One moment, you may have been traveling on the highway or interstate, just trying to get home or to work or on a drive. The next, a truck jackknifes, causing a crash or even a pile-up that leaves you with devastating injuries. In other cases, you may have lost a loved one because of a jackknifing truck.
The situations can be devastating, but you do not have to face them alone. An Athens truck accident attorney with Rafi Law Firm can help you get the compensation you need when another party’s actions have hurt you. When you are ready to take action and get compensated fairly for your suffering, seek help from a professional legal resource.
How do jackknife accidents happen?
Jackknife accidents can happen immediately, and you may suffer from the devastating injuries and damage done during a Georgia accident. Unfortunately, just one “minor” truck accident can leave you hurt and suffering for years. Determining what caused your accident can also be a big step toward determining who caused your accident, which is vital for your truck accident lawsuit.
One of the first steps to recovery is determining what caused your accident. Once you know what happened, you can take steps to hold the person who caused those conditions liable for your injuries. The lower just a few causes commonly seen in jackknife accidents, so contact an attorney if you believe someone is responsible for your injuries.
In some cases, the driver may have simply not been paying attention to the road. They may have been eating, texting, talking, or otherwise not focused on the road. If they were behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler, that could lead to a devastating accident.
Driving distracted is one of the more common causes of accidents. When the truck driver is unfocused on their truck, it is easy to lose control and cause jackknifing. Unfortunately, many people pay more attention to their phones, and when driving a complex vehicle like a commercial truck, that can lead to a devastating accident.
Truck drivers often travel for hours without stopping, which can be physically exhausting. While there are federal regulations in place to prevent this behavior, employers sometimes encourage drivers to violate these regulations to meet deadlines or receive bonuses for faster deliveries.
Unfortunately, driver fatigue can slow down a driver’s response times. When a truck driver is not focused and ready to take action, their actions can lead to devastating injuries and even death.
In some cases, no driver involved has made a dangerous mistake.
Instead, the accident may have happened because the equipment used was faulty or damaged. For example, certain parts may not have been installed correctly.
Even if the driver was careful, an issue they couldn’t have expected from their truck could have caused them to jackknife. If their equipment fails, the accident may be the fault of a manufacturer or even the mechanic who failed to ensure their equipment was safe.
Because of their size and weight, an 18-wheeler has more momentum and force behind it than your average vehicle. Because of this, traveling at high speeds is especially dangerous when driving a commercial truck. Unfortunately, speeding in one of these trucks can make losing control much easier.
Worse, if the truck’s speed causes it to jackknife, It can lead to a much more traumatic, dangerous accident. High-speed accidents can do even more damage and lead to more lethal injuries than other accidents.
Poor weather conditions
No one can predict inclement weather in every situation, and you or the truck driver may have been surprised by a sudden rainstorm. Rain, wind, and other weather conditions can decrease visibility and make roads slippery. This can make it more difficult to control the vehicle and stay safe.
Unfortunately, sudden weather conditions changes can cause unexpected danger. In many cases, the truck driver may not have had time to find a safe place to pull off the road, leading to a loss of control and jackknifing that injured you and others.
Where in Athens do most jackknife accidents occur?
Jackknifing accidents can happen anywhere that a commercial truck can travel. Typically, these accidents happen on interstates and highways, where vehicles may travel at a much higher speed, leading to more serious crashes.
While many of the most dangerous crashes in Georgia happen in or around Atlanta, Athens also sees serious accidents on their nearby stretches of interstate or highway. All it takes is one driver making a mistake or being affected by road conditions for tragedy to strike.
Why are jackknife accidents so dangerous?
Often, you may see that jackknife accidents lead to devastating injuries, including the deaths of drivers or passengers. However, you may be unsure why these accidents are so dangerous. What makes them different from other truck accidents?
Because of the size and context of a commercial truck accident, you may see much more serious results than a car accident. Below are some ways a jackknifing truck can cause a much more severe crash.
Risk of colliding into nearby structures
When a truck jackknifes, it may travel for some distance before coming to a halt. That momentum can carry the truck into Bridges, buildings, and other larger nearby structures. That can do immense damage and even injure bystanders who were not on the road then.
That adds to the number of people who may be involved in a trucking accident. Unfortunately, that means that people who do not even have the protection of a seat belt or airbag may be involved and injured in the accident.
Can cause massive pile-ups
When a truck jackknifes, the cargo may swing to cover multiple lengths of traffic. When multiple lanes are blocked, other drivers may have nowhere to go. If they are traveling at high speeds or we’re close to the truck when the jackknifing happened, they may not have time to get out of the way.
Unfortunately, that means that many drivers may be involved in the accident even if they were being careful at the time. That can lead to even more injuries. You may not have even been close to the truck, but because of the chain reaction caused by the pile-up accident, you may have also been injured.
Truck accidents are also devastating because of the severity of the injuries they may cause. Part of this is because of the sheer size and weight of the truck. Because these vehicles are several times larger than cars, they can do more severe crushing and force damage, leading to more severe injuries for you.
Even the cargo in a truck accident may be more dangerous than your average vehicle. For example, many commercial trucks carry flammable or explosive cargo, such as gasoline. If one of these vehicles is involved in an accident, you may suffer much more severe injuries. You may even have burn injuries or a deadly amount of physical trauma.
What kinds of injuries are common in jackknife accidents?
When you are involved in a truck accident, it can lead to severe injuries. These accidents may happen at high speeds, involve multiple vehicles, and leave you with physical and emotional trauma and pain.
Below are some of the more common injuries we see in jackknife accidents in Athens, GA. If you have suffered any of these injuries, you may have experienced severe suffering. Reach out to our team to help get the compensation you were due for this experience.
When a truck accident happens, you may suffer extreme physical injuries. Truck accidents can be especially violent and dangerous, and many of them result in death. You may have lost a loved one because of one of these accidents. However, taking note of your injuries can help you understand the value of your damages and get the compensation you are due.
Below are just a few of the physical injuries that you may have suffered during a jackknife accident:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
If you have suffered any of these physical injuries, reach out to an attorney for the tools and guidance you need for your recovery. Our team can help you calculate the value of your medical bills and other damages to help you get fair compensation.
Your physical injuries are only a part of the damages you have suffered in the compensation you may be due for your losses. That is because a truck accident is not only a physically dangerous experience but can also lead to severe emotional trauma.
For example, you may now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition can majorly affect your mental and emotional state, leading to emotional disorders, flashbacks, and panic attacks. These can impact your ability to return to life as you once lived before the accident.
Worst, it can be difficult to treat and compensate for these conditions. Everyone deals with traumatic experiences differently, so it can be difficult to provide support and compensation uniformly. Fortunately, your attorney has the tools needed to calculate the severity of your suffering and help you get closure through financial compensation for your suffering.
Who’s liable in truck jackknife accidents?
If you have suffered any of the above injuries or trauma because of an Athens truck accident, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. However, one of the most difficult parts of filing a lawsuit is determining who is at fault for your accident and who is financially liable for your injuries.
Unfortunately, these are not always the same person. That is especially true in cases of truck accidents. That is because, while the truck driver may have caused the crash, they are not always financially liable for your injuries. That is because the truck driver is typically acting within the scope of their employment. In these cases, the truck drivers’ employers may instead be responsible for their actions.
When someone is acting in the scope of their employment, they become the responsibility of their employer. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees are properly trained, hiring processes are done thoroughly, and violations are deterred or penalized. If the trucking company fails to do these things, it can lead to a serious accident, and you may suffer for it.
Preventing jackknife accidents: Actions taken now can save lives later
In many cases, there is little that can be done once a truck driver loses control of their vehicle. However, there are certain steps that can be taken to prevent an accident from happening in the first place. When truck drivers avoid these accidents, it can keep everyone on the road safe.
For example, one of the most important steps to prevent jackknife accidents is to pay attention to the road. That means avoiding distractions, abstaining from alcohol on the road, and always stopping if you feel drowsy. These steps alone can eliminate many of the most common causes of truck accidents.
However, if a truck accident happens, you have legal rights. If you have been injured by a truck driver who was careless behind the wheel, reach out to an attorney who can guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit and getting the compensation you deserve for your suffering.
Our Athens jackknife accident lawyer is here to help
When you were involved in a jackknife accident in Athens, Georgia, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Often, these accidents could have been prevented with proper care and respect for the rules of the road. Unfortunately, these accidents can be complex, and you may have difficulties identifying the at-fault party, determining the value of your compensation, and taking your claim to court.
Fortunately, you do not have to do this alone. At Rafi Law Firm, you can expect legal representation that meets your needs when hurt and suffering. Our team is ready to take on your case and fight for the compensation you are due when you are suffering. All you have to do is call (706) 995-7547 or fill out our online contact form.