Jackknife truck accidents are typically quite serious. Not only can they cause major injury to those directly involved, but they can also take up several lanes of traffic and injure other drivers indirectly.

You could be owed compensation if you have sustained an injury from a Lancaster jackknife truck accident. Consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney could help you determine whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim.

What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?

A jackknife accident occurs when the truck and trailer of an 18-wheeler slide in different directions. The trailer folds in on the truck in the way that a folding knife, or jackknife, would.

This kind of truck accident can be extremely dangerous for the truck driver and the driver and passengers of any other vehicle on the road. In many accidents involving large trucks, the risk is usually higher for the other vehicle occupants than for the trucker.

How Jackknife Accidents Happen

There can be many causes of jackknife truck accidents in Lancaster. These types of accidents can frequently be the result of:

  • Poorly maintained tires
  • Unevenly distributed or overloaded cargo
  • Distracted, impaired, or tired driving
  • Dangerous weather conditions
  • Road obstructions

Because tractor-trailers and other large trucks are large and typically haul extremely heavy loads, they can be difficult to maneuver even in the best conditions. Insufficient driver training or failure to comply with loading, driving, or maintenance regulations can cause the vehicle to lose traction or tip over.

Jackknife Truck Accident Hazards

Jackknife truck accidents pose a threat to anyone traveling on the same road as the truck. They can occur suddenly, and if the trailer slides across multiple lanes of traffic, multiple collisions and pileups can result.

What makes jackknife accidents especially dangerous is that, depending on how close other drivers are and how fast they are going, they will almost inevitably collide with the trailer. It is very likely for another vehicle to crash into the shoulder of the road when trying to avoid the jackknifed truck.

The potential scale of a jackknife accident can make the number of casualties high. It could take authorities and investigators days to fully assess the damage. This means that those injured in jackknife accidents in Lancaster should seek legal representation immediately to begin what could be a lengthy process of building their case.

Preventing Jackknife Truck Accidents

Although they can be sudden, jackknife truck crashes are often avoidable. Most truck drivers receive thorough training on how to drive in various conditions and know the best practices for staying safe on the road, such as keeping a good distance from other vehicles and decelerating slowly. During training, truckers usually learn the load restrictions and the consequences of ignoring these regulations.

Owners and operators of commercial trucks should schedule regular vehicle maintenance sessions. Most truckers are knowledgeable about the technicalities of their vehicles and know how to detect signs of faulty or worn-out parts.

Many commercial trucks come with standard safety features like electronic stability control anti-lock braking systems. These can help to stabilize trucks in inclement weather or other emergencies where heavy braking is needed, or the road is uneven.

Call an Attorney after Experiencing a Jackknife Truck Accident in Lancaster

Those involved in jackknife truck accidents often receive severe injuries like head or spine trauma, broken or fractured bones, amputation, paralysis, or even death. All accident-related injuries should be reported in a Lancaster jackknife accident claim so that an attorney can include them as damages that may deserve compensation.

Whether you are seeking compensation for a loved one who was killed in a Lancaster jackknife truck accident or for your own injuries, a seasoned lawyer from McDonald at Law could be a great ally. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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