Jackknife truck accidents are some of the most serious and fatal large truck crashes that occur throughout the country. If you or a loved one has been hurt or even killed in tractor-trailer collision, it may be critical to consult an experienced Denver jackknife truck accident lawyer right away. A skilled truck accident attorney can help protect your rights to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Defining Jackknife Truck Accidents
Denver jackknife truck accident lawyers know that the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration defines a jackknife accident as one in which a large truck’s tractor and trailer rotate positions with each other. The jackknife accident specifically gets its name because a jackknifed truck resembles a folding pocketknife, or jackknife, which folds back on or into itself.
Tractor-trailers are responsible for most jackknife accidents because the tractor can turn at an L-shaped right angle or even an acute “V” angle – back towards its trailer. The acute angle position is especially dangerous.
According to the NHTSA, in 2012, there were 32,000 jackknife accidents, 2,287 of which proved fatal. This means that roughly 10 percent of all fatal large truck accidents involve some form of jackknifing.
Common Causes of Tractor Trailer Collisions
Jackknife truck accidents are typically a person or entity’s fault, since there are anti-jackknife devices and anti-lock brakes that can prevent such crashes, and the jackknife accidents that do occur are often the result of driver error. Some common causes of jackknife accidents include but are not limited to:
- Equipment malfunctioning
- Failure to brake or improper braking
- Brake locking and brake failure
- Slamming on the brakes
- Icy, wet or slippery roads
- Poor road or weather conditions
- Inattentive driver
- Distracted, drowsy, or intoxicated drivers
- Intentional jackknifing following brake failure
- Violent winds
- Curvy roads
- Speeding and higher speed limits
- Poorly loaded and unevenly loaded trailers
- Too many trailers attached to the tractor
- Over-steering and overcorrecting
- Improperly adjusted mirrors
Jackknife Accidents in Denver
Jackknife accidents can occur on all types of roadways, but certain conditions make jackknife accidents more likely, and many such conditions, like icy roads and long stretches of highway that invite speeding, are present in Denver.
Some of the roadways known for experiencing jackknife accidents include Highway 70, Vail Pass, and Interstate 25. Victims injured in jackknife accidents on Colorado roadways should immediately reach out to a Denver jackknife truck accident lawyer.
Who is Liable for the Accident?
A number of different parties could possibly bear responsibility for causing a jackknife accident, including but not limited to the:
- Owner of the truck
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Entity responsible for road conditions
- Leasing company
- Truck maintenance company
- Brake or other part manufacturer or designer
Colorado Comparative Negligence Rule
Colorado law is fairly generous to personal injury victims, including those hurt in jackknife accidents. So long as the victim is not more responsible for causing the accident than the other party, they are typically still eligible to seek compensation from the other party, even if their own actions contributed to causing the accident.
No matter the circumstances that led to your jackknife accident injuries, a Denver jackknife truck accident lawyer can help you seek the compensation you need to get back on your feet. You may be eligible for reimbursement for your expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, and other costs.