We have all likely heard about jackknifed semi-truck accidents. These not-so-common commercial truck accidents typically occur when a semi-truck drives on slippery pavement and cannot be controlled because the wheels have locked. This causes the truck to continue momentum forward and the trailer attached to it swings to one side. These jackknife accidents are a great danger to other drivers and have the potential to cause catastrophic loss. But they are not always a matter of negligence. Understanding conditions that may cause a semi-truck to jackknife can help injured individuals better understand if they have the right to recover damages.
Commercial truck accidents are quite commonly the subject of personal injury lawsuits because of the tendency for negligence by the operators and their employers. Issues like driver fatigue and inadequate training are unfortunately common in the commercial trucking industry. When these issues are the cause of a semi-truck jackknife accident, there may be grounds to sue for negligence. However, the occurrence of a semi-truck jackknife accident in and of itself is not.
Occasionally, road conditions or unforeseeable and immediate threats may cause a semi-truck to jackknife. Although commercial truck drivers are trained to handle these types of situations, sometimes a jackknife accident is unavoidable. If, for example, there is an automobile accident, a disabled vehicle or a motorist in the path of traffic, and a semi-truck swerves to avoid it, then loses control and jackknifes, the driver may be found to be non-negligent. The same could be said for unforeseeably slippery road conditions.
Not all semi-truck jackknife accidents are a matter of negligence, but many are. For help identifying negligence and recovering damages related to these accidents, injured individuals may wish to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.