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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Who’s at Fault in Jackknife Accidents? - Getting Compensation for Truck Accident Victims

Out of all the types of accidents that can happen on the road, jackknife truck accidents are among the most dangerous. Whenever a jackknife truck accident occurs, the damage to property and the severity of injuries sustained by the victims can be horrific.

As such, some of the biggest lawsuits that an experienced truck accident lawyer handles usually involve a jackknife accident. However, due to the huge amounts of money that the at-fault party is liable to pay, cases involving jackknife truck accidents can become very complicated.

Insurance companies usually come ready to fight hard to avoid having to pay any compensation, which is why jackknife truck accident victims need a good attorney on their side.

Determining the liable parties for a jackknife truck wreck is the first duty of the truck accident lawyer. After that, it will be a matter of deciding how much compensation the truck drivers or other responsible parties are liable to pay. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also explain who's at fault in rollover accidents.

What Is a Jackknife Truck Accident?

What Is a Jackknife Truck Accident?

A jackknife accident is when the truck driver of a huge truck loses control of the vehicle and the trailer swings sideways, turning at a 90-degree angle.

When this happens, the trailer can crash into other vehicles on the road, pedestrians, cyclists, or standing structures, causing serious injuries and untold property damage.

Each year, jackknife accidents claim many lives in Nashville, Tennessee. These types of truck accidents usually occur on the highway where truck drivers usually drive at high speeds.

Top Five Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents

Determining what led to the truck jackknifing in the first place is a major step in deciding who the liable parties are. However, jackknife accidents sometimes result in multiple vehicles being involved in the truck wreck, making it difficult to determine what happened.

It takes a experienced Nashville semi accident attorneys to look through the evidence and prove that the jackknife accident was caused by any of the following likely causes:


When a truck driver is trying to meet a deadline, he usually chooses the highways as the best place to drive at high speed to make up for any lost time. This is usually the case when a trucking company is giving its drivers unrealistic targets to meet.

However, driving at high speed while pulling a load is very dangerous. If semi-trucks or tractors pulling trailers need to stop quickly while traveling at high speeds, a jackknife accident is likely to happen.

This is because while the cab of the vehicle may stop in time, the cargo or tractor-trailer may keep on going, therefore the truck jackknifes to one side.

Improper Braking

Driving huge semi-trucks is not the same as driving a smaller vehicle. A lot more training is required to prevent truck accidents from occurring.

One of the key areas where truck drivers need additional training is how to properly apply the brakes depending on the speed, the weight of the load, and the nature of the situation. If the brakes are applied too quickly, a jackknife accident occurs due to the momentum of the trailer.

Mechanical Failure

Improper truck maintenance is a big issue among trucking companies. Many jackknifing accidents have been caused by equipment failure. Driving on worn-out tires, for example, is responsible for almost a third of all jackknife crashes.

Mechanical failure may also be caused by using defective brakes or other equipment, rather than a lack of proper maintenance by the trucking company.

Bad Weather Conditions

Driving huge semi-trucks in poor weather conditions increases the risk of experiencing a jackknife accident. Commercial vehicles are very vulnerable when bad weather causes poor road conditions, such as slippery roads or limited visibility.

Improperly loaded Cargo

One of the most important skills that large truck drivers need to have is knowing how to load their semi-truck. If the load is not properly secured, or the weight distribution is not balanced, the risk of experiencing a jackknifing accident is increased.

Common Injuries in a Jackknife Accident

The following are some of the most common jackknife accident injuries victims may suffer:

  • Brain injuries

  • Burns

  • Broken bones

  • Neck and back injuries

  • Spinal cord injuries

Who's at Fault in Jackknife Accidents?

Who's at Fault in Jackknife Accidents?

In a jackknife accident claim, it is important to determine who the liable parties are so that the victims who have suffered injuries can receive fair compensation. The following are the main possibilities:

Truck Driver

Negligence on the part of the truck driver is a very common cause of jackknife accidents. The truck accident lawyer has to show that the truck driver did not act reasonably, or was negligent when they ignored road rules or drove too fast.

Trucking Company

At times, the owners of the semi-truck are held responsible for the severe injuries suffered by victims of a jackknife accident. This happens when the victims' lawyers can prove that the actions of the truck driver were caused by the trucking company, for example, when driver fatigue due to an unreasonable schedule is determined as the cause of the accident. has information on who's at fault in wide turn accidents.

Drivers of Other Vehicles

If other vehicles were involved in the jackknife accident, the truck driver may also be a victim of the negligence of other drivers. Any personal injury or wrongful death claims must be directed to the third-party responsible.


In cases where equipment failure is determined to be the cause of a jackknife accident, lawyers have to consider that the manufacturer may be at fault. This can be difficult to prove, especially if the truck was purchased a long time ago, but a good lawyer will know how to gather the required evidence.

Jackknife Truck Accident Victims Can Receive Damages for Their Injuries

Victims injured in a jackknife accident are entitled to receive damages from the responsible party to cover the following:

  • Medical expenses

  • Lost wages

  • Property damage

  • Wrongful death

  • Pain and suffering

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is ready to go to war for victims of jackknife accidents in Tennessee. An experienced truck accident attorney is just one call away. Victims of jackknife crashes should call them now and take the first step to receive maximum compensation from the liable parties.


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