The trailer portion of a tractor-trailer connects to the cab by way of a rotating hinge, making it easier for the driver to make sharp turns. One of the big tradeoffs with this design, though, is that a truck’s cab and trailer technically have separate momentum from each other, which means they can end up moving in different directions and even at different speeds if the driver loses control of the rig.
When a truck’s trailer skids out to the side or all the way out in front of its cab, it’s called a “jackknife” crash. These collisions can be exceptionally dangerous, even by the usual standards of commercial truck accidents.
If you’ve been hurt in a jackknife truck accident in Webster Groves, contacting a reliable truck crash lawyer should be a top priority after getting necessary medical care. The dedicated attorneys at OnderLaw are here to help you take legal action and pursue the compensation you need to take back your life. Let us help you move forward following a traumatic wreck.
Jackknife truck accidents—whether they happen in Webster Groves or anywhere else in Missouri—are a perfect example of Newton’s First Law of Motion: once something is moving, it won’t stop moving unless some other force acts on it. For both commuter cars and the cabs of commercial trucks, the driver can stop the vehicle’s forward motion by applying the brakes. Even though a semi-truck’s trailer does not have its own brakes, it should still slow down at more or less the same pace as the cab it’s attached to.
However, if a truck driver slams on their brakes suddenly, yanks the wheel to the left or right, or loses traction on the road, their cab may slow down while the trailer keeps going, potentially resulting in a jackknife wreck. In other words, when a truck jackknife, it’s very often the fault of the person driving that truck, and more specifically, due to a reckless or careless act that the driver performed behind the wheel.
In certain situations, other people and entities may hold partial or even primary fault for this type of crash. For instance, a trucking company that hired an inexperienced and unqualified driver or a supplier that loaded a truck in an unsafe way that allowed cargo to shift dangerously during transit. Guidance from our knowledgeable legal professionals at OnderLaw can be vital to identifying who’s to blame for your injuries and making sure they’re held financially accountable for your losses.
Recoverable damages after a jackknife truck crash in Webster Groves can include past and future losses relative to when the claim was filed. For instance, if you suffered an injury that will permanently alter your ability to work and draw income, you can seek restitution for short-term wage loss and long-term loss of earning capacity.
Importantly, though, Missouri Revised Statutes § 516.120 gives most people a maximum of five years after initially getting hurt to file suit over their injury. This can be a deceptively small window of time to build a comprehensive civil claim, and it’s one big reason among many why speaking with legal counsel quickly after a wreck can be critical to protecting your best interests.
Jackknifing trucks can end up colliding with multiple vehicles at a high rate of speed before finally coming to rest. Put simply, this is an intensely and uniquely traumatic accident to go through, and anyone who caused you to get hurt through one should be held accountable for their negligence.
Insurance companies are not on your side after jackknife truck accidents in Webster Groves. However, guidance from the supportive legal professionals at OnderLaw can help tip the odds of a positive case outcome in your favor. Call today to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate lawyers.