What You Need to Know About Virginia Jackknife Truck Accidents

During a jackknife accident, the driver of the truck has no control over the trailer as it slides across the roadway. The potential for injuries is high if a loaded trailer jackknifes and crashes into other vehicles. 

If you or a family member were injured in a collision with a jackknifed truck, a Hampton truck accident lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you secure full compensation for your damages. Call today to schedule your free consultation.  

What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?

What You Need to Know About Virginia Jackknife Truck Accidents

In a standard passenger vehicle, the entire vehicle skids when the brakes lock up or it slides across a slick roadway. In many cases, the driver might be able to safely recover control of the vehicle and come out of the skid unharmed.

When this scenario takes place with an oversized truck hauling a trailer, like a tanker truck or an 18-wheeler, the cab and the trailer skid independently of one another. This means that the truck driver has no control over the trailer while it pushes the cab from behind until the cab is facing backward. This 90-degree angle is known as the jackknife position. The sliding trailer can crash into other vehicles, pedestrians, or property, resulting in significant damage. In some instances, a jackknife accident directly precedes a rollover.

How Do Jackknife Accidents Happen?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the most common factors in a Virginia jackknife truck accident are:  

  • Speed, especially 55 miles per hour or more
  • Inclement weather conditions
  • Curvy roadways 

The NHTSA also states that, although the odds of a jackknife accident are inversely proportional to a truck’s weight, they are directly proportional to its length. These findings underscore the need for properly weighted and balanced payloads. 

Even though bad weather, speed, truck length, and curvy roads, all raise the chances of a jackknife truck accident, the leading cause is bad braking. When a truck operator applies the brakes abruptly or erroneously, it could cause the brakes to lock up and the truck to skid. Likewise, if the cab or trailer is poorly serviced or maintained, then an incorrect brake adjustment or brake failure can cause the truck to jackknife.

How Can a Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?

Improper braking, defective or faulty parts and incorrectly secured loads can all contribute to a jackknife accident. Each of these factors is preventable with appropriate driver behavior, routine vehicle maintenance, regular inspections, and proper truck loading procedures.

In addition to catastrophic and fatal injuries, and emotional trauma, a jackknife truck accident can also result in serious property damage. Injured victims and grieving family members typically have an uphill battle ahead of them. Receiving the maximum amount of financial compensation for their damages is often the first step on their path to physical and emotional recovery.  

If you were injured in a jackknife truck accident in the Hampton area, it is important to speak with a truck accident lawyer as quickly as possible. Our attorneys will help you identify all potential sources of insurance coverage and liability and prove causation to help you secure full and fair compensation for your hospital bills, lost earnings, and more.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With a Virginia Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer 

Being injured in any type of Virginia truck accident is scary. Having reliable legal representation can ensure that you have access to the advice and resources you need. The Virginia truck accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp are committed to helping our clients reach a successful resolution to their truck accident cases.  

We take a proactive, hands-on approach to help you obtain compensation. We know how to effectively investigate truck accidents, identify the negligent party, and pursue maximum compensation for our clients. If you were injured in a jackknife truck accident, contact our Hampton legal team now by calling (833) 997-1774 or through our online form. 

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