Every big rig on the road in California is an essential part of our economy – but when big rig accidents happen they can bring death and destruction. In 2015 there were nearly 4,000 fatal accidents involving big rigs and a total of 317,000 truck accidents.
In some of these accidents, it is easy to assess blame. Others are more difficult. For example, who is at fault when a jackknife accident occurs? Keep reading to get the facts and if you have been involved in this or another type of truck accident call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
The Definition of a Jackknife Accident
First, let us cover what we mean by a jackknife accident. It involves a truck driving trying to stop too suddenly, which causes their brakes to lock up. They may be trying to avoid debris that came out of nowhere, to get away from an obstacle or another vehicle, or they may have been following the car in front of them too closely. When the brakes lock up, the truck sides and part of it turns to form an L-shape – which is similar to what a jackknife looks like when open.
There Are Many Potential Causes for Jackknife Accidents
In some cases, jackknife accidents are caused by truck driver error or truck driver inattention and the truck is too quickly stopped given its weight and the speed at which it was traveling. In other cases, the cause can be a vehicle pulling in front of a truck or changing lanes without notice, which requires the truck driver to lock their brakes. Wet roads and other weather hazards can also cause jackknife skids.
It may be that there was debris on the road and the driver was attempting to miss it. It could be that the truck was not maintained well or that the brakes were not working. In the latter cases, it could be that the trucking company is ultimately responsible financially for the accident.
Determining Fault in a Jackknife Accident
It is true that it can be complex to determine fault in a jackknife accident involving a big rig. It may be that the driver was inattentive, but if that was caused by the company schedule that required them to drive for longer than the legal limits, then the company may share some blame.
In the event that another vehicle caused the big rig driver to have to stop and they skidded into a jackknife, then said driver may be at fault. If obstacles or debris caused the accident then the city could be at fault for inadequate road maintenance of whoever is responsible for the debris may be at fault.
The good news is that you do not have to determine fault – that’s what The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker is here for. If you have been involved in an accident and believe you are owed compensation from the at-fault party, call us at 800-333-0000 for a free consultation.