Denver Jackknife Accident Attorneys
Jackknife accidents are often caused by negligent and reckless truck drivers, leading to serious, catastrophic, or fatal injuries. When a car or SUV collides with a jackknifing truck, the collision usually destroys the vehicle and maims or kills the driver and passengers in the passenger vehicle. Due to the size and weight of semi-trucks, the crash may impact multiple vehicles, with several innocent people sustaining serious or fatal injuries.
Ensuring your right to full compensation is protected by an experienced trial lawyer is essential. Your attorney will manage every aspect of your claim or lawsuit, allowing you and your family to focus on your health and recovery. Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. always puts our clients first. We have years of experience that we know how to put to good use. Contact us to see if we're the right fit for you.
A jackknife accident happens when the trailer of a big rig folds to the side, creating a right angle with the cab of the truck. At this position, the truck skids out of control, potentially colliding with other vehicles. With the massive weight differences between trucks and other vehicles, the injuries sustained in a jackknife are often serious or fatal, and can include:
- Severe soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
The fundamental cause of a truck jackknife is the loss of traction by either the truck or the trailer, which causes the inability to control the vehicle due to the weight of the trailer swinging to the side. The wide movement of a commercial truck's trailer will continue its forward momentum until it collides with another vehicle, obstacle in its path, or stops on its own. Jackknifed trucks are also more likely to tip or roll over in the road, which can cause a multi-car pile-up. This loss of traction may happen because of:
- Trailer brakes lock up due to sudden or unsafe braking
- Unbalanced or overweight trailers
- The force of a collision
- Traveling too fast for weather conditions
- Defective truck parts or systems
- Improper maintenance
- Untrained drivers
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Distracted or drowsy driving
These crashes are frequently the result of negligent driving conduct. An experienced truck collision attorney can perform a comprehensive investigation to identify the cause of the collision and hold the responsible parties accountable.
There are four essential elements necessary for a plaintiff to establish liability of a truck driver or trucking company's negligence. They are:
- Duty: It is the trucking company's duty to train drivers to meet the requirements in skill and experience and gain the necessary certifications. The driver has the duty to operate a commercial truck safely.
- Breach of Duty: The court will determine if the driver or company breached their duty by doing or failing to do something that a reasonably prudent driver would do under similar circumstances.
- Causation: The plaintiff must provide sufficient evidence that the driver or trucking company's negligence is a cause of the injury or death.
- Damages: This enables the court to monetarily compensate the plaintiff for medical bills and repair or replacement of damaged property, along with personal losses such as pain and suffering.
It is easy for a layman to get lost in the intricacies of legal liability. That is why it is crucial to hire a Denver-based personal injury attorney to headline your truck accident claim.
Determining liability is the crux of a personal injury claim, and the job of an attorney is to present evidence establishing liability. In jackknife accidents, we commonly find one of the following to be at fault:
- The truck driver: In many cases, the driver is at fault due to reckless behavior, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, driving over the federally-mandated hours of service, or other violations.
- The trucking company: Trucking companies are responsible for hiring qualified, trained, safe drivers. When a trucking company knowingly employs a driver who has a history of unsafe vehicle operation, fails to ensure the driver is sufficiently trained or pressures a driver to deliver a load on time when road conditions or hours of service make it unsafe, or any other act of negligence, the trucking firm may be held liable.
- The maintenance crew: While a trucking company is usually responsible for maintaining their vehicles, the maintenance could be outsourced to a third party. In either case, the party responsible for truck maintenance can be held liable in the case of brake failure or any other mechanical failure that causes the crash.
- Another driver: If another driver is at fault in a jackknife collision, they can be held liable.
Trucking companies are legally obligated to maintain sizable insurance policies to protect victims of such collisions, but insurance companies engage in several strategies to reduce the value of legitimate injury claims. Your attorney will gather and preserve all relevant evidence, prepare your claim or lawsuit, negotiate the terms of a settlement, or take your case to civil court to seek full compensation.
The complexities of investigating a jackknife truck accident can be overwhelming. Extensive injuries and loss of life will require a full review of the Driver's Qualification File, or DQF, which contains the driving record and driving test results, licensing, service hours, and annual assessments and reviews.
Commercial trucks are equipped with black boxes that store each truck's data on speed and stopping and can provide pertinent information on how a jackknife occurred. The full investigation into the case could involve federal investigators and reports from local and state police. There are many moving parts in an accident investigation that should be handled with professional precision to ensure the best outcome for your claim.
If you've suffered the death of a loved one from a jackknifing collision, or you have been injured yourself, the last thing you need to worry about is meeting filing deadlines or trying to understand the value of your claim. Our trial lawyers vigorously protect the rights of people injured in jackknife collision cases.
At Leventhal Puga Braley P.C., we pride ourselves on being some of the top trial attorneys serving in Colorado and nationwide. We maintain the record for two of the highest settlements achieved for victims in the state and have a powerful reputation for success in personal injury law. Insurance companies think twice before attempting to bully our clients. Our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, with no legal fees unless we win your case through settlement or trial, and our initial consultations are at no cost. Contact us today at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free at (877) 433-3906.