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Jack Knife Accidents: What Are the Most Common Causes of a Trailer Jackknife

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Jackknife Truck Accidents


What does ‘jackknife a truck’ mean? Jackknife truck and trailer are very common in the USA.  Jackknife is a common phrase used for the phenomenon when the back trailer of a semi truck and its cab move independently to each other. Because of this phenomenon, jack knife accidents occur. In this article, you will learn what is jackknife truck, what does jackknife mean in truck, and what are the most common causes of a trailer jackknife. Been in a jack knife accident? Learn about the implications of a jackknifed semi truck accident, and get expert advice from Royce Injury Truck Accident Lawyers today!

What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?

When large trucks such as semi trucks or 8-wheelers are on the road, and the trailer of the truck begins to move to one side, it causes turbulence in the whole truck, and the trailer can crash into the vehicles moving in the adjacent lane. This phenomenon is known as jackknifing. Jackknifing is a dangerous phenomenon for all vehicles on the road. Around the world and many cars and other vehicles suffer from jackknifing. Jackknifing resembles a folded pocket knife that is why the phenomenon is named as such. 

What Are the Most Common Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents?

Some of the most common causes of jackknife truck accidents are as follows:

  • Brake failure: It is easy in large trucks to lose control, have a malfunctioning brake, or fail to apply the brake at the right time. This can cause jackknife accidents on the highways, and it is one of the leading causes of jackknife semi truck crashes. 
  • Mechanical malfunction: A jackknifed semi truck can also cause an accident due to internal mechanical malfunctions. 
  • Speeding: Speeding can be catastrophic for a jackknife truck. It can be dangerous for the semi-truck driver but also for the drivers of the other vehicles on the road. 
  • Extreme weather conditions: Extreme weather conditions are another culprit of violent accidents due to jackknife in trucks. 

Who Can Be Liable for a Jackknife Truck Accident?

Determining the liability for a jackknife accident can be challenging. To determine who is going to pay the compensation for the damages incurred in a jackknife accident, it is crucial to analyze all the parties involved i.e. 

  • Trucking company 
  • Truck manufacturer company 
  • Government Agencies responsible for road safety and maintenance 
  • Driver(s) of another vehicle 
  • Insurance company 

Due to the involvement of many parties in a jackknife accident, it is essential to consult a jackknife truck accident lawyer on who is going to pay you the damages. 

Who Can Sue in a Fatal Jackknife Truck Accident Case?

If you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of a semi-truck driver, or you have lost a loved one, you can sue for damages. The first step would be to assess who is responsible for any injuries you or your loved one have suffered. It is essential to report such an accident to the police on time and gather all the relevant information and evidence of the occurrence. You will need it when filing for a personal injury claim. Consulting a personal injury lawyer who specializes in jackknife truck accidents can also have a significant bearing on the outcome of your compensation claim because a personal injury lawyer is in a better position to give you an estimation of how much money you should be claiming and what are your rights after an accident. 

The Deadline for Jackknife Truck Accident Claims

After getting the necessary medical treatment, it is recommended to file an injury claim within 2 weeks of the accident. Delay can significantly affect the outcome of your case. Different states have different time limitations on when you can file an injury claim. Different states have different deadlines for bringing a jackknife truck accident claim. You can claim compensation for your physical injuries, mental agony and torture, financial hardships, loss of wages, temporary apartment and disability financial support, medical expenses and bills, or any other compensation that the code considered appropriate for your well-being.

How to Avoid a Jackknife Accident

Driving on the safe side is the only way to avoid a jackknife accident. Many jackknife accidents happen because of the negligence of drivers and a lack of awareness of road safety rules. Most drivers have not taken up a defensive safety course to avoid jackknife accidents. Drivers must take a defensive safety training course so that they are well-versed in the risks on the road and how to deal with them. It is also important to get yourself completely insured so that in the event of an accident, you are fully covered for compensation. 

Why Should You Contact Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer

Contacting a good jackknife accident lawyer is the first essential step to take when you suffer a jackknife accident. There are many reasons contracting a good Jack Nice accident lawyer is important for your case:

  • Specialty: Jackknife accident lawyers are specialists in their area of law. 
  • Qualification: They have the relevant qualifications to deal with your case effectively and efficiently, ensuring that no unnecessary delays happen in the filing of your case to the court. Not only do they help you with the paperwork, but also can guide you on which kind of evidence you will need to prove your case. In many cases, the victims are unaware or confused about the type of compensation they should be claiming. A jackknife lawyer not only helps you to gather the relevant evidentiary documents but also advises you on how to prioritize your compensation claim so that you start getting the benefits as soon as possible. They also represent you in court.


In a nutshell, identifying and establishing liability is difficult in a jackknife accident without the help of a jackknife accident lawyer. If you have been in a jackknife accident, our lawyers can help you win the damages you have suffered because of the accident. Don’t let insurance companies spoil your case by paying you less when you have better chances at winning in the injury court.

Jason Royce Allen

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