Jackknife accidents are truck crashes that occur when the trailer portion of an 18-wheeler skids and rotates towards the cab of the truck. The loss of control that a driver experiences during a jackknife accident puts motorists, passengers, and pedestrians in the vicinity in deep peril, and it is common for such events to result in a serious injury or loss of life. If you or a family member has been involved in a jackknife accident in Pembroke Pines or the surrounding cities, the experienced Pembroke Pines truck accident attorneys at Cohn & Smith can help you get started on the road to financial, emotional, and physical recovery by working to hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries or your loved one’s wrongful death.
Jackknife truck accidents can happen in several ways. For instance, a trucker may slam on his brakes in a sudden and unexpected manner. Issues with the brakes, such as improper adjustment, can also cause or contribute to jackknife collisions, as can improper design of the truck axle locks. Driver error is also a leading cause of jackknife accidents. This includes exceeding the posted speed limit, traveling too fast for the weather, road, or traffic conditions, swerving while braking, and failing to secure the cargo or make sure the trailer is properly loaded so that balance issues do not arise.Proving the Negligence of a Commercial Driver or Trucking Company
The simple fact that a jackknife accident occurred suggests that something went wrong. However, a party seeking to recover damages against a trucker or trucking company must be able to make out a four-step case of negligence in order to be successful in court or negotiate a favorable settlement:
- Step one of a negligence action is proving that the defendant owed a legal duty of care to the victim.
- Step two involves showing that the defendant breached the duty of care.
- The third step of proving negligence is showing that there was a link between the breach and the truck accident.
- The last element of negligence consists of identifying the damages that resulted.
Jackknife accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord damage, brain trauma, fractures, and even death. Victims of such accidents may have massive medical bills, lose time from work, or even lose the ability to work at all. In addition to payment of past and future medical expenses, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, and property damage, compensation for pain and suffering may be available to people involved in jackknife accidents. Families of the victims may be able to recover funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium, lost net earnings to the deceased’s estate, and other related damages. Sometimes a trucker or trucking company will seek to assign part of the fault in the accident to the victim or another motorist. Under Florida’s comparative negligence law, a party is only legally responsible for the portion of fault that he or she contributed to an accident. Therefore, if the trucker shows that the victim was partially to blame for the crash, the damages award would be reduced only in proportion to the victim’s degree of fault.Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case with a Pembroke Pines Attorney
A person who has been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle in the Pembroke Pines area or elsewhere should speak to a motor vehicle collision lawyer as soon as possible. At Cohn & Smith, we are ready to investigate the details of your situation and explore your options. Our attorneys also represent injured individuals in Hollywood, Davie, and communities throughout North Dade County. Call us at (954)431-8100 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.