Personal Injury Lawyers Jonesboro, Arkansas

Who’s At Fault in a Semi-Truck Jackknife Accident?

A semi-truck after a jackknife crash on an Arkansas highway

A truck accident lawyer can identify all potential sources of compensation

It seems like a simple question: "who is at fault in a semi-truck jackknife crash?"

But figuring out liability after a tractor-trailer accident is complicated. There are often many potentially liable parties, and none of them want to take responsibility for a truck accident that results in severe injury or death.

The way a jackknife accident unfolds, a trucker's negligence is often the cause. But the responsibility to compensate crash victims can be on the trucking company, the truck's owner, or even those involved with loading the truck's cargo. In some jackknife cases, a manufacturer that made defective brakes or another faulty truck part may be held responsible for the crash.

At the McDaniel Law Firm, PLC, we've been representing truck accident victims in Arkansas, Southeast Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee, since the 1970s. We have extensive experience investigating truck accidents and understand how to build strong cases that get real results for our clients.

Here's what you need to know about jackknife truck accidents.

What is a jackknife truck accident?

A jackknife truck accident occurs when a trucker loses control of the big rig and the trailer swings out in front of the cab, creating a shape that resembles an open jackknife. There are frequently multiple collisions as the trailer sweeps across lanes of traffic.

This type of accident is most common on highways. Since the start of 2022, Arkansas has experienced several jackknife 18-wheeler crashes. Mostly caused by snow, ice, and winter weather, recent accidents in the state include jackknifes on I-530 in Little Rock, Highway 67 in Jacksonville, and I-49 in Fayetteville.

Jackknife accidents can happen when a trucker brakes too suddenly. If an 18-wheeler isn't properly maintained, a sudden stop can lock up the axels or the brakes could malfunction. Other contributing crash factors may include speeding, distracted driving, failure to adjust for road conditions, and shifting cargo that was improperly loaded or unbalanced.

Can't I just sue the trucker?

When truckers are driving for work, they are usually covered by a trucking company or truck owner's insurance. Unless the driver purposefully caused the crash, you will most likely be dealing with the trucker's employer. If you were injured in a jackknife truck accident, an attorney can help you identify all liable parties and hold them accountable.

Possible liable parties include:

  • Trucker
  • Trucking company
  • Cab owner
  • Trailer owner
  • Cargo owner
  • Defective parts manufacturer (with jackknife accidents, faulty brakes may be a factor)
  • Cargo loaders
  • Vehicle maintenance and repair contractors

We know how to investigate truck accidents

Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident can be difficult. Oftentimes, the trucking company is located far from where the accident happened, possibly in another state or country.

As experienced truck accident lawyers, we know what it takes to build a successful case and understand how the civil justice system works. Let us find the facts that matter, find those who are responsible for your accident, and fight for the compensation you're entitled to.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, contact us to go over your legal rights and options. We proudly serve clients in Arkansas as well as parts of Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee. Schedule your free consultation with our law firm today.

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