When a commercial truck “jackknifes,” its trailer folds into its cab, an action similar to closing a folding knife. Jackknife truck accidents in Elgin can have catastrophic consequences and often cause multiple-vehicle pileups with serious injuries.
If you or a loved one were injured in this type of incident, speak with an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. It may be possible to bring a lawsuit against the liable parties, such as the truck driver and their parent company. If so, you could recover significant compensation to cover all your losses associated with the accident.
What Makes a Tractor-Trailer Jackknife?
Semi-trucks are articulated vehicles, meaning that they have movable joints connecting the cab and trailer. This type of maneuverability increases the risk of jackknifing. If the trailer swings perpendicular to oncoming traffic, it can cause extensive damage to other vehicles, drivers, and passengers.
Driver negligence is a common cause of jackknifing accidents, such as the following behaviors:
- Braking incorrectly
- Turning too quickly
- Distracted driving
- Driving with improperly loaded cargo
Poor weather also increases the chances of jackknifing because slick road conditions can interfere with braking.
Determining Liability for Elgin Jackknifing Accidents
After a jackknifing truck accident, liability usually falls on the truck operator and/or the trucking company. The operator might have been speeding, turning too fast, or driving while distracted, all of which could constitute legal negligence. If the trucking company did not properly train its employees or violated work hour laws, the employer could also be held accountable.
Jackknifing could also occur due to mechanical errors that cause brakes or other parts of the commercial truck to fail. In these scenarios, a skilled local attorney could help hold the truck maintenance company or auto part manufacturer liable.
At the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., our local attorneys could work with the insurance adjusters and police officers to establish liability for a jackknife truck wreck. Since these accidents often involve multiple parties, it can be difficult to bring a claim for damages without dedicated legal assistance.
Injuries in Jackknifing Accidents
Motorists and passengers involved in jackknifing truck accidents can sustain severe and potentially life-threatening harm. Common injuries in these types of traffic collisions include:
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and cuts
- Head trauma and brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage and potential paralysis
- Lost limbs
Some jackknifing accidents can even cause fatal injuries, especially for pedestrians and motorcyclists. In these tragic scenarios, our compassionate legal team could help an Elgin family pursue a wrongful death claim. Survivors of jackknife collisions could pursue compensation for their losses through a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault parties.
Damages for Folding Tractor-Trailer Collisions
Personal injury lawsuits from jackknifing accidents typically request damages that pay for emergency and ongoing medical care, missed time from work, and physical therapy. These damages are called economic because they involve specific, calculatable amounts of money.
On the other hand, non-economic damages focus on the mental and emotional impact of the accident and can include compensation for mental anguish, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. The surviving family members of a truck accident victim who passes away from their injuries could request compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Discuss Jackknife Truck Accidents with an Elgin Attorney
Jackknife truck accidents in Elgin can have severe, life-changing repercussions. If you or a loved one were involved in such an incident, reach out to the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. to review your case and learn your legal rights. A successful claim for compensation could make the coming days easier and help you gain a sense of accountability. We are here to help you throughout the legal process, so give us a call today.