While driving on the highways and major roads in Missouri City, you will likely come across large trucks weighing over 80,000 pounds. Some of these tractor-trailers carry hazardous materials such as gasoline, while others transport heavy goods for commercial purposes. Due to their weight and size, truck accidents often result in fatal injuries.
According to vehicle safety data, large commercial trucks are four times most likely to cause an accident than normal semi-trucks. This is owed to their size, weight, goods carried, and most of all, the complex driving skills required to operate them. Sadly, not all truck drivers are prepared to drive 18-wheels trucks safely. For this reason, they are unable to effectively operate the trucks and avoid potential accidents. If you or a loved one has sustained damages in a collision with a semi, you may need the help of a Missouri City jackknife truck accident lawyer.
A jackknife truck accident is not an ordinary crash. This refers to a wreck where the truck driver suddenly applies brakes, causing the trailer to skid and swing at an angle of 90 degrees. The trailer hits one or more cars during this emergency situation. This type of crash is often fatal given the tremendous amount of force that collides with the other vehicles.
If you have been injured in a jackknife accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries and damages. For this to happen, you must file a claim against the insurance company of the trucking company. While you can file the lawsuit on your own, hiring an experienced jackknife truck accident lawyer will increase the likelihood of fair and just compensation.
Several factors result in jackknife truck accidents. While a majority of them are common and similar to causes of other vehicle collisions, the application is different. For example, the magnitude of an accident caused by speeding in a normal car is much less compared to that of a jackknifed tractor-trailer.
Some of these causes include:
Semi-trucks are specifically designed for long-distance movement. They are often involved in the transportation of goods across the border. As a result, drivers are expected to fully cover the distance between their point of departure and their destination within the shortest time possible. Especially for 18-wheelers that transport perishable goods, drivers must complete their trip within specific time periods.
For this reason, the truck driver may be fatigued as he or she tries to beat the deadlines set by their employer. In the process, their reasoning and ability to react quickly to an emergency slows down. Some drivers may fall asleep at the steering wheel only to wake up after hitting something, causing a crash.
While it is strictly prohibited, some truck drivers decide to drink and drive. Despite Department of Transportation regulations, some choose to indulge in alcoholic drinks at designated stopovers that may impair their judgment on the road. Apart from legal intoxicants, some also use hard drugs as stimulants to keep them awake throughout their journey.
Some trucking companies employ incompetent drivers knowingly or unknowingly. A driver who has never operated such long commercial trucks before may not be able to fully maintain road safety while driving. For example, he or she may not know how to make a difficult turns without endangering himself or other motorists. The operations of such 18-wheel trucks require specialized training.
Speeding is regarded as one of the leading causes of car accidents, including jackknife truck accidents in the area. A driver may be driving beyond the speed limit, therefore altering the stability of the truck and the trailer. For example, if a truck driver speeds around a sharp bend in the road, he or she will increase the likelihood of jackknifing the tractor-trailer.
While the braking system is meant to cushion the accidents from taking place, the improper application of the brakes can lead to a collision. If the driver is driving while distracted and suddenly applies brakes after recognizing a danger in the road, the truck may skid and jackknife. Determining liability in such a case often requires the input of an attorney. This will help establish the factors surrounding the sudden braking.
If you’ve been injured in a jackknife truck accident, our attorneys can guide you through the claims process. Our team of experienced lawyers will allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries while your interests are properly represented to the insurance companies. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Missouri City jackknife truck accident lawyer.