A truck jackknifes when the trailer of a truck swings in toward the cab, forming an L-shaped configuration. A jackknife truck accident is extremely dangerous for several reasons. A trailer that suddenly swings into other lanes can barrel into any vehicle, imparting significant force and damage. A jackknifing truck is prone to flipping over, creating a crush hazard for any vehicle nearby. And a jackknifing truck can spill dangerous cargo onto the highway.
If you were the victim of a jackknife truck accident, don’t hesitate to contact the Oklahoma City truck accident attorneys at Abel Law Firm. You may face serious injuries, unending medical expenses, missed wages, and tremendous financial pressure. You don’t have to face these challenges alone. We can help you get the full financial reward you need to be made whole again.
Our team has over 130 years of combined experience representing injured victims in Oklahoma City. We know the necessary steps we need to take to ensure our clients receive the maximum financial compensation they deserve.
When you hire Abel Law Firm, we will create the right plan to resolve your case favorably and efficiently. We understand the importance of quality customer service. You can depend on our Oklahoma City jackknife accident lawyers to provide one-on-one attention throughout your case. Call us today at (405) 239-7046 to learn more about how we can help.
Types of Trucks in Oklahoma City
You may pass a commercial truck when driving on the highway or a quiet suburban road. They are responsible for transporting goods, removing waste, and storing toxic substances. They come in all shapes and sizes. The most common you might see in Oklahoma City include:
- Delivery truck
- Dump truck
- Heavy hauler
- Garbage truck
- Box truck
- Tanker truck
Federal Regulations for Commercial Truck Drivers
Employees in the trucking industry must follow specific regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These regulations indicate driver qualifications, the maximum hours they can spend on the road, how to load their cargo, and more.
Some of the requirements for truck drivers include:
- Be at least 18 years old to drive within Oklahoma and at least 21 years old to cross state lines
- Carry a valid commercial driver’s license
- Spend no longer than eleven hours driving after ten hours off-duty
- Pass the required tests and certifications
- Speak, read, and write English at a level possible to communicate with other people, understand traffic signs, and maintain driving logs
- Report all accidents, vehicle damage, injuries, and other issues with the trucking company
- Perform routine maintenance on the vehicle
- Don’t consume drugs or alcohol before or during a driving shift
- Take a minimum 30-minute break after spending eight hours driving
Trucking companies are also required to follow specific regulations, such as:
- Provide ongoing training
- Perform a thorough background check on new drivers
- Implement the proper securement systems for cargo loading
- Supervise the number of hours of driving shifts
- Stay under the limits for weight and length of cargo and vehicles
- Perform inspections, maintenance, and repairs regularly
- Drug and alcohol tests all drivers
How Do Jackknife Accidents Happen?
A truck jackknifes when the front cab and rear trailer swing towards each other. It typically happens after the vehicle skids and the driver loses control. If they cannot operate the truck safely, it can slide into other vehicles or collide with a stationary object.
Jackknifing is extremely dangerous. Due to the weight and size of a commercial vehicle, it can wreak havoc on roadways. When an 80,000-pound truck slides out of control, anyone in its way could suffer severe injuries. Unfortunately, various factors could lead to a devastating crash like this.
The most common causes of jackknife truck accidents include:
- Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions
- Driver error or inattention
- Damaged or defective truck part
- Incorrectly loaded cargo
- Taking a turn too quickly
- Improper braking
- Adverse weather
- Improper lane changes or merging
Even though the driver caused the crash, their employer could be just as responsible for what happened. If the trucking company failed to perform an adequate background check or review the driver’s credentials, they could be liable for the victim’s injuries. At Abel Law Firm, our Oklahoma City jackknife accident lawyers will review the details of your case to determine who was at fault and how to recover compensation from them.
How to Determine Liability After a Jackknife Accident
You could seek compensation from multiple parties after a commercial vehicle crash. It is a complex process, and you might not understand how to do it. Abel Law Firm will take on the responsibility so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Liability could fall on any of the following:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Vehicle parts manufacturer
- Cargo loading company
- Owner of the trailer or cab
- Individual or company that performs repairs and maintenance
Our Oklahoma City jackknife accident lawyers know the evidence we will need to obtain to prove negligence existed on the part of the truck driver or another liable party. We have extensive resources to track down witnesses and locate crucial documentation to build a strong case. We will aggressively fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Damages Available in an Insurance Claim and Lawsuit
Damages refer to the losses suffered after an accident. There are two main types: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are expenses, while non-economic damages are intangible losses.
Whether you choose to file a claim or lawsuit, you could seek the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Disability or disfigurement
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
- Loss of companionship, consortium, or care
It’s important to note that if you share any amount of blame for the crash, the total damages you’re entitled to pursue could decrease. Let’s say you incurred $100,000 in damages. If the truck driver was 100% liable, you could seek the full $100,000 in compensation. However, if you’re found to be 10% at fault for the accident, you would only be allowed to recover a maximum of $90,000.
Even if you believe your actions may have partially contributed to the jackknife truck accident, you should not readily admit it to anyone. Until your accident is fully investigated, you won’t know the factors that played a role in causing your accident.
Contact Abel Law Firm Today
Our Oklahoma City jackknife accident lawyers have represented clients like you since 1976. We know the tactics used by insurance companies and will not back down from a fight. Our attorneys can take your case to court and aggressively argue for the compensation you deserve if necessary. We understand how devastating this experience has been. You can count on us to guide you through the legal process and help you move forward with your life.
If you were the victim of a jackknife truck accident in Oklahoma City, call Abel Law Firm at (405) 239-7046 for a free consultation.