Commercial trucks are typically built in such a way that they have two separate parts connected with a large hinge in the middle. When the back section of the truck begins to move in a different direction from the front end of the truck so that it forms a V shape, this is generally called a jackknife. When this occurs, the two parts of an 18-wheeler can sometimes occupy multiple lanes of traffic, which makes auto collisions almost unavoidable, and often catastrophic.

If you have been involved in a jackknife truck accident in Staunton, the knowledge of an experienced attorney in the area could help you feel confident moving forward. A hardworking lawyer could answer any questions you may have about your legal rights to recovery and assist you with obtaining a favorable outcome to your case.

Why Do Semi-Trucks Jackknife?

In instances where a trailer begins to skid, it does not necessarily mean that the truck will jackknife. If the driver steers into the skid, they can potentially correct the problem and the vehicle will go back into alignment as it moves down the road. However, if the driver does not correctly steer into the skid, the trailer may swing all the way around until it collides with the cab and potentially other vehicles on the road.

Although bad weather conditions and traffic pileups can cause truck wrecks in the area, jackknife accidents are often caused by negligence on the part of the truck driver. Commercial trucks are difficult to handle and are more complex to drive than regular automobiles, so truckers have to pay especially close attention to the road and to their driving. If they are negligent in this regard, or if they are not sufficiently trained, accidents are more likely.

Given the long hours that most truck drivers work, a major cause for collisions is fatigued drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. In instances where the truck driver in a Staunton jackknife accident was drowsy, asleep, or otherwise negligent in the operation of the truck, a skilled local attorney could help to collect evidence to prove the driver is liable for the injured individual’s losses.

Proving Liability in Staunton Jackknife Truck Wrecks

Given the severe nature of commercial truck accidents, medical bills can pile up and may not be covered by only the recovery from the truck driver and insurance. Therefore, vicarious liability can help to bridge the gap to full recovery.

With vicarious liability, the injured party may be able to sue not only the truck driver, but also the trucking company under which driver is employed. If the crash occurred while the truck driver was acting within the scope of his or her employment, it may be possible to also sue the employer under the doctrine of vicarious liability. Since multiple elements must be fulfilled in order to pursue vicarious liability in jackknife truck crashes, the experience of a well-practiced attorney in Staunton might be especially helpful in pursuing such claims.

Important Steps After Being Involved in a Jackknife Truck Accident

It can be highly traumatic to be in a collision with a jackknifed commercial truck. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles can lead to severe injuries and long-lasting trauma. If possible, it is helpful to gather as much evidence from the scene of the accident as possible. This would include photographs of the road and vehicles, police reports, contact information of eyewitnesses, and hospital records. If you file a claim, this documentation will be helpful to illustrate the scene of the accident and shed light on the nature of your injuries.

Call a Staunton Attorney to Discuss Jackknife Truck Accidents

Considering that commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, the injuries and damages that result from jackknifing commercial vehicle can be some of the most severe and can cause long-lasting physical issues and financial burdens. If you have been injured in a jackknife truck accident in Staunton, an experienced local lawyer could help you work toward a successful resolution to your case. Call today to schedule a free consultation.