Louisiana Jackknife Accidents

If a trucker attempts to slow down but does so incorrectly, a jackknife can occur. When that happens, the tractor’s speed becomes slower than the trailer it is pulling. The trailer swings to the side as a result, potentially causing a collision with another vehicle or blocking multiple lanes, or even leading to a rollover.  If this type of accident causes injuries to others, an experienced New Orleans truck accident lawyer can examine the case and determine whether the injured person can file a claim for damages.

Accident Investigation Involving a Big Rig

In order to recover compensation after a big rig accident, you need a lawyer who has experience with these kinds of collisions. The Olinde Law Firm has helped numerous clients recover damages. A good investigation and collection of evidence are essential. As soon as possible, our investigators visit the scene of the jackknifed truck accident to make the following observations:

  • We review the police report to make sure it is accurate, and we speak to witnesses.
  • An accident reconstruction is conducted. This enables us and the jury to see the position of the vehicles before, during and after the accident to determine liability.
  • Traffic surveillance and business cameras are used to find video footage of the jackknife truck accident.
  • Checks are made on the trucker’s logbooks and maintenance records. This provides valuable information about the driver’s rest schedule and whether the vehicle was checked for worn or defective auto parts.
  • We look for traffic violations that may have caused the accident, such as distracted driving, speeding, etc.
  • When a truck is company-owned, records are examined for lack of maintenance and prior citations to identify past problems.

Once we have gathered all the necessary information and evidence, our lawyers prepare a case to submit to the insurance company for negotiations. If that is not enough to obtain a sufficient amount for the injured client, the case may be taken to court. 

Why Does a Big Truck Jackknife?

A big rig may jackknife for many reasons, including:

  • Difficulty stopping: It takes more distance and force to stop or slow down a big rig because it can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Even when the truck is exceeding the speed limit by only 10 mph, the risk of a jackknife increases by 49 percent, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation study.
  • Driving downhill: When going downhill, vehicles travel faster, and an inexperienced or careless driver may not start braking in time to slow their big rig down, resulting in a jackknifed truck.
  • Using the right brake: Driving a big rig is different from driving a car. When stopping a big rig, it is imperative to use the right brake, otherwise, it will jackknife. 
  • Fatigued drivers: Tired drivers are on the road for long hours and are paid by the mile, so it is in their best interest to drive as much as they can. An average truck driver travels 3,000 miles a week, according to experts. There is a risk of monotony, fatigue and distraction, such as texting, which can lead to a jackknifed truck accident.
  • Improper loading: Loads that are unbalanced or that are too light can cause a jackknife or rollover accident.

Olinde Law Firm

If you are injured in a jackknife accident caused by a negligent trucker or trucking company, you have a right to recover the cost of medical bills, lost wages and your pain and suffering. Call the Olinde Law Firm for help at (800) 587-1889 to schedule a free case review. Our legal team will examine your case, answer your questions and discuss your options moving forward. We can also be reached online.