When a tractor-trailer loses its traction, spins forward, and folds at the hitch, a jackknife accident results. Due to the massive size and weight of these trucks, serious injuries unfortunately may occur if another motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist is in the out-of-control vehicle’s pathway. Although there are certain rules and regulations that require drivers to receive sufficient training about how to prevent or safely handle a jackknife accident, many drivers fail to heed these rules. Also, some trucking companies may choose to overlook a lack of training when they need to hire new drivers. Greenville and Spartanburg truck accident attorney Patrick E. Knie has helped many accident victims recover the compensation that they deserve from a negligent driver or trucking company.Proving Liability in Jackknife Accident Cases
Trucking companies may be held vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their employees. This means that if a driver is intoxicated behind the wheel, fails to satisfy applicable safety check requirements, or violates a basic traffic rule, an injured victim may seek compensation from the trucking company as well as the individual driver. Jackknife accidents usually occur due to a driver’s failure to maneuver his or her truck in a safe and effective manner. Sudden braking is one of the most common causes of a jackknife accident, since the tires of the trailer lose traction with the ground, forcing the trailer to put extra force on the tractor. Other common causes include tailgating or speeding, distracted driving, improper driving in inclement weather conditions, poor truck maintenance, and defective tractor or trailer components.
In a personal injury case, a plaintiff must show that the driver failed to operate his or her truck with the same care that a prudent commercial driver would use when faced with a similar situation. This standard includes compliance with any traffic laws and requirements about training, taking appropriate rest breaks, and ensuring that the truck is in good working condition. For trucking companies, there is an additional duty to ensure that drivers receive proper training before they get behind the wheel and that they have clean driving records. After showing that the driver, the trucking company, or both breached the standard of care, the plaintiff must show that this breach was the direct cause of the injuries that he or she sustained. Finally, the plaintiff must provide evidence supporting the damages that he or she has suffered, possibly including medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, repairs to a vehicle, and pain and suffering.Consult a Dedicated Truck Accident Attorney in Greenville or Spartanburg
At the Knie & Shealy Law Offices, we are committed to treating each client with dedicated, personalized, and compassionate legal counsel. Truck accidents are devastating and result in some of the most severe injuries. Representing people throughout Laurens, Greenville, Union, Spartanburg, and Cherokee Counties, Spartanburg and Greenville truck accident lawyer Patrick E. Knie offers a free consultation to help you learn more about the legal options that may be available for your family and you. Call (864) 582-5118 or contact us online to set up an appointment with a motor vehicle collision attorney.