Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyers in Orlando - Paul Knopf Bigger
A jackknife truck accident is among the most violent, devastating truck crashes that can occur. Jackknife truck accidents can cause catastrophic, life-altering injuries that leave innocent people with painful symptoms and financial stress. Trucking companies often fight hard to avoid liability for the harm and loss resulting from these crashes. But an experienced jackknife truck accident lawyer in Orlando can stand up to these companies and fight for justice.
At Paul Knopf Bigger, we are dedicated to advocating for the rights of injury victims throughout Orlando. Our legal team has a track record of winning cases against the largest companies and obtaining maximum compensation for our deserving clients. Contact us today for a free initial consultation with an Orlando jackknife truck accident attorney, and learn about your legal options.
How Does a Truck Jackknife?
A truck will jackknife when its trailer swings out from the direction of travel and forward toward the truck cab. This motion causes the truck cab and trailer to fold into a “V” shape, much like a pocketknife blade folding into the handle.
Jackknifing can lead to catastrophic accidents because the truck’s trailer can sweep across the road, hitting other vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians. Jackknifing also causes the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, which may result in collisions with other vehicles or fixed objects. This loss of control can also lead to rollover accidents or cargo spills.
What Causes Jackknife Truck Accidents in Florida and Orlando?
Negligent truck drivers often cause jackknife truck accidents. However, these accidents can have other causes. Most often what causes a truck or trailer to jackknife in Florida and Orlando includes the following common situations:
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Reckless driving, including excessive speeding or swerving through traffic
- Taking a turn or curve or traveling down an incline at a high speed
- Improper turning, including attempting to turn around a sharp curve or corner
- Improper braking
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Unsafe cargo loads, including overloaded cargo, unbalanced cargo weight, or unsecured cargo that shifts during travel
- Inadequate truck or trailer maintenance
- Truck or auto part defects
- Brake failures, tire blowouts, or tread separation
- Poor road conditions, including slick road surfaces, broken pavement, or potholes
What Are the Most Common Jackknife Truck Accident Injuries in Florida and Orlando?
A jackknife truck accident can injure other road users, including motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. Victims of jackknife truck accidents tend to suffer the following injuries:
- Severe lacerations and abrasions
- Degloving injuries
- Dislocated joints
- Ligament sprains and tears
- Muscle and tendon strains and tears
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries, such as herniated discs
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
- Facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Traumatic amputation or limb loss
How Is Liability Determined Liability in a Florida Jackknife Truck Accident?
In a jackknifed semi-truck accident, liability can fall on multiple parties involved in the truck’s operation. Depending on the cause of the jackknife crash, one or more of the following parties could be liable for injuries and damage from the accident:
- The Truck Driver – A truck driver’s careless or reckless driving or other negligence may lead to a jackknife accident if the driver loses control of the vehicle. A trucker may also be responsible for a jackknife truck accident caused by improper cargo loading because trucking regulations require drivers to ensure that cargo is loaded correctly.
- The Trucking Company – Trucking companies may be liable for jackknife accidents caused by drivers they employ. Trucking companies may also bear responsibility for jackknife truck accidents due to negligent training or supervision of drivers or inadequate truck or trailer maintenance, resulting in mechanical issues.
- The Truck’s Owner (if Not the Driver or Trucking Company) – The owner of a truck involved in a jackknife accident may be liable for injuries and damage if the crash occurs due to a mechanical problem caused by inadequate vehicle maintenance.
- The Shipping Company – Shipping companies responsible for loading cargo onto trucks or trailers may have liability for jackknife truck accidents caused by unsafe cargo loads.
- The Truck’s Third-Party Mechanics – Some truck owners and trucking companies send their vehicles to third-party truck maintenance garages for service and repairs. Third-party mechanics may bear liability for a jackknife truck accident caused by mechanical issues resulting from their negligent maintenance or repair work.
- The Truck’s Manufacturer or Truck Part Manufacturers – The manufacturer of a truck or trailer or the manufacturer of parts used on the truck, such as tires and brakes, may bear responsibility for a jackknife accident that results from a mechanical failure caused by a design or manufacturing defect in the vehicle or an auto part.
Identifying which parties are liable for injuries from a jackknife truck accident requires examining the evidence from the crash. Examples of evidence that lawyers often use to prove fault for Florida jackknife truck accidents include:
- The truck driver’s hours-of-service logs
- The driver’s post-accident drug and alcohol test results
- The truck’s event data recorder (“black box”) logs
- The truck’s cargo or load manifest
- The truck driver’s pre-trip inspection reports
- The truck’s maintenance and repair records
- Post-accident truck or trailer inspections
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Police accident reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Surveillance, traffic camera, or dashcam footage
- Accident reconstruction or engineering expert reports and testimony
What Are Recoverable Damages or Compensation in a Florida or Orlando Jackknife Truck Accident?
If you were injured in a jackknife truck accident caused by someone else, you may have the right to pursue compensation for financial and personal losses due to the crash. You could receive money for the following:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation, including emergency care or ambulance services, surgeries, hospitalizations, prescriptions, doctor’s appointments, and physical or occupational therapy
- Costs of home care and support services you may need for long-term or permanent disabilities, including housekeeping, personal assistance, or mobility equipment and disability accommodations
- Loss of wages or income if you need to take time off work or temporarily transfer to a lower-paying part-time or light-duty role while recovering from injuries
- Loss of future earning capacity and employment benefits if your injuries result in disabilities that prevent you from returning to your job or being gainfully employed
- Physical pain and emotional distress from your injuries and subsequent medical care
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life due to permanent disabilities or visible scarring and disfigurement
- Costs of vehicle repairs, including ancillary expenses like car rental fees or reimbursement for the value of your car if totaled by the accident
What Is Your Time Limit for Filing a Jackknife Truck Accident Lawsuit in Florida?
Under Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases, you have only two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. If you file your suit after the statutory deadline, the court can dismiss your case as untimely, regardless of its merits. If so, you may lose your right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses in civil court.
Because of these filing deadlines, speaking to a jackknife truck accident attorney immediately after a crash is crucial to protecting your rights. Contact Paul Knopf Bigger as soon as possible to ensure that you file your truck accident claims on time.
What You Should Do After an Orlando Jackknife Truck Accident
The aftermath of a jackknife truck accident can be overwhelming and stressful. Your priority should be calling the police and receiving medical treatment for your injuries. Then, you should take the following steps to protect your right to take legal action after a jackknife truck accident:
- Request a copy of the police accident report, which can be helpful evidence in proving fault.
- Notify your auto insurance provider and file a claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for reimbursement of medical bills and lost wages.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s treatment recommendations and recovery instructions, and keep all follow-up appointments.
- Keep track of bills, invoices, and receipts of your expenses from the accident, such as medical treatment or vehicle repairs.
- Collect your pay stubs or income statements to calculate your lost earnings if you cannot work while healing from your injuries.
Finally, contact an Orlando jackknife truck accident attorney from Paul Knopf Bigger as soon as possible. This way, you can start preparing and pursuing your legal claim for financial relief for injuries and other losses.
Get in Touch with an Orlando Jackknife Truck Accident Attorney
If you suffered injuries in an Orlando jackknife truck accident, you deserve to seek maximum compensation for your financial and personal losses. The seasoned lawyers at Paul Knopf Bigger can help you pursue the money you need for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other crash-related losses.
We have a track record of successfully settling and litigating jackknife truck accident cases throughout Orlando and Florida. Clients count on our legal team to take on trucking companies and insurers to help get the best possible results. Contact our office today for a free consultation with an Orlando jackknife truck accident lawyer.