Jackknife Truck Accidents in Victorville
Jackknife accidents occur when a truck’s trailer moves at an angle to the cab. The trailer can sideswipe vehicles in adjacent lanes, and the truck might roll over, potentially crushing cars in the way. A jackknifed truck could obstruct several lanes of traffic, potentially leading to a multi-vehicle pile-up.
Jackknife truck accidents in Victorville can cause significant injury and death. People involved in these accidents deserve compensation from those responsible. When you are injured or a family member is killed in a jackknife crash, contact an injury attorney to learn about your legal options.
Why a Truck Might Jackknife
A truck jackknife is a catastrophic malfunction. A freak weather event like a strong wind gust could cause a jackknife, but humans are responsible for most truck incidents.
Someone seeking compensation after an accident must prove another’s negligence led to their losses. A lawyer in Victorville could investigate the circumstances that led to a specific jackknife to determine who is liable for the damages.
A truck might jackknife when it is moving too fast for conditions, speeding, taking a curve too fast, changing lanes abruptly, or trying to make a sudden stop. These situations might occur when an inexperienced, poorly trained, distracted, fatigued, or impaired truck driver is at the wheel.
When the driver is an employee, the transportation company they work for is liable for their actions. When the driver is an independent contractor, the employer might try to evade responsibility for the incident. However, an investigation might reveal the company imposed an unreasonable delivery schedule, did not conduct an adequate check of the driver’s training or experience, or other examples of negligent conduct that could trigger liability.
Trucks are top-heavy, and proper loading is essential. Shifting or unbalanced cargo could cause a jackknife. The company that loaded the cargo could bear full or partial responsibility for a jackknife crash.
Tire blowouts, brake failures, frozen or distorted steering, and other mechanical issues could lead to a jackknife. Subpoenaing the truck’s maintenance records and reviewing manufacturer recalls could reveal whether shoddy maintenance or a manufacturing defect led to a jackknife.
Other Parties’ Actions
Sometimes, a trucker gets into a crash trying to avoid another vehicle. Drivers do not always respect a truck’s right to the road and might travel in the truck’s blind spot, pass too closely, or cut the truck off, forcing the trucker to apply the brakes suddenly. In any such case, the driver of the other vehicle might have responsibility for a jackknife collision.
Sometimes, a local government bears some blame for a jackknife crash. Poor road maintenance or design and inadequate or misleading signage could create conditions that lead a truck to jackknife.
Pursuing a Jackknife Accident Claim
Anyone injured in a jackknife truck accident in Victorville or the family members of anyone in a fatal truck crash should contact a legal professional immediately after the incident. Representatives from trucking companies or their insurers often reach out to those involved in a truck accident with settlement offers soon after a crash. Although they may seem sympathetic or even generous, their goal is to settle the claim for the smallest amount possible.
Insurance companies cannot contact someone with legal representation directly. The attorney handles all communication, ensuring the injured person or family does not inadvertently give up any rights. When an injured person works with a lawyer, the company knows a lawsuit is a viable threat and could be more likely to negotiate in good faith to reach an appropriate settlement.
Timeframes for Legal Action After a Jackknife Crash
According to the California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1, someone seeking damages for injuries suffered in a truck collision has two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. Surviving family members of someone killed in a truck wreck have two years from the date of their loved one’s death.
When the person was under 18 when the crash happened, the two-year clock does not begin until their 18th birthday. A child’s parent or guardian could bring a lawsuit seeking damages for them rather than waiting and risking the erosion of evidence or a responsible party becoming bankrupt or disappearing.
When a unit of government could be liable, the person bringing the action must file a notice of claim within six months of the incident. Engaging legal representation soon after the incident ensures all required notices will be filed timely.
Pursue a Jackknife Accident Claim with a Victorville Attorney
Jackknife truck crashes are almost never actual accidents—they result from another party’s irresponsible or negligent conduct. You can hold that party accountable by pursuing compensation.
Consult our team as soon as possible after a jackknife truck accident in Victorville. Schedule a case review today.