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    Ponchatoula Jackknife Truck Accidents

    When an 18-wheeler jackknifes on a busy highway, injuring or killing other motorists, both the truck driver and their employer may be held liable, depending on the source of the accident. The trucker may not have properly accounted for weather or braked incorrectly, or equipment may have failed in a way that was out of the trucker’s control.

    If you are a motorist injured in a jackknife truck accident, an experienced Ponchatoula lawyer can take on your case. A qualified legal professional can negotiate with insurance carriers, file a lawsuit on your behalf, and ensure that you achieve some justice for the pain you have suffered because of someone else’s negligence.

    Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents

    Jackknife truck accidents can occur for several reasons, but generally result in the rig’s front-drive wheels locking up after losing their grip on the highway. The trucker will hit the brakes, which stops the powered cab but not the trailer, which swings to the side as it moves forward in a skid, resembling the blade and handle of a jackknife. A jackknife truck accident can worsen if the driver is traveling at high speed, such as on the turnpike, often resulting in the rig tipping on its side in a rollover accident.

    All vehicles on the road must adjust speed for wet, slippery, and foggy weather conditions, as bad weather can increase the chances of a crash. Some other common causes of jackknife truck accidents are:

    • Sudden braking to avoid an accident
    • Truck crash
    • Equipment failure
    • Wrong braking maneuver

    Truckers must select one of three braking maneuvers depending on the circumstances. Choosing the wrong maneuver might mean a driver was negligent. A Ponchatoula attorney can assess the particulars of a jackknife truck accident to help determine liability.

    Braking Maneuvers Trucker Can Use

    Most motorists think to slam on the brakes if they hit a slippery patch or if they are trying to avoid hitting something in the road. Truck drivers are taught three techniques for braking, depending on their situation. They can lock the trailer axles but will not be able to pilot the truck’s direction. They can lock the steering axle brakes, which will keep the truck moving forward and slowly bring it to a stop, or they can lock the drive axles, although this is the most likely maneuver to cause a jackknife.

    A Ponchatoula lawyer can examine the details of the case to determine if the trucker should have locked the axle brakes but instead locked the drive axles, causing a jackknife truck accident.

    Statute of Limitations

    The prescriptive period in Louisiana, usually known as the statute of limitations, sets a deadline for the plaintiff to bring a civil lawsuit after a jackknife truck wreck. Under Louisiana Civil Code Article 3492, a personal injury lawsuit generally must be filed within one year of the incident.

    How Negligence Applies in Jackknife Truck Accident Cases

    The truck driver is the obvious defendant in these cases, but they may not be the only one if a plaintiff files a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence after a jackknife truck wreck. The driver’s employer could be vicariously liable if the truck was not properly maintained and malfunctioned, causing an accident with injuries to others. About 20 percent of trucks subject to safety inspections on major highways fail inspection because they are defective.

    Motorists injured in jackknife truck accidents should contact a Ponchatoula lawyer as soon as possible after a crash to help determine who is at fault and how much compensation is needed for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

    A Ponchatoula Attorney Can Fight for Your Rights After Your Jackknife Truck Accident

    If you have been injured after an accident in which a truck jackknifed, you may need legal help to get fair and just compensation for your suffering.

    A Ponchatoula lawyer understands the devastation a jackknife truck accident can cause, and can help you achieve compensation to offset your mounting medical bills and lost wages. Call our office to speak with a knowledgeable attorney today.