Truck Accident Lawyer
One of the most dangerous and deadly types of vehicle crashes that occur on the roads today is commercial truck accidents. These huge vehicles can cause devastating damage to any other vehicle that is around them in an accident, resulting in catastrophic injuries and death.
One of the most common truck crashes that a truck accident lawyer handles is called a jackknife accident. These accidents get their name because the truck folds in half, with the cab of the truck coming to a stop but the trailer keeps going, moving in front of the cab, folding the truck in half, and looking like a jackknife.
What causes a jackknife crash?
These crashes are usually a result of some type of negligence or recklessness on the part of the truck driver. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Speeding – Although it can take going over the speed limit excessively to lose control of a passenger vehicle, it does not take much at all for a tractor-trailer driver to lose control of the vehicle. Even just a few miles above the posted speed limit, especially if going around a curve, can cause a truck to jackknife.
- Quick stop – A truck driver needs to allow enough time to stop the truck. One reason for this is that when the driver stops or changes direction of the vehicle, the cab may stop, but the trailer can keep moving, traveling at the same speed it was before the driver hit the brakes. If the driver makes a sudden or quick stop, he or she can lose control of the entire vehicle because the trailer keeps going instead of stopping.
- Truck driver error – Operating a truck requires training and experience. It also requires focus on the road at all times. Distracted driving or multi-tasking while driving can result in the driver losing control of his vehicle. Taking corners too wide and overcorrecting are also common causes of jackknife crashes.
- Mechanical failure – One responsibility of the driver is to make sure the vehicle he or she is driving is working correctly and there are no mechanical issues.
Who is liable in a jackknife crash?
When there is a car accident, there is usually one at-fault party. Truck accidents are much more complex because there can be more than one party who is deemed responsible for a crash. The legal doctrines that apply to truck accident liability are:
- Respondeat Superior – Applies when the truck driver is employed by the trucking company. The trucking company is then legally responsible for the losses suffered by the victim.
- Negligent hiring – Trucking companies have a responsibility to hire qualified drivers and to make sure these drivers remain so. Drivers should be fully trained and experienced.
- Negligent supervision – Just as trucking companies have a responsibility to hire only qualified drivers, it is also up to the companies to make sure they stay that way. Drivers who use alcohol and/or drugs, suffer medical conditions, ignore rules regarding the number of hours they are allowed to be on the road, or rack up traffic violations should not be allowed to drive.
- Defective mechanical parts – If the cause of the crash was due to a defective part in the truck, such as brakes or tires, then the manufacturer of the part or vehicle could be held liable for the crash.
Thank you to our friends at Blitz Law Group, LLP for the information about truck accident claims.