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How Can Truck Driver Negligence Cause a Clearwater Jackknife Accident?

Over 100,000 people were injured[1] in accidents involving large trucks during 2012. While semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles play an integral role in our economy, they also pose a significant risk of serious injury to other motorists. Jackknife accidents are among the most dangerous kinds of accident in which semi-truck can be involved, often causing tremendous damage to other vehicles as well as serious bodily injury to vehicle occupants. In many cases, these injuries can leave victims with substantial medical expenses and keep them from working for months or even years. It is extremely important, therefore, for anyone who has been injured in a semi-truck jackknife accident to discuss their situation with an experienced Clearwater truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

What is a jackknife accident and how do they occur?

Jackknife accidents occur when the trailer of a truck swings out from behind the cab of the truck, resembling the action of a folding knife. While some jackknife accidents are unavoidable, there are many ways that truck driver negligence can cause such an accident. Some of the more common include the following:

  • Speeding – If a truck speeds around turns, it can often cause the trailer to jackknife.
  • Sudden braking – If a truck driver applies the brakes too suddenly, it may cause the wheels to lock up. When this occurs, a jackknife accident may result.
  • Ignoring poor weather conditions – Poor weather such as rain, snow, or ice can have an extremely negative impact on road conditions. If a truck driver does not take these conditions into account, his or her vehicle could easily skid, potentially causing a jackknife accident.
  • Failure to properly load and secure cargo – When a truck driver fails to properly load or secure his or her cargo, it can cause balance issues that may increase the likelihood of a jackknife accident.

After a jackknife accident, your attorney will conduct a thorough analysis of the way the accident occurred and uncover any evidence of negligence that may exist. It is important for victims to keep in mind that the Florida tort statute of limitations[2] requires that personal injury claims are required within a certain period of time, so any delay could potentially jeopardize your right to sue.

What kinds of injuries can result from jackknife accidents?

Like all motor vehicle accidents, victims of jackknife accidents can often sustain serious injuries that may lead to long-term medical problems. Some of the most common are detailed below.

  • Spinal cord injuries – spinal cord injuries, or SCIs, involve physical damage to the spinal cord that can result in changes to a person’s sensory, motor, or autonomic function. They can be either complete, meaning that the affected individual loses all function below the site of injury, or partial, where the victim maintains some use and feeling below the site of injury.
  • Traumatic brain injuries – Also referred to as a TBI, a traumatic brain injury occurs when some type of mechanical force to the head results in a disruption in normal brain function. While some TBIs are self-resolving and require little medical intervention, others may require extensive surgery and rehabilitative care. In the most serious cases, victims may be unable to care for themselves or engage in everyday tasks.
  • Bone fractures – Bone fractures occur when sufficient force or pressure causes a break in the continuity of a bone. They can be extremely painful, require extensive surgery to correct, and may result in unsightly scarring or problems with mobility if the bone fails to heal correctly.

These and other injuries that people can sustain in a jackknife accident can leave victims with medical bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and the inability to work. In addition, accident victims may also incur significant property damage to their vehicles and experience tremendous emotional and physical pain and suffering.

Call a Clearwater truck accident attorney today to schedule a free consultation

The experienced personal injury lawyers of the Dolman Law Group are dedicated to helping people who have been injured in truck accidents ensure their financial security through the civil justice system. We take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we do not collect any legal fees unless we secure a settlement or award on behalf of our clients. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at (727) 451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756



[1] http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811868.pdf
[2] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode