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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Uncovering the Danger: What Causes a 18-wheeler to Jackknife?

According to crash data published by the Tennessee government, fatal commercial truck accidents (including jackknife incidents) in the state increased from 135 in 2018 to 161 in 2022. This alarming trend suggests that roadways in the state have become more dangerous for passenger cars and motorcycles in recent years.

Understanding the dangers associated with jackknife commercial truck accidents in Nashville, Tennessee, is the first step toward preventing them. When a semi-truck jackknifes, it can have severe consequences, often endangering the lives of those involved.

The legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has extensive experience working with truck accident victims in Nashville, Tennessee. They can help with questions like, "What if I disagree with a motorcycle accident claim?" They understand the physical, emotional, and financial implications of an 18-wheeler accident and are ready to legally represent injured parties to ensure they receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.

What Are the Common Causes of an 18-wheeler Jackknifing?

What Are the Common Causes of an 18-wheeler Jackknifing?

To make Nashville safe again, it is crucial to understand what causes a 18-wheeler to jackknife. This can provide valuable insights that can help truck drivers, other road users, and the relevant authorities take the necessary steps to prevent these types of accidents.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can advise on questions like, "What is a jackknife accident?" There are several causes of an 18-wheeler (semi-truck) jackknifing, some of which include the following:

Poor Weather Conditions

One of the major factors that contribute to a semi-truck jackknifing in Nashville, Tennessee, is adverse weather conditions. Rain, snow, and ice can make the roads slippery, reducing traction for the trailer tires and causing the truck to jackknife.

When the trailer swings, it can have severe consequences for the truck operator and other road users. Semi-truck drivers must exercise caution during adverse weather conditions to ensure that they remain in control of their vehicles.


Excessive speed is one of the leading causes of 18-wheeler accidents, including jackknifing, in the state.

Driving at high speeds makes it challenging for semi-truck drivers to maintain control. Any sudden maneuvers, such as sharp turns, can cause the trailer to swing out, leading to a jackknife accident.

Trucking companies must emphasize the importance of driving safely to all their drivers and provide relevant training to reduce the risk of speeding-related accidents.

Lack of Vehicle Maintenance

Proper vehicle maintenance plays a critical role in preventing jackknifing incidents. Regular inspections help ensure that essential components, such as brakes and tires, are in good condition.

Lack of vehicle maintenance can lead to brake failures, tire blowouts, or mechanical malfunctions, which increases the likelihood of jackknifing.

Truck companies and drivers must take responsibility and carry out routine maintenance and inspections to prevent such incidents from happening.

Improperly Loaded Trailers

Truck drivers and supervisors must ensure that the goods are safely secured and evenly distributed when loading trailers with cargo.

Improper loading or unsecured cargo can cause a shift in the weight balance during the journey, disrupting the vehicle's equilibrium and increasing the risk of jackknifing.

Truck companies should educate their drivers on the importance of loading and securing cargo in trailers before heading out for deliveries.

Other Factors

Besides the factors mentioned above, there are many other causes of semi-truck jackknife accidents. A tired or distracted driver can lose control of their truck, and a negligent mechanic carrying out a shoddy repair job can increase the risk of jackknifing.

The key step in preventing such incidents is understanding how they occur in the first place. Truck companies and drivers can then take precautionary measures and practice defensive driving to minimize jackknife accidents in Nashville, Tennessee.

Who Is Liable for an 18-Wheeler Jackknife Accident in Nashville, Tennessee?

When an accident leading to injuries occurs, it is crucial for the injured victim to identify the liable parties so that they can pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for their losses.

In the case of semi-truck accidents in Nashville, Tennessee, there could be one or several parties responsible for the victim's injuries, including the following:

The Truck Driver

Although the circumstances surrounding a semi-truck jackknife accident may seem out of control to the average car driver, a truck operator must know how to handle such difficult situations properly.

In Nashville, Tennessee, the truck driver has a duty of care to ensure that they follow all the traffic rules and drive safely. Reckless or distracted driving are acts of negligence that increase the risk of accidents and injuries.

If this happens, the truck driver may be liable for the damages caused, and the injured victim may be able to pursue a personal injury case to recover the damages incurred.

The Trucking Company

Trucking companies have a legal and moral obligation to prioritize safety and ensure compliance with state and federal laws. Failure to adhere to these rules and regulations can increase the risk of accidents.

Providing improper training or forcing truck drivers to work overtime are acts of negligence that put them and other road users at risk.

If a party suffers injuries due to the trucking company's negligent actions, they may be able to bring a civil action to obtain compensation for their injuries.

The Manufacturer

In most cases, the responsibility for an accident lies with the trucking company or the truck driver. However, in some instances, liability may extend to the truck manufacturer.

Defects in the design, assembly, or manufacturing process, or a lack of quality control, can lead to defective commercial trucks on the roads, increasing the risk of jackknife accidents.

Such defects may include a failing brake system, overly tight suspension, or lack of steering. Under personal injury law, accident victims have the right to pursue compensation if they suffer injuries due to the negligence of a truck manufacturer.

The Repair Shop

The repair shop is responsible for ensuring that they provide high-quality services without cutting any corners. Shoddy maintenance or replacement jobs can increase the risk of truck accidents, including jackknife incidents, and lead to injuries.

Negligent repairs, improper installation of components, or overlooked mechanical problems can adversely impact the truck's stability, making the repair shop potentially liable for the resulting accidents.

Determining liability in an 18-wheeler jackknife accident can be challenging, especially if there are multiple parties involved. It is crucial for accident victims to compile the necessary evidence to establish fault and pursue personal injury claims or lawsuits.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Nashville, Tennessee has the expertise and resources to investigate accidents, gather relevant evidence, and determine liability.

How Can Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Help Truck Accident Victims?

How Can Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Help Truck Accident Victims?

An 18-wheeler jackknife accident can result in life-altering injuries that affect the victim not only physically and emotionally but also financially drain them. The medical bills for treatment and lost wages from missed work can significantly impact the injured party's financial situation.

It is unfair for the truck accident victim to bear the physical, mental, and financial burden following an accident that was not their fault. They should immediately consider pursuing compensation after receiving the necessary medical treatment.

However, bringing a civil action against the negligent party is a complex process, and there are many hurdles the accident victim must overcome to receive the monetary damages they deserve.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Nashville, Tennessee, understands the complexities associated with pursuing a personal injury case. They can assist injured victims in various ways, including the following:

Conduct an Investigation

Many accident victims who pursue personal injury claims without the assistance of experienced attorneys often leave potential monetary damages on the table, especially when there are multiple parties involved.

Conducting an investigation is the first step in bringing a civil action against the negligent party. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have the resources to carry out an impartial investigation and determine the liable parties.

Gather the Necessary Evidence

To build a compelling personal injury case, it is crucial to gather the necessary evidence. A lack of supporting documents can increase the risk of lower compensation or claims denial. Providing the wrong evidence is also a concern as it could adversely affect the personal injury case or frame the victim for their injuries.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have expertise in understanding what type of evidence can help strengthen a personal injury case. Whether it is photographs of the accident scene or videos of the surrounding areas, the legal team has the knowledge to help establish fault and improve the victim's chances of obtaining compensation.

Determining the Damages

Evaluating and determining the losses incurred is essential when pursuing a personal injury case. The legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help calculate the non-economic and economic damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more, to ensure maximum compensation.

Pursue a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit

Insurance companies are notorious for harassing victims and offering lowball compensation offers. They employ various tactics to minimize payouts. An injured party without an experienced truck accident lawyer by their side may face many hurdles when it comes to communicating and negotiating with the insurer.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is a trusted legal team who have previously worked for insurance companies and knows all the insider secrets. The firm can handle negotiations on behalf of their clients and work in their best interests.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Are Ready to Fight Aggressively for Injured Victims

A jackknife truck accident can have a profound impact on the lives of the victims and their families. That is why it is crucial for them to take legal action to recover the damages they have incurred.

Individuals who have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler jackknife accident in Nashville, Tennessee, should contact (833) 692-5038 for a free consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney.


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