Jackknifed Tractor Trailer Accidents can be Deadly

Truck AccidentTraveling the highway with tractor-trailers can be intimidating. These commercial vehicles weighing up to 80,000 pounds have the potential to inflict catastrophic damage in accidents simply because of their large size and weight.

A jackknifed tractor-trailer is a particularly dangerous accident. In this circumstance, the tractor loses control of the trailer, which swings out to form an "L" or "V" shape. The trailer can skid across multiple lanes of the highway and threaten multiple vehicles in all these lanes.

Common Conditions for a Jackknifed Tractor Trailer

A jackknifed tractor-trailer usually results from losing traction on the road. This dangerous condition can be caused by:

  • Slippery roads and weather conditions. When the truck loses traction on a slippery surface, its weight will shift and both the tractor and the trailer will slide and get into the jackknifed position.
  • High speeds. It's not easy to stop a very heavy truck traveling at more than 55 miles per hour. When the truck driver has to slam on the brakes because of inattention or because another vehicle has abruptly pulled in front of the truck, chances are that the brakes will lock up and the driver will lose control of the truck.
  • Road curves. Entering a steep curve with a long trailer - particularly at a high speed - increases the chance that the end of the trailer will swing away from a straight line, triggering loss of control by the driver and jackknifing the trailer.
  • Equipment failure or inadequate maintenance. Just like your own car, trucks must be properly maintained for safe operation. Any system failure like brakes or hydraulics could force the driver to lose control of his rig. Whether the truck jackknifes, sways or even tips over, it's a dangerous situation for the driver and neighboring vehicles.
Truck Accidents Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries

Whether a truck accident involves jackknifing or another scenario, being in an accident with a tractor trailer can cause devastating and life altering damage through injuries such as burns, fractures, concussion and traumatic brain injuries, internal injuries and damage to the back and spine.

Determining liability in a tractor-trailer accident can be complicated. The driver may have violated traffic laws or have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, the trucking company may be at fault for inadequate training or requiring too many driving hours, or a defective part may have failed.

Consult with an attorney experienced in 18-wheeler accidents to get the compensation you and your family deserve for your injuries.

We Can Help if You Have Been Harmed in a Truck Accident

If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident or by any type of personal injury, please contact the Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. immediately. Our experienced attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Diana Santa Maria and Laura D. Dolin, personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at (954) 434-1077 or contact us via the website.