All truck accidents are dangerous, but when a truck jackknifes, its trailer swings out at an angle to the cab and could collide with vehicles in adjacent lanes of traffic. In some cases, jackknife crashes cause a truck’s cab to tip over and crush nearby cars. Sadly, severe injuries and death often result.
Legal action against negligent parties could provide compensation for people involved in jackknife truck accidents in Houston. A skilled truck crash attorney at Roberts Markland LLP could explain your rights and help you pursue damages for your losses.
Trucks are difficult to handle, and braking is incredibly challenging. Slowing a fast-moving truck or bringing it to a complete stop requires smooth, steady, repetitive pressure on the brakes. Unfortunately, if the brakes are in poor condition or a trucker panics and applies pressure too forcefully, the brakes could lock, causing the trailer to slide out at an angle to the cab in a jackknife.
Bad weather is often a factor in a jackknife crash. If the road is slick, a truck’s brakes might not work correctly. A truck that skids on a slippery surface could jackknife. In some cases, improper loading leads to cargo shift, and the sudden movement could cause a trailer to jackknife.
An experienced attorney in Houston could interview witnesses, review police reports, analyze video evidence, and subpoena information from the truck’s black box to determine the cause of a jackknife collision.
Unfortunately, truck driver error often leads to jackknife accidents in Houston. The trucking company that employs the motorist may also be liable for a collision a tractor-trailer driver caused while on duty. However, holding a trucking company responsible could be more complex if the trucker was an independent contractor.
Poorly maintained tires or brakes could also contribute to jackknifes. In such cases, the truck’s owner, the business they work for, and the company responsible for its maintenance could have liability for the accident. If a defect in the brakes or tires caused the jackknife, the manufacturers might also be liable. Similarly, the company that stowed the cargo might be responsible if shoddy loading contributed to the incident.
Jackknife accidents often cause catastrophic injuries to occupants of smaller vehicles. A knowledgeable lawyer could identify multiple parties whose negligence might have had a role in a jackknife accident. Seeking damages against several people might increase the chances that an injured person’s settlement will be adequate to compensate for their injuries.
When a serious truck wreck occurs, representatives of the trucking company and its insurer often approach injured parties soon after the incident. Sometimes they contact an injured person before they have been discharged from the hospital. Although they might express concern for the accident victim, their goal is to get a crash victim to accept an inadequate settlement in return for giving up their right to bring legal action.
Anyone who suffered injuries in a truck accident should contact an attorney immediately. A legal professional could handle communication with potential defendants and their insurance companies to guarantee insurers do not take advantage of victims and their family members after a tragedy.
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003, injured people have two years to bring a lawsuit seeking damages for injuries received in an accident. Although two years might seem like enough time, a person who suffered from significant harm might be adjusting to their condition after two years. However, seeking legal representation immediately after a truck collision could protect an injured person’s rights and allow them to focus on their physical recovery.
Do not try to handle the claims process alone if you suffered injuries in a jackknife truck accident in Houston. You will likely get better results if you seek help from a compassionate legal professional.
A dedicated attorney understands the trucking industry and how to maximize the compensation an injured person receives. Call now to schedule a consultation.