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What is ‘jackknifing’ and who is responsible?

The basic laws of physics deem that tractor trucks and semi-trailers, just to name a few, are more likely to cause bigger and more serious accidents than regular passenger vehicles. This does not mean that these types of vehicles get into accidents more often. Instead it means that when these types of vehicles are involved in an accident, the accident is more serious. For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, truck accidents were responsible for the death of nearly 5,000 people in 2006. There were also 106,000 cases of injury associated with trucking accidents in the same year.

Why do these accidents happen? There can be many causes. One of those causes is jackknifing. Jackknifing occurs when a tractor with a trailer folds into a ‘V’ shape causing the vehicle to skid or lose control. For example, an eighteen wheeler could easily jackknife if the vehicle is traveling too fast for slippery conditions. The trailer would then begin to move independently from the tractor causing the truck to lose control.

After a truck accident many people aren’t sure where to turn. This is because there can be many parties involved with a truck accident. For example, the driver may be at fault if he or she was driving erratically. Or the trucking company could be at fault because the load they were hauling was too heavy for legal limits. There could also be a claim made with the company of the product the truck driver was hauling if it is not packaged safely according to legal statutes.

These show just three potential parties that could be connected to a truck accident. Who is to blame for yours? This answer may prove to be difficult to discern since oftentimes each party involved in the accident can begin to point fingers and blame the other. Certainly a substantial amount of research and investigation should go into discovering the truth.

Source: findlaw.com, “Truck Accident Overview,” Accessed February 16, 2015


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