim to be awarded damages in a personal injury case for jackknifing accidents, their negligence claim must be convincing. To prove negligence against any party, a victim needs facts backed up by proof. An expert semi-truck trailer lawyer can find relevant evidence and determine the likelihood of whether an accident claim will succeed or not.

Were You Injured in a Jackknife Truck Accident? Get in Touch with a Qualified Truck Accident Attorney Today

Were You Injured in a Jackknife Truck Accident? Get in Touch with a Qualified Truck Accident Attorney Today

Essentially, an expert attorney is a crucial tool for a plaintiff's personal injury claim if they or someone they love were jackknife truck accident victims. They will gather and analyze any relevant evidence, advise the victims regarding the strength of their truck accident cases, and assess the damages.

Victims can call The Law Office of Carl Maltese today!


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