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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Personal Injury > The Dangers of Jackknife Crashes

The Dangers of Jackknife Crashes


Every year, thousands of semi-trucks cross the nation carrying cargo ranging from toxic materials and lumber to livestock and produce. While semi-trucks play an integral role in interstate commerce, they also pose a substantial risk to others on the road. Semi-trucks are particularly prone to jackknifing, which occurs when a truck’s trailer swings out to the side at a 90 degree angle from the cab of the truck. Unfortunately, this puts other drivers at risk of being involved in a multi-car pile-up, which can result in devastating injuries that cost thousands of dollars to treat, so if you were injured in a collision with a commercial truck, it is critical to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney who can help you seek compensation for your medical bills.

How do Jackknife Accidents Occur?

Heavily laden trucks are especially at risk of jackknifing if a driver comes to a sudden stop because it is more likely that the trailer’s momentum will keep it moving forward, causing it to pivot sideways where it connects to the cab. This is extremely dangerous for other drivers on the road as the trailer can easily collide with nearby vehicles as it swings out into traffic. Furthermore, a jackknifing truck can easily roll over, which can lead to dangerous cargo spilling onto the roadway. Although jackknifing is usually the result of delayed braking, there are certain factors that make it more likely that this type of accident will occur, including:

  • Winding or curvy roads;
  • Inclement weather, which can lead to slick roads and poor visibility;
  • Speeding and reckless driving;
  • Poor lighting; and
  • Mechanical malfunction.

Because jackknife accidents are so dangerous, drivers should try to leave a substantial amount of room between themselves and commercial trucks, especially when weather conditions are poor or the area is not well-lit.

Potential Damages

Truck accidents often result in severe and even catastrophic injuries. This is largely due to the fact that semi-trucks can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds and carry dangerous cargo. Large trucks are also more likely to be involved in multi-car pile-ups, especially when they jackknife and cross multiple lanes of traffic. For these reasons, truck accident victims may suffer from the following injuries:

  • Crushed bones and compound fractures;
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
  • Spinal cord damage;
  • Burns;
  • Severe lacerations; and
  • Amputations.

Many injuries sustained in truck accidents can have permanent and debilitating consequences. For instance, someone who suffers a spinal cord injury may be paralyzed for their rest of his or her life and require special medical equipment and nursing care to complete day to day activities. Treating catastrophic injuries can be prohibitively expensive, making it especially important for those who were seriously injured in a truck accident to seek compensation for their losses.

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a truck accident, please contact Boone & Davis by calling 954-566-9919 or by initiating a live chat with one of our dedicated truck accident attorneys today. Our Fort Lauderdale attorneys are prepared to assist you immediately.



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