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What Does It Mean for a Truck To Jackknife?

In California, a common type of truck accident is when the truck “jackknifes.” Jackknifing refers to the act of when the trailer of a large semi-truck pushes the front, towing truck itself to the side. It can also occur when the front aspect of the truck is pushed all the way around so that it is facing backward. The result is that the truck creates a shape resembling a pocket knife or a “jackknife.” 

Why Does Jackknifing Happen?

In most instances, jackknifing occurs due to the front vehicle skidding but the rear trailer moving forward at the same speed as before. This causes the trailer to push the front vehicle instead of the front vehicle pushing the trailer as it would in the correct operation. 

The cab where the driver resides is at the whim of the trailer when this occurs. Sometimes, a great amount of force coming from the trailer can cause the cab to swing back and forth, which is known as a trailer “slew” or “swing.” This can be just as dangerous as a jackknifing truck for both semi-truck drivers and other drivers on the road. 

What Can Cause a Truck to Jackknife?

Many different circumstances can lead to the end result of a truck jackknifing. Some situations which can cause this are: 

  • Equipment failure
  • Fatigued semi-truck drivers
  • Poor road conditions, like rain or icy patches
  • Traveling at high, unsafe speeds
  • Improperly braking
  • Inexperienced semi-truck drivers
  • Taking a turn too quickly

Jackknifing trucks often cause serious accidents that endanger the truck driver and other drivers on the road. When jackknifing occurs, the semi-truck spins and is perpendicular to the road, blocking lanes of traffic, sometimes in both directions of traffic. The jackknifed truck might strike another vehicle, or other vehicles may be unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.

What Should I Do if I Am Involved in a Jackknife Truck Accident?

Unfortunately, jackknifing truck accidents can often result in serious or catastrophic injuries to those involved. These accidents are sometimes due to driver negligence, which you can bring a claim for in court within two years of the crash.

The first and most important thing you should do following involvement in an accident of this kind is to ensure that anyone who sustained injuries receives immediate medical attention. Even if you do not see visible injuries, make sure to receive medical attention to confirm that you have not suffered any internal injuries which could result in issues for you later on. When you visit a doctor, ask for documentation of all parts of your visit – these may be extremely important later. 

If you can, you should alert the police of the accident. The police will create an official report containing all the information you need to bring a claim. The information you will need to build your case includes the driver’s contact information, the witnesses’ names, and the details surrounding the resulting collision. Having an official report helps to eliminate the issue of hearsay which may be argued against you if you choose to bring a personal injury claim later on. 

Whom Do I Contact After My Accident?

Contact your own insurance company and notify them of the accident as soon as you are able to. Do not speak with any adjusters before talking to an attorney.

If you have been involved in an accident with a jackknifing truck, contact one of our experienced truck accident attorneys today.

Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA

If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers – Los Angeles Office
4929 Wilshire Blvd Suite 960,
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(855) 599-2987

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