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Pensacola Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer

Trucks on the road

Few vehicles on the roads of Pensacola can cause as much carnage as an out-of-control, jackknifing semi-truck. These accidents can cause massive damage and catastrophic injuries, leaving truck accident victims with piles of medical bills and injuries that keep them from earning a paycheck or living life to its fullest.

If you were hurt in a jackknife truck accident in Pensacola, our attorneys can pursue your personal injury claim on your behalf, protecting your rights and fighting hard for every cent you’re owed. Our dedicated and compassionate team will handle your truck accident case while you tend to your injuries and rebuild your life. Call us today or complete our contact form for a free case evaluation with a truck accident lawyer in Pensacola.

What Are Jackknife Truck Accidents?

A jackknife accident is a type of accident specific to articulated vehicles. It’s called a jackknife because it resembles the folding of a pocket knife. When the cab towing a trailer suddenly loses traction, the trailer may continue forward on its previous trajectory until it starts to push the cab, eventually spinning toward the cab at an acute angle. The truck essentially folds in on itself, often covering multiple lanes and posing a serious threat to other vehicles.

These accidents typically happen when the truck’s wheels lock up or lose traction. For instance, if a truck driver brakes suddenly and too hard, the wheels can lock. This causes the trailer to skid and swing out to the side. Similarly, slippery roads or sudden maneuvers can also cause the wheels to lose their grip, leading to a jackknife scenario.

Common Causes of Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife accidents are relatively rare but can be devastating when they occur. Worse, many jackknife accidents are preventable and result from negligence by the truck driver or another party. Common causes of Florida jackknife accidents include:

  • Abrupt braking
  • Slippery roads
  • Improperly loaded cargo
  • High speeds
  • Equipment malfunction
  • Sudden lane changes
  • Steep downhill grades

Who Is Liable in a Jackknife Truck Accident?

Multiple parties may share liability for a jackknife crash, and it’s crucial to identify each so you can include them in your claim and maximize your potential compensation. Depending on how a jackknife accident occurred, the liable parties may include:

  • The Truck Driver: The driver’s actions, such as abrupt braking or speeding, often directly contribute to a jackknife incident. Additionally, fatigue, distractions, or impaired driving can make truck drivers liable for a collision.
  • Trucking Companies: If the company overworked the driver, skipped regular vehicle maintenance, or engaged in negligent hiring practices, they might bear some of the blame for a crash.
  • Cargo Loaders: Improperly loaded or secured cargo can destabilize a truck. If this played a role in the accident, those responsible for loading the truck might be liable.
  • Maintenance Providers: If a jackknife accident resulted from a mechanical failure due to poor maintenance, the entity responsible for the truck’s upkeep could be liable.
  • Manufacturers: Faulty parts, like defective brakes or tires, can contribute to jackknifing. In such cases, the manufacturer of the malfunctioning part may be to blame.
  • Other Drivers: Sometimes, the actions of other road users can force a trucker into a situation that results in a jackknife. In these scenarios, those drivers may be held at least partially responsible.

What to Do After a Jackknife Accident

  • The steps you take in the subsequent weeks and months of a jackknife accident can significantly influence your ability to secure fair compensation. Protecting your rights and setting the foundation for a successful personal injury claim requires careful actions. Here’s a roadmap to guide you:
  • Document Everything: Gather and keep all documentation related to the accident. This includes medical bills, prescription receipts, therapy sessions, and other related expenses.
  • Avoid Speaking to Insurance Adjusters: They might approach you to give a statement or accept a settlement. Politely decline and direct them to your attorney.
  • Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer: Engaging an experienced jackknife truck accident attorney can make a significant difference in your case. They’ll protect your interests, advocate for your rights, and pursue your maximum compensation.
  • Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to all medical recommendations and attend follow-up visits. The insurance company can argue that skipping treatments or not following advice means your injuries were not severe or that you made them worse than they initially were.
  • Keep a Journal: Document your recovery process, noting pain levels, emotional distress, and any daily activities or work you cannot perform. This can serve as compelling evidence of the accident’s impact on your life.
  • Stay off Social Media: The insurance or trucking company is likely monitoring your activity for anything they can use against you. For instance, a photo of you out with friends or family might suggest that your injuries aren’t debilitating.

Compensation Available After a Jackknife Accident

We can’t estimate your compensation from a jackknife truck accident case until we investigate your case. However, injured drivers and passengers can demand compensation for a range of losses associated with an accident someone else caused, including:

  • Lost wages
  • Reduced future earnings due to a disability
  • Past and future medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life due to a disability
  • Damaged personal property

Statute of Limitations to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Florida

The deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida used to be four years from the date of injury, but that law changed recently. Under the new law, your statute of limitations is two years to file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, the courts will most likely dismiss your case, costing you your right to compensation.

Contact Our Pensacola Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyers Today

Our jackknife accident attorneys at Cardoso Law, PLLC, have the drive and experience to pursue the maximum compensation available in your truck crash case. Contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to meeting you, hearing your story, and telling you what we can do to help.