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Virginia jackknife accident attorneys


Helping victims of serious trucking crashes

Jackknife accidents, like all trucking accidents, can be devastating. People often endure pain and suffering for years after a jackknife collision.

Jackknife refers to the trailer of an 18-wheeler swinging to the side, creating an angle with the cab of the truck, which resembles a partially opened jackknife. When this happens, the trailer can hit other vehicles on the road, or even buildings if the truck is in a residential area. Trailers are big and heavy, weighing 80,000 pounds or more. When they are out of control, no one in the vicinity is safe.

The GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys team has worked with many clients involved in trucking accidents, and we have seen the devastation firsthand. No one should have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence. That’s why we fight for our clients to receive the justice and compensation they need. While we can’t change what happened, we can at least make sure our clients live a comfortable life. If you have been the victim of a jackknife accident, contact us today at (804) 413-6777 for a free consultation.

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Jackknife accident causes

While jackknife accidents are not as common as other types of trucking accidents, such as underrides, they can still happen fairly frequently and easily. They usually occur when the driver loses control of the trailer, as the wheels lose contact or friction with the road. This is why the trailer will then swing out to the side. Scenarios that can cause that loss of contact include:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Malfunctioning auto parts
  • Improperly loaded cargo
  • Sharply curved roads
  • Excessive speeding
  • An inexperienced driver
  • Wet or icy roads

No matter the reason for the jackknife, the end results can be devastating. Jackknife accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries, such as brain damage, spine injuries, and broken bones. They can also cause extreme property damage. When filing a claim for a trucking accident, you should always keep in mind what types of compensation you can be awarded if you win your case.

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What you can recover

There are two types of costs you can recover if you file a claim for a trucking accident. The first and more common are economic damages. This refers to things that have financially impacted your life, such as property damage, medical bills, and lost wages. This is usually what people assume they will receive when they file a claim.

However, what many people don’t realize is that it’s possible to receive non-economic damages. These can cover a variety of impacts to your life that aren’t directly monetary. So, you may be able to be compensated for things like emotional trauma, a lower quality of life, and pain and suffering. This means that if an accident did not cost you much financially, but did cause you a lot of pain, you may still be able to be compensated.

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Liability in jackknife accidents

When it comes to jackknife truck accidents, many parties can be at fault. Because truck drivers are working when they’re on the road, rather than just traveling like most other drivers, determining liability can be more complicated. It all depends on the facts and circumstances of your case.

Truck driver: The first person our investigation will look into for liability is the truck driver. The driver may have been distracted, intoxicated, or driving aggressively. He or she also may not have paid attention to poor weather and driven on a slippery road, or may not have examined the rig properly before starting the day’s route.

Trucking company: The trucking company, or whatever company that employs the truck driver, can also be held liable under certain circumstances. Companies operate to make a profit, and that means they may cut corners when it benefits them. It isn’t uncommon for trucking companies to push their drivers to meet deadlines, even if that requires them to miss out on much needed rest or to speed through parts of their route. Businesses are also responsible for hiring responsible drivers. If it’s found that a company knowingly hired a driver with past DUIs, for example, then they can be considered responsible if that driver causes an accident.

Mechanic: Trucks require constant maintenance due to regular wear and tear from overuse. If the person responsible for the maintenance of the truck, whether that be a mechanic working at the trucking company or a third-party, neglects to fix a clear issue with the truck, and that issue is found to be part of the cause for the jackknife accident, that mechanic may be liable for your damages.

Trucking parts manufacturer: When 18-wheelers are built, or their parts are replaced during maintenance, all parts used are expected to work properly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes manufacturers cut corners to make a greater profit. They use cheap or old materials, or don’t bother with proper testing. Whatever the cause, if a part malfunctions because the manufacturer did not make it properly, that manufacturer may be found responsible for the accident.

Road maintenance department: Because the root cause of a jackknife is a loss of control and friction between the tires and the roads, wet and icy roads pose a greater risk. Those in charge of keeping roadways safe, such as the town, city, or county where the road is located, have a responsibility to plow and salt roads after snowstorms or freezing weather, as well as make sure all roads drain properly during rainstorms. Sometimes the department in charge of maintaining proper road safety is responsible for a jackknife accident.

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An empathetic approach to every case

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. When our Virginia truck accident lawyers take on a new client, we work aggressively for them until our mission is complete, and our client is satisfied.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a jackknife accident, reach out to us at (804) 413-6777. We will meet with you for free and go over all of your options with you. You won’t owe us unless we take and win your case.

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Call our Eastern Virginia office today for a free consultation
at (804) 413-6777 or toll free (855) 781-6777.

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Community Service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.
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