Serious injuries can occur in nearly any motor vehicle accident, but jackknife accidents involving tractor-trailers are particularly dangerous. In jackknife accidents with large commercial trucks, victims can suffer debilitating injuries, severe pain, extensive medical expenses, loss of income, and more.

If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a jackknife accident, you will benefit from working with a skilled attorney. Attorney Tim Reed has a proven track record of successfully obtaining the compensation Little Rock, Arkansas victims need and deserve. Contact Reed Firm as soon as possible to schedule your free case evaluation. 

What Happens During a Jackknife Accident?

Jackknife accidents involve large commercial trucks with two parts: the cab (or tractor) and the trailer. When a driver abruptly stops or there is a malfunction causing the brakes to lock up, jackknife accidents can occur. When brakes lock up, the cab and trailer of the truck can fold in on each other, forming a jackknife, or “V” shape. 

While the trailer slides or swings from behind the cab, it forms an angle, making it impossible for the truck driver to maneuver the tractor-trailer as normal. The truck can slide into other vehicles or turn sideways and block a busy highway, causing a multiple-vehicle pile-up that could result in several injuries and extensive property damage. 

Causes of Jackknife Accidents in Little Rock

Multiple circumstances can cause jackknife accidents. For example, a tractor-trailer can jackknife because a truck driver drives too fast on icy, wet, or snow-packed roads, causing the tires to lose traction or grip on a road surface. The trailer may slide if a truck driver drives on tread-worn or deflated tires, which can occur if there is a failure to inspect and maintain the tires. Other common causes of jackknife accidents include the following:

  • Speed
  • Negligent turns
  • Light trailer loads
  • Driver error
  • Traffic volume
  • Mechanical malfunction

Injuries Caused By Jackknife Accidents

Due to the massive size and heavy weight of commercial trucks, jackknife accidents are often significant. When a large commercial truck rolls over in a jackknife accident, colliding with other vehicles, the driver and occupants of the other vehicles are frequently seriously injured. These accidents can lead to numerous injuries, including the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries that result in partial or total paralysis
  • Crushing injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal organ damage
  • Whiplash
  • Bruises, scrapes, and cuts
  • Wrongful deaths 

If you’ve been injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer, you deserve compensation for your property damage, lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Working with a skilled truck accident attorney will alleviate some of your burdens, allowing you and your loved ones to focus on recovery.

Proving Liability in Little Rock, Arkansas

You must prove liability in order to have a successful outcome. In other words, you must show who is responsible for the collision. In jackknife accidents, the cause of the crash isn’t always easily discernible. 

For example, the truck driver may have been negligent by failing to inspect the tractor-trailer in accordance with federal regulations. The trucking company itself may be liable for negligently hiring the truck driver that caused the accident. There may even been a third party involved, one that isn’t immediately apparent after the crash.

Working with an experienced attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove liability. Attorney Tim Reed knows how to thoroughly investigate truck accident cases to determine each party that might be responsible for the collision and your injuries.  

How Much Is My Case Worth?

The value of your case depends on the circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries. Generally, the more severe and debilitating your injuries, the higher the value of your claim. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you can recover compensation for many types of damages.

“Damages” is a term that includes economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages include losses that are more easily quantified in monetary terms. Those include property damage, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity. Non-economic damages involve compensation for losses that are harder to quantify, like mental anguish, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.

What Should I Do If I Was Involved in a Jackknife Accident?

The insurance company will likely have personnel and attorneys on the ground before the accident scene is cleared. They will be gathering evidence as quickly as possible with an eye toward damage control. In other words, their goal is to minimize losses and save money.

You goal should be to protect yourself. Don’t proclaim to first responders that you’re not injured or that you’re okay. Victims are typically just glad to be alive and often downplay any potential injuries. Tell first responders what happened if you can, then seek medical attention immediately, whether you think you’re injured or not. 

If you don’t seek immediate medical treatment, you may have an unrecognized, underlying injury that causes problems at a later date. If your medical treatment is too far removed from the accident itself, you will have a much harder time relating those injuries to the wreck. So, get an emergency medical evaluation so all potential injuries are fully documented early on, from the time of the crash.

When collisions are serious, officers often take photos, but that is not always the case. If you can, take photos of all your damages, including property damage and your injuries. Take photos of other vehicles involved as well, including the tractor-trailer. Of course, you may not be in a position to take photos, in which case you should ask someone else to take pictures if you can.

Contact a skilled trucking accident attorney as soon as possible, and do not talk to anyone affiliated with an insurance company. That includes the truck driver and any other potentially at-fault party. Your statements will probably be written down or recorded, and if you say something that could be used against you, that’s exactly what will happen. Let your lawyer do the talking.

Contact an Experienced Little Rock, Arkansas Truck Accident Attorney

Victims of Arkansas jackknife accidents may be entitled to compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Discussing your case with an attorney can help you understand your legal options and protect you from predatory insurance companies and those that seek to advance their cause. Protect yourself. Contact the Reed Firm today to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.