Mississippi Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer

Injured in a Jackknife Truck Accident in Mississippi?

Finding the right legal representation after a jackknife truck accident is essential. This is where a Jackknife Truck Accident Attorney from Giddens Law Firm can help. With experience and specialization in truck accidents, we stand up for our clients’ rights, hold liable parties responsible, and fight to obtain the maximum compensation they are entitled to.

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a jackknifing truck crash, call a Mississippi truck accident lawyer at Giddens Law today for a free consultation. 

What Is Jackknifing?

Jackknifing is a term used to describe the danger that emerges when a wheeled vehicle, particularly a semi-truck, that is towing a semi-trailer loses control, and its trailer swings outwards into a “V”- formation where it lines up with the towing vehicle through a joint mechanism, similar to the folding action of a pocket knife. This condition comes about when the semi-trailer pivot moves ahead of the wheels, causing reduced friction and stability. It combines the worst of variables, such as velocity, braking, steering, and other factors, which may result in a tractor-trailer becoming unbalanced and possibly causing damage. Any commercial vehicle can jackknife, but those that have a ‘trailer’ and a ‘tractor’ are the only two types that can jackknife in two ways:

  • Trailer jackknife: When a trailer moves out of the towing vehicle’s alignment, the tractor proceeds to fold forward until the vehicle is bent into a 90-degree angle. Trailers are objects pulled by another vehicle.
  • Tractor jackknife: When the tractor-trailer swings out of alignment from the trailer’s positioning. A tractor pulls loads or trailers and is often regarded as a tractor-trailer.

What Causes a Jackknife Accident?

The most important factor to remember is that jackknifing is always due to sudden manipulation, excessive speed, or wet and slippery roads, leading to loss of control. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA), there were 5,700 large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2021,

  • Singles (semi-truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer) made up 54 percent of the large trucks involved in 2021’s fatal crashes./li>
  • Doubles (semi-tractors pulling two trailers) amounting to 2 percent of the large semi-trucks involved in 2021’s fatal crashes.
  • Triples (tractors pulling three trailers) accounted for 0.1 percent of all large trucks involved in 2021’s fatal crashes.

Common Causes of Truck Driver Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), crashes involving large trucks killed 5,788 people in 2021, up from 4,975 in 2020.  There are many factors contributing to jackknife incidents, such as road conditions, truck driver errors, mechanical (brake) errors, and other vehicles:

  • Oversteering Can cause the trailer to track out of line with the towing vehicle and sudden steering maneuvers, such as steering out of a skid or swerving to miss an obstruction.
  • Speeding– Especially in turns and on icy or wet road surfaces, can also contribute to losing control and jackknifing.
  • Sudden braking, with heavy loads or on slippery roads, can cause the trailer or rear of the vehicle to slide out of control.
  • Poor road conditions, such as ice, snow, water, or a rough curve in the freeway, can cause the tractor to suddenly slide out of control.
  • Equipment failures– Such as brake failures or blowouts of tires, can cause jackknifes.
  • Improper loading, such as an overweight cargo load or one not balanced across its width, can produce skidding or loss of control.

Types of Truck Accidents

Jackknife Truck Accidents can have a devastating impact on passenger vehicles and road users.  The size and weight of the truck can cause catastrophic damage when it collides with a smaller vehicle, a road obstruction, or when it succumbs to rollover accidents. The injured passengers and pedestrians or cyclists driven over by the truck can suffer serious injuries, severe trauma or death at the crash site. The accidents could also result in widespread traffic disruptions, property damage, and emotional trauma to all those affected.

Common Types of Physical Injuries Sustained from Jackknife Crashes

Jackknife accidents are associated with a wide array of severe injuries that differ based on the nature of the accident:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries: Some of the most common Jackknife accident injuries include traumatic brain injuries. The TBI types range from concussions to severe, and generally lead to cognitive dysfunction, motor impairment, and poor quality of life.
  • Orthopedic, neck injuries, and spinal cord injuries: these catastrophic injuries can be extensive and take the form of fractures, dislocations, and soft tissue injuries, which are accompanied by pain, muscular impairment, and potential paralysis.
  • Internal injuries: The impact, such as internal organ damage, internal bleeding, and rib fractures, may not be visible, and they can lead to fatal complications.
  • Psychological trauma: A jackknife accident can bring on PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The injuries sustained during a semi-truck accident or 18-wheeler accident can be life-threatening to every person involved.

A truck accident victim must seek medical care and counseling to return to normal life. Accident victims and their families may also experience mental anguish after a devastating injury.

Who Is Liable for a Jackknife Accident?

Determining liability in a jackknife accident is similarly complicated and may depend on different factors, including road state, weather conditions, the condition of the vehicle, and the activity of the driver — but it often involves an extensive assessment before ownership can be accurately determined. If a commercial truck gets into a jackknife accident:

  • The driver might be criminally liable if he was speeding, distracted driving, driving erratically and recklessly, failing to observe traffic laws, driving under the influence, or having insufficient time to react to unfavorable road conditions.
  • The trucking company that owns the trucking license may be liable if it did not provide adequate training, forced the drivers to work more than is legally permissible or did not follow the maintenance schedule.
  • Third-party contractors may also bear the liability if they have their contractor to do maintenance or insufficiently serviced the truck on their own. The manufacturer, in this case, is potentially liable if the vehicle’s construction was flawed. However, ordering trucks with the manufacturer’s defects is too rare, even though it should not be excluded.  
  • Other commercial truck drivers may be found liable if their actions contributed in part to the truck’s jackknifing.  

Police and legal experts may be required to determine liability because it involves assessing witness accounts, different vehicle data, road state, etc. Your attorney will be sure to request the police report when gathering evidence.

Fault and Negligence in Mississippi Truck Accidents

In Mississippi, the determination of fault and negligence in trucking accidents is typically based on negligence law. It must be determined whether one party failed to exercise reasonable care, which resulted in harm to another party. Mississippi has an “at-fault” system for determining liability in auto accidents such as truck accidents: 

Mississippi is an at fault state, which means that when one party causes harm to another, the at-fault party’s insurance has to pay for the damages. As a result, the party determined to be at fault for the accident, which can be the truck driver or the trucking company, is required to compensate the other party for the damages. 

Comparative negligence: Mississippi is also a comparative negligence jurisdiction state. Comparative Negligence means that if a plaintiff is partially responsible for their damages, they can still recover, but their payout is reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, a 20% reduction of the plaintiff’s fault results in a 20% reduction of damages. This reduced damages calculation will be used to calculate compensation.

Determining fault and negligence most often also requires an investigation that collects police reports, witness statements, vehicle data, and the opinions of experts.  Talk to our experienced truck accident attorney for a free legal review of your case.

Potential legal claims and damages in a Jackknife Truck Accident 

A jackknife truck accident is complicated.  Some possible legal claims and damages experienced truck accident lawyers will file in a jackknife truck accident are: 

  • Negligence: This type of legal recourse implies that the semi-truck driver, driver’s employer, and other participants in the accident can be sued due to the truck driver’s actions or behavior. These actions may include driving above the speed limit or recklessly, inadequate maintenance, improper loading, and more.
  • Personal injury: truck crash victims can sue for medical care expenses accrued during treatment, rehabilitation, lost earnings, emotional and physical trauma, and more.
  • Wrongful death: If a jackknifing truck accident results in fatalities, victims’ kin can sue for the emotional and financial burden related to the death.
  • Property damage: The truck driver’s employer, the driver himself, and the individuals who loaded the truck improperly may also be sued for the property they destroyed.
  • Loss of Consortium: Injured individuals’ partners can also sue for the loss of consortium or the loss of emotional support, tenderness, and love once provided by the wrongdoers.
  • Punitive damages. They are awarded when the defendants’ behavior is seen as particularly flagrant or mismanaged.

Types of jackknife truck claims that can be filed

After a truck accident, victims or their families can pursue several legal claims to compensate for the damages. Some of these claims include:

  • Personal injury claims: These are used to recover the victims’ medical bills, lost wages, and damage to quality of life.
  • Product liability claims: If a truck spare part provokes the crash, the victim may sue the truck manufacturer, retailer, or binding middle person for the defective product design.
  • Wrongful death claims: For instance, if an accident results in the death of one or more parties, the affected parties can still issue claims against the liable parties.

What Compensation Is Available After a Truck Accident?

When it comes to truck wrecks, the victims might be eligible for the following types of compensatory damages to recover their losses:

  • Economic damages are easily counted and include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, repair bills, replacement, lost potential or current salaries, and any other out-of-pocket expenses linked to the accident.
  • Non-economic damages are difficult to quantify and include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment, or even loss of a marriage partner.
  • If the accident ended in the victim’s death, the family representatives have the right to sue the company for funeral expenses and household income loss through wrongful death lawsuits.

Benefits of a Mississippi Jackknife Truck Accident Attorney

A  Mississippi jackknife truck accident lawyer will provide:

  • Legal representation: They cover your case from negotiation to trial.
  • Trucking law expertise: Our truck accident attorneys know Mississippi truck laws and would invest their time and skill in your claim.
  • Meet filing deadlines: They handle important deadlines, including Mississippi’s statute of limitations. 
  • Negotiations with insurance companies: A skilled personal injury attorney can negotiate with the insurance company to ensure fair financial compensation
  • Advocate for fair compensation: They ensure the at-fault parties are held accountable and work tirelessly to ensure you receive fair compensation. 

Trust Your Jackknife Truck Accident Case to Giddens Law  

Our law firm handles a wide variety of personal injury cases, including truck jackknife accidents. Our primary goal is to deliver a customized and efficient legal solution using our extensive combined experience and successful track record. Our team is well-versed in truck accident law and is determined to defend our client’s rights to the utmost.  

Giddens Law Works on a Contingency Fee  

Our contingency fee payment policy allows you to avoid paying legal fees upfront. Instead, our law firm is paid only after we recover compensation on your behalf. Therefore, all clients have fair access to efficient legal services, regardless of their financial status.  

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney at Giddens Law Today! 

Our top priority at Giddens Law is our clients’ well-being and satisfaction. Our personal injury lawyers provide a free assessment of your claim, allowing you to consider available possibilities confidently. Choosing Giddens Law to represent you in your jackknife truck accident claim guarantees you that the job is in capable hands. Our team will put in all the effort to investigate the accident, negotiate with the insurance company to fight for fair compensation, and go to trial if necessary. You can trust us with your jackknife truck accident; we get paid only if we win your case! Contact us today for your free case evaluation. 

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