Jackknife Accidents in Massachusetts

Legal News GavelJackknifed trucks can cause devastating accidents. If you or someone close to you suffered an injury in a jackknife truck accident, you need to reach out to a skilled Massachusetts truck accident attorney without delay. At Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., we will examine the facts of your case and help you get the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve. We understand how stressful dealing with an accident can be, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost compassion.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a total of 3,986 people died in large truck accidents in 2016. Seventeen percent of these deaths were truck occupants; 66 percent were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, whereas 16 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. Some of these deaths were due to jackknife accidents. A jackknife accident occurs when the two separate parts of the truck, the cab and the trailer, fold in on itself at the point of separation, forming a 90-degree angle “v” shape. In other words, a jackknife wreck happens when the trailer part of the truck swings out to one side, resembling a partially opened blade of a jackknife.

When a trailer begins to jackknife, it creates an extremely dangerous situation for other vehicles on the road. A jackknifing trailer can collide with or sideswipe other vehicles, which can actually cause the entire tractor-trailer unit to roll over. A rollover poses its own risks, such as potential spills of dangerous cargo and the potential for the truck to catch fire. Given the sheer size and weight of the truck, smaller passenger vehicles are at great risk for severe, even deadly, injuries when these accidents take place. Jackknife accidents can happen for a number of reasons including, but not limited to:

  • When a truck driver brakes too hard and too fast causing the truck’s wheels to lock up;
  • Driver inexperience or error;
  • Adverse weather conditions causing slippery roads;
  • Excessive speeding;
  • Curvy roads;
  • Poorly maintained brakes.

If a truck driver’s error, carelessness or misconduct results in a jackknife accident and subsequent injury, that driver may be liable for negligence. Truck drivers have an obligation to drive in a reasonably safe manner, namely how a prudent or sensible person would drive, under the same or similar circumstances. This means taking all traffic, road and weather conditions into account. For instance, if there is poor visibility due to rain and/or fog, the truck driver should drive according to these conditions even if that means driving slightly below the speed limit. In essence, truck drivers should do whatever is necessary to drive in a manner that is safe and would minimize the risk of accident.

In some cases, the truck driver’s employer may also be liable for the truck driver’s negligence under the legal concept of vicariously liability. We will scrutinize your case and identify any and all potentially liable parties.

Jackknife accidents can be very serious, often resulting in long-term injury and even death. If you have been injured in a jackknife accident, you need to speak to a seasoned Massachusetts truck accident attorney who can help you present a strong personal injury case. At Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., with over 25 years of experience, we can effectively help you pursue compensation for the harm that you suffered. Call us today for a free assessment at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online.

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