Modern semi-trucks are designed so that the cab connects to the trailer by a rotating hinge, which gives the truck a larger turning radius at low speeds. However, this innovation is at the expense of making the truck more difficult to control. This is a big reason why it is so important for commercial truck drivers to be specifically trained and highly skilled at operating these massive machines, and particularly for them to know how to avoid causing their truck to “jackknife.” A jackknife occurs when a truck gets into a skid, resulting in the trailer kicking out to the side or ahead of the cab.

Jackknife truck accidents in Clearwater generally happen at high speeds and often cause harm to multiple other drivers at once, sometimes resulting in life-altering injuries. When you are involved in a wreck like this and want to explore your options for seeking compensation, help is available to you from a capable truck accident lawyer at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys with years of experience handling similar cases in the past.

Common Causes of Jackknife Truck Wrecks

Virtually all jackknife truck crashes in Clearwater and across Florida stem from a tractor-trailer losing traction with the road surface while traveling at a high rate of speed. In rare situations, this can result from something completely outside of the truck driver’s control, such as their brakes unexpectedly malfunctioning or a sudden aggressive maneuver by another person.

Most of the time, though, there is at least one specific reckless or careless thing that a trucker was doing before this sort of crash, which directly led to it occurring. The most common source of jackknifing accidents is speeding, especially around sharp turns or while driving in heavy traffic. In the same vein, truck drivers who fail to slow down to account for inclement weather or poor road conditions are also much more likely to end up jackknifing—as are truckers who do not brake properly while going down steeply graded roads.

Truck drivers also need to consider the cargo in the trailer and how the weight affects their driving. Empty trailers and lighter loads can lead to jackknife collisions by losing contact with the road, as additional weight helps keep the trailer aligned and on the ground. Braking can specifically be affected by light and empty trailers, as truck brakes are powerful enough to stop fully loaded trailers, so a driver braking suddenly with a light load can cause the trailer to skid out to the side, causing a jackknife crash.

Drunk and overly fatigued truck drivers are also likely to cause various types of truck accidents, including jackknifes. No matter what led to this sort of incident, though, guidance from experienced legal counsel could be vital to collecting evidence that someone else is to blame and using that information to pursue financial recovery.

What Kinds of Injuries Can Result from Jackknife Truck Accidents?

Any injury you might associate with a car accident can happen in a truck accident but likely with more damage. Trucks are heavier, and when a trailer jackknifes, it can crash into multiple vehicles and even roll over, resulting in more damage to other people and property.

Some injuries typical of jackknife truck accidents include:

These injuries can be immediate or become evident later, so you should always seek medical attention after an accident, even if you initially feel fine. The cargo in a trailer, such as hazardous or flammable materials, can also cause unique injuries.

Truck accident injuries can seriously endanger your health and well-being, both physically and by hurting your ability to work and to take care of yourself. If you suffer from injuries caused by a jackknife semi-truck accident in Clearwater, our attorneys could help you pursue fair compensation.

What Damages Could Be Recoverable?

A comprehensive lawsuit or settlement demand over a jackknife tractor-trailer wreck in Clearwater should incorporate both short-term and long-term effects of the accident, including:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Lost overall enjoyment of life
  • Lost earning capacity or work income
  • Psychological trauma and emotional anguish
  • Medical bills, including expected costs of future rehabilitative and maintenance care
  • Personal property damage and injury-related expenses for things like assistive equipment and home/vehicle modifications

Furthermore, if an injured person can provide “clear and convincing evidence” that a truck driver—or whoever else was responsible for a jackknife crash—engaged in egregiously negligent or intentionally malicious conduct, the court may impose additional “punitive damages” against that defendant.

Contact a Clearwater Attorney for Help After a Jackknife Truck Accident

As three brothers helping others at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, we know all too well how devastating a high-speed truck collision can be not just for the people directly involved, but for their family members and loved ones as well. We also know how uniquely complex truck accident litigation can be and how staunchly trucking companies and their insurance providers tend to fight against lawsuits seeking to hold them accountable for their misconduct.

Put simply, filing suit over a jackknife truck accident in Clearwater is not something you should try to do alone—and fortunately, you do not have to. Call today to discuss your options and learn how our firm could assist you.

Perenich Law injury Attorneys

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