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Understanding Jackknife Accidents Involving Large Trucks


The Chicago Tribune recently reported that two semi-trucks jackknifed on an icy Illinois road, causing a chain reaction that involved almost a dozen vehicles. According to eyewitness reports, multiple other accidents followed including “motorists hitting walls, driving into ditches, and spinning out” of control. If you or someone you know has been injured in a jackknife accident, or any other type of vehicle crash, contact a knowledgeable Charleston truck accident attorney right away to protect your rights under the law.

Common Causes

Generally, a jackknife truck accident occurs when the wheels of the commercial vehicle lock as the truck approaches slippery or wet area of the road. Despite the wheels being locked into place, the truck’s trailer continues to move forward causing it to swing out on one side. When this occurs, a truck driver has three options to attempt to brake: (1) lock the trailer’s axles, which can result in possible loss of control of the truck; (2) lock the drive axles, which often results in jackknifing; or (3) lock the steering axles, which may move the truck forward regardless of the angle of the wheels.

A jackknifing accident may involve a single vehicle or, as in the recent Chicago crash, may create a chain reaction resulting in several injuries. Unfortunately, these types of accidents do not occur without cause and sometimes the negligence of the truck driver or the driver’s employer can be proved.

Truck Accident Injuries

More than 400,000 truck accidents occur every year on U.S. roads. Injuries resulting from a truck accident could include minor injuries such as scrapes and bruises or result in fatalities. Some common injuries include:

  • Whiplash
  • Wrongful death
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head, back and neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Burns

Proving the specific cause of the truck accident is vital, as that determines if a victim is entitled to recover monetary damages from the party (or parties) responsible. Damages that may be awarded to a victim of a South Carolina truck accident include medical costs, lost income (past and future), as well as pain and suffering.

Legal Help in Charleston

If you or a loved one has been injured – or, tragically, someone has died – in a truck accident, contact a Charleston truck accident lawyer today. The insurance companies have an advocate on their side fighting – and you should too. You deserve someone who will fight hard to obtain the justice you deserve. The office of Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of clients.

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