Commercial trucks and tractor-trailers are pivotal to our nation’s economy. Drivers work long hours to bring products around the country, and in most cases, they arrive safely at their destinations. Unfortunately, every day in the U.S., accidents happen, and sometimes it is the truck driver’s fault. Truck accidents between commercial vehicles and regular passenger cars can be extremely dangerous.
If a truck driver made a mistake and you suffered as a result, now is the time to contact an attorney and begin your claim process. If you were injured in a jackknife truck accident in North Carolina, you need a jackknife truck accident attorney in your area to represent you. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries as well as for pain and suffering.
What is a Jackknife Accident and Why Do They Happen?
There are thousands of trucks on the road every day in America, so it’s inevitable that accidents happen from time to time. However, when the accident occurs because of the truck driver’s negligence or because of poorly maintained equipment on the truck, victims have a right to file a claim and be compensated for their injuries.
Although there are many ways things can go wrong on the road for drivers of big trucks, one of the most dangerous and scary types of accidents is called a jackknife accident. A jackknife truck accident occurs when a tractor-trailer skids or breaks suddenly, resulting in the trailer skidding out to one side. The result is that the head of the truck and the trailer form a 90-degree angle that looks like a checkmark or a jackknife. Despite the colorful imagery, there’s nothing pretty about a truck jackknifing on the road.
Listed below are some of the most common reason jackknife accidents happen in North Carolina:
- High speeds. Because of their immense size and weight, trucks need more time and space to come to a stop than your average vehicle. When a truck traveling at high speeds is forced to make a sudden stop, the brakes can lock, causing the driver to lose control. This may lead to a potential jackknife accident.
- Vehicle failures. Brake failures are responsible for a large percentage of trucking accidents, including jackknife accidents. Because trucks travel so many miles, the vehicle’s brakes need to be properly maintained and checked regularly. Failure to do so could be viewed as negligence.
- Road or weather conditions. Rain and snowstorms can cause slippery, dangerous driving conditions. When a truck’s tires lose traction with the road, the trailer can skid and set up a potential jackknife situation.
- Winding roads. Curvy and winding roads require extra caution for any type of driver. But truck drivers must be extra careful and use slow speeds. When drivers go too fast around a curve, the risk is that the trailer will swing out to one side, causing a jackknife accident.
- Distracted driving. Trucks are extremely large and heavy, but that does not mean they’re slow. If a truck driver takes their mind or eyes off the road for just a moment, traveling at highway speed, they can go the length of a football field in five seconds without seeing the road. There are a number of ways truckers can get distracted on the road, including texting, eating, or watching videos. When distracted driving causes them to lose control and they must brake or turn suddenly, jackknife accidents can be the result.
When jackknife accidents occur between trucks and regular passenger vehicles, they can have dire consequences for the occupants of the smaller car. Injuries suffered from jackknife truck accidents can be severe and sometimes life-changing. In the worst-case scenarios, accidents can lead to fatalities. In cases such as these, family members should contact a wrongful death attorney in North Carolina for assistance with filing a claim.
Listed below are some of the most common types of injuries suffered in jackknife accidents in North Carolina:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Deep bruising
- Facial disfigurement
- Traumatic brain injury
- Wrongful death
In the event you or someone you care about is injured or killed in an accident involving a commercial truck, you should contact a jackknife accident attorney in North Carolina as soon as possible. An attorney can help you determine who was at fault and help you begin the claim process. Contact DeMayo Law Offices at (704) 850-6832 for a consultation with one of our jackknife accident attorneys today.
Accident Statistics in North Carolina
North Carolina is a big state with many highways, making it home to many trucking accidents. Below is a list of facts about truck accidents in North Carolina:
- In 2016, there were over 14,000 large truck accidents in the state, resulting in over 150 deaths and thousands of injuries.
- The majority of accidents involved semi-trucks/tractor-trailers and caused the most injuries and fatalities.
- The third most common truck accident involved single-unit trucks, which refers to trucks with two axles and six tires.
- Accidents involving 18-wheelers and other commercial motor vehicles occurred, but were less common.
Sadly, truck driver accidents are the result of a driver mistake and could’ve been avoided. In accidents that were fatal, at least one driver-related error was recorded for over 32 percent of accidents, according to the FMCSA.
Examples of Cases We Handle
Determining liability in a jackknife truck accident can be complicated. Was the driver under the influence? Did faulty equipment or poor weather conditions contribute to the accident? Was the other vehicle caught in the trucker’s blind spot? Hiring a truck accident attorney in North Carolina who can help identify who was at fault in the accident and present your case in court if need-be, is your best shot at winning your claim.
At DeMayo Law Offices, we’ve won hundreds of cases for victims of truck accidents and have recovered millions of dollars in claim damages for our clients. Below are a few examples of truck accidents cases in recent years:
- $800,585 claim settlement. In 2017, a 44-year-old truck driver was killed when a tractor trailer merged into the lane of his tractor-trailer and caused a collision. A wrongful death claim was settled.
- $420,000 claim settlement. In 2004, in Lincoln County, a settlement was made for a client who suffered brain injuries and skull fractures when his vehicle collided with a truck making a left turn.
- $375,000 claim settlement. In 2007, a client was struck head-on by a truck intending to pass another vehicle.
The attorneys at DeMayo Law Offices understand how painful and terrifying suffering an injury in a truck accident can be. Call us today to discuss your case.
FAQs about Jackknife Truck Accidents in North Carolina
Many people have questions about truck accidents and what their rights are if they or a loved one have been injured. Below are a few of the most common questions we’re asked about truck accidents in North Carolina:
What should I do after an accident?
Your first step should always be to take care of yourself. Make sure that in the immediate aftermath of an accident, you accept treatment from medical personnel when they arrive and follow their advice. Save any documents from ambulance rides and hospital or doctor visits. Once you are out of danger, take notes about what happened, your injuries, and how you feel. The more documentation you have when you file a claim, the better.
How can I determine the amount my claim is worth?
Many different factors will be weighed when determining the value of your claim. First and foremost, we’ll identify who was at-fault for the accident. The severity of the injuries, the cost of doctor and hospital visits, missed time from work, and pain and suffering will also be considered to determine your potential compensation. When you talk with a North Carolina jackknife truck accident lawyer, they can help you determine what money you may be eligible for.
Do I need an attorney?
Although you are not legally required to have an attorney, a qualified trucking accident attorney in your area can increase your chances of winning your claim. Lawyers understand the intricacies of the legal system and know how to bring negligent truck drivers and other at-fault parties to justice. Furthermore, most truck accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no upfront costs – they only get paid if they win compensation for you.
Contact the Knowledgeable Jackknife Trucking Accident Attorneys in North Carolina
If you’ve suffered injuries in a jackknife accident or any other trucking accident in North Carolina, contact DeMayo Law Offices at (704) 850-6832 today. We have over 100 years of combined legal experience and have fought, over the years, to win thousands of cases and millions of dollars for our clients. At DeMayo Law Offices, we understand the law and what it takes to win a truck accident claim in North Carolina. We’re here to fight for you.
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