A truck may jackknife because of road and weather conditions, improper brake application, or faulty brakes. Additional causes can include speeding, recklessness, unsafe turns, and driver distraction or fatigue. A Florida truck accident lawyer can help you identify what caused a truck to jackknife in your accident and help you seek financial compensation.
Due to their size, weight, and height, a truck accident can be inherently dangerous. An accident that causes the truck to jackknife can be even more dangerous since the trailer can swing uncontrollably and cover more road surface. This type of accident can damage more than one car in a collision. If you or a loved one was injured, we can help you recover damages.
Common Causes of Truck Jackknifing
A commercial truck may jackknife because of:
- Slippery roads
- Driver error
- Poor commercial vehicle maintenance
- Poor road conditions
- A high rate of speed
- Poor cargo loading, causing the truck trailer to sway
- Truck cab detaching from the trailer
- Road traction loss
- Inclement weather
If you suffered truck accident-related injuries because of any of these causes, you may be entitled to a fair settlement.
How to Prove Negligence Caused a Truck to Jackknife in an Accident
To prove a jackknife truck accident was caused by negligence, your lawyer will satisfy the four elements of negligence, including:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Identifying the negligence that led to the jackknifing accident can help you determine who to sue in a truck accident. Potentially liable parties can include the truck driver if they are an owner/operator, the truck’s manufacturer, and the truck’s repair or maintenance facility.
Evidence a Truck Accident Lawyer Will Collect to Establish Negligence
Because a jackknife accident can have multiple causes, hiring a lawyer to investigate your case can help you get to the bottom of its cause. Your legal team will build a compelling evidence collection that includes:
- Truck accident report, with descriptions of the accident scene and police-generated photos and narrative
- Statements from lay witnesses and accident reconstruction expert witnesses
- Smartphone, dashcam, and traffic camera images and video footage
- Medical records describing your injuries and their cause
Your case file will also contain evidence of the accident’s cost, including medical bills, vehicle repair estimates, and employment and salary history records. The weight of your case file and its indication of fault can also steer your case toward a settlement.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages You Can Seek After a Jackknife Accident
After a truck accident, you can recover two types of damages. Your recoverable economic damages include expenses that have or will come out of your pocket, including:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Past, present, and future lost income
- Repair or replacement of your vehicle
You can also request compensation for non-economic, or intangible, damages, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
A truck accident attorney will help you recover these damages if you were the driver or passenger in the car. They will also represent injured bicyclists or pedestrians. Most will represent you on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you will pay nothing upfront.
Wrongful Death Damages When a Jackknife Accident Causes a Fatality
If a family member was fatally injured in a jackknife accident, your personal injury attorney can help you recover a range of wrongful death damages, which can include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of services and support
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium and society
- Loss of guidance and advice
Your legal team will explain what you need to know about wrongful death lawsuits, including filing deadlines, who can file on behalf of your family, and which family members can recover damages.
A Jackknife Accident Lawyer Can Help You Interpret the Statute of Limitations
In general, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your personal injury lawsuit, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11. This represents a recent change in the statute of limitations, which can make compliance difficult on your own.
Similarly, you have two years from the date of a loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Certain circumstances of your accident can extend or toll the filing deadline, according to Florida Statutes § 95.051.
Compliance, though complicated, is mandatory. One way to accurately interpret the statute of limitations and understand its application to your case is to let a lawyer handle it for you. The sooner you start working with a local law firm, the more time they have to investigate the accident. Early intervention also means they can inspect and preserve evidence and speak to witnesses while their recollections are fresh.
Your Lawyer Can Negotiate With the Trucking Company and Their Insurer
While you focus on recovering from your injuries, your lawyer can focus on preparing your case and negotiating a settlement. They will:
- Assess your damages
- Build your evidence file
- Draft a demand letter
- Weigh incoming offers
- Submit counteroffers
Your lawyer will not usurp your right to make the final choice to accept or reject a settlement offer. Instead, they will guide you toward a well-informed settlement decision that allows you to start putting your life back together.
Additional Benefits of Working With a Truck Accident Lawyer in Your Area
A primary benefit of hiring a lawyer to represent you is the message it sends to the at-fault party and their insurer of how seriously you are about recovering damages. Your jackknife accident attorney will:
- Answer your legal questions and concerns
- Assess the potential value of your case
- Clarify your rights and the at-fault party’s responsibilities
- Complete and submit insurance claim forms
- Document the negligence that caused the accident
- Identify the at-fault party or parties
- Provide ongoing updates on the progress of your case
- Speak with interested parties on your behalf
A lawyer can also represent you in court if a settlement agreement cannot be reached. This rarely happens as most truck accident cases are resolved with an insurance settlement.
Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm for Your Free Case Review
If you or someone you love was injured in a jackknife accident, or a loved one was fatally injured, our law firm can help you pursue the at-fault party for compensation. We will identify what caused the truck to jackknife and deal with the insurance company for you.
Get started by contacting one of our consultation team members at Ged Lawyers today. We offer free initial consultations and will advocate for you throughout your entire truck accident case.