West Virginia Jackknife Accident Lawyer
- How Warner Law Offices Can Help After a Jackknife Truck Accident in West Virginia
- What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?
- Who’s Liable When a Truck Jackknifes?
- What Damages Can I Get in a West Virginia Jackknife Truck Accident Lawsuit?
- Common Jackknife Truck Accident Injuries
- How Long Will I Have to File a Jackknife Truck Accident Lawsuit in West Virginia?
- Call Our Award-Winning West Virginia Jackknife Accident Lawyers For Help
Have you recently been injured in a jackknife truck accident in West Virginia? Do not hesitate to contact the award-winning legal team at Warner Law Offices, PLLC. Jackknife accidents tend to happen when truck drivers are negligent. Our experienced West Virginia jackknife accident attorneys can help you take on the trucking company and its insurer to fight for the compensation you deserve.
As a leader in truck accident litigation, Warner Law Offices has helped crash victims in West Virginia and throughout Kanawha County win tens of millions in truck accident settlements and jury awards. We understand how devastating a jackknife accident can be and strive to make a genuine difference in the lives of the victims we represent.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Contact our downtown Charleston, WV, law office to put our nationally-acclaimed trial attorneys in your corner. We offer a free consultation, so reach out to get started today.
How Warner Law Offices Can Help After a Jackknife Truck Accident in West Virginia
Every jackknife truck accident presents a unique set of circumstances and raises a host of questions like the following:
- What caused the truck to jackknife?
- Was the truck driver fatigued or distracted during the crash?
- Did faulty truck parts contribute to the jackknife accident?
- What kind of evidence will you need to prove your case?
- What if the trucking company refuses to take your claim for damages seriously?
- How can you be sure that a trucking company’s settlement offer is reasonable?
You’ve just been in a devastating accident. You need to focus on recovering from your truck accident injuries and moving forward with your life. That can be tough to do when trying to find the answers to these and other important questions.
The good news is that you’re not in this fight alone. Our West Virginia personal injury lawyers are ready to take charge of your legal case and work to recover a maximum financial award on your behalf.
Turn to us for help after a jackknife truck accident in West Virginia, and we will do the following:
- Obtain truck black box data which can provide insight into the truck’s speed, braking timing, tire pressure, and other critical information about the vehicle at the time of the jackknife accident
- Analyze dash cam footage, vehicle inspection reports, maintenance records, driver communication logs, hours of service records, accident reports, property damage, and other critical pieces of evidence
- Locate and interview witnesses with information about the crash
- Bring in trucking industry specialists, accident reconstructionists, forensic specialists, medical professionals, and other experts to consult as we build and value your case
- Determine ownership of the tractor-trailer and identify all potentially liable parties
- Build a compelling legal claim that helps to secure a meaningful settlement offer for you during negotiations
Our team will be there to answer any questions you have as we navigate the claims process. When you get a settlement offer, our personal injury attorneys will discuss the pros and cons of accepting a deal. We’ll never advise you to take a lowball offer. Rather, the threat of litigation will always be on the table. If we believe we can do better in court, our top-rated West Virginia trial attorneys won’t hesitate to bring your jackknife truck accident case to a jury.
We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, so hiring our West Virginia truck accident attorneys will cost nothing unless we win your jackknife accident case. Contact us to schedule a time to discuss the details of your case today.
What is a Jackknife Truck Accident?
Tractor trailers have two parts: the front cab and the rear trailer. Ideally, the trailer remains in line with the cab at all times. A jackknife accident occurs when the truck trailer and cab come out of alignment. The trailer swings to the left or right, begins to slide forward, and forms a 90-degree angle with the cab. This causes the vehicle to resemble an open jackknife.
When a truck jackknifes, the trailer can slide across several lanes of traffic, striking other vehicles and objects in its path. The trailer’s momentum pushes the cab and prevents the driver from controlling the vehicle. In some situations, the jackknifing truck can potentially roll over—especially when the accident occurs at high speeds.
As a result, jackknife accidents tend to be quite catastrophic. The driver has little-to-no control over the vehicle’s path as it slides on the roadway.
What Causes a Truck to Jackknife?
Most jackknife truck accidents happen when a truck driver slams on the brakes. The tractor begins to slow down, but the trailer behind it continues to move at full speed. This causes the trailer to slide, jackknife, and then begin to push the tractor.
Some of the leading causes of sudden braking and jackknife accidents include:
- Driving too fast for road conditions
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Braking too quickly
- Turning too quickly
- Vehicle defects or malfunctions
- Hazardous road conditions, including a buildup of ice or snow
- Striking debris on the roadway
- Improperly loaded trucks
Truck driver inexperience is a major contributor to jackknife accidents in West Virginia. Less experienced drivers lack the skills necessary to navigate sudden changes in traffic on West Virginia roads and highways, which can increase the likelihood of jackknifing.
Who’s Liable When a Truck Jackknifes?
In West Virginia, multiple parties can potentially be liable for a jackknife truck accident.
- Truck Driver: Truck driver negligence is a leading cause of jackknife truck accidents in West Virginia. A truck driver can be liable for a jackknife accident for speeding, violating hours of service regulations, texting and driving, or engaging in other reckless behavior behind the wheel.
- Trucking Company: Trucking companies can be vicariously liable for the negligence of their truck drivers if the driver is an employee. A trucking service may also be liable for a jackknife accident for negligent hiring and training of its drivers or if the vehicle was improperly maintained. Jackknife accidents often happen because of brake problems, which can often be identified during routine inspections. In addition, trucks with unbalanced loads are more likely to jackknife.
- Trucking Manufacturer: Defective brakes and other faulty vehicle components can cause or contribute to jackknife truck accidents. In these situations, the company responsible for designing, manufacturing, or selling the truck or its components can be strictly liable for a jackknife accident.
- Third-Party Motorists: While truck drivers and trucking companies tend to be primarily responsible for jackknife accidents, they’re not always entirely to blame. In some cases, third-party motorists—including drivers of passenger vehicles, other truck drivers, bus drivers, and motorcyclists—can cause jackknife accidents by cutting off a rig, speeding, making unsafe lane changes, or engaging in other dangerous behaviors that cause a truck driver to slam on their brakes unexpectedly.
Our truck and car accident lawyers in West Virginia will carefully examine the circumstances of your jackknife truck accident. We’ll work hard to determine exactly why and how the crash happened and, in turn, identify who’s at fault and liable.
Once liability is clear, our team will aggressively work to secure compensation on your behalf.
What Happens to My Jackknife Truck Accident Settlement If I’m Blamed?
The trucking company might try to blame you for the jackknife truck accident. In these situations, it’s important to enlist the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer near you in West Virginia.
Sharing responsibility for a jackknife accident can limit or prevent a financial recovery.
West Virginia has a modified comparative negligence system. You can recover compensation if you’re not more than half to blame for a jackknife accident. However, damages depend on your share of fault for the accident.
The more liability you share, the less you’ll be able to recover through a settlement or jury award.
Our jackknife truck accident attorneys in West Virginia will help you defend against claims of shared responsibility and fight to maximize your financial recovery.
What Damages Can I Get in a West Virginia Jackknife Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Through an insurance claim or truck accident lawsuit, you can potentially recover an award of compensatory damages.
Compensatory damages include the following:
- Economic damages to compensate for the financial losses and out-of-pocket expenses you experience after your jackknife accident
- Non-economic damages to compensate for the personal suffering and life changes you experience as a jackknife truck accident victim.
Our West Virginia jackknife trucking accident lawyers will fight to get you money for the following:
- Hospitalization, surgery, prosthetics, medical equipment, and other current medical expenses
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages and income
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Nursing assistance
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Reduced quality of life
If you’ve lost a close family member in a fatal jackknife truck accident in West Virginia, you may be able to seek damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. This could help you recover compensation for the sudden loss of financial support you’ve experienced after their death, the value of household services they provided, and the sorrow and mental anguish you’ve endured.
Common Jackknife Truck Accident Injuries
While jackknifes only account for about 5 percent of all truck accidents annually, they’re among the most devastating.
Victims of jackknife truck accidents in West Virginia commonly suffer the following:
- Broken bones
- Spinal fractures
- Neck and back injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Complete or partial amputation
- Severe burns
- Traumatic brain injury
- Eye injury
- Vision or blindness
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
- Crushing injury
- Chest injury
- Soft tissue damage
- Catastrophic injury
- Wrongful death
Report your jackknife accident immediately and seek prompt medical treatment at a local West Virginia hospital. Sometimes the adrenaline of a wreck can mask the pain and symptoms of serious injuries. Getting to the doctor right away can help ensure that your injuries are properly diagnosed and treated, limiting the chances of complications.
How Long Will I Have to File a Jackknife Truck Accident Lawsuit in West Virginia?
West Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations for most truck accident lawsuits. This gives you until the second anniversary of your jackknife accident to file a claim and demand compensation from a negligent truck driver or trucking company.
You will lose the right to file a lawsuit once the statute of limitations expires, so acting quickly is important.
Call Our Award-Winning West Virginia Jackknife Accident Lawyers For Help
A truck driver slammed on the brakes and caused their rig to jackknife. You were in the truck’s path as it slid across several lanes of traffic on a West Virginia highway. Now you’re dealing with debilitating injuries and struggling to make ends meet. Call Warner Law Offices and discover how our jackknife accident attorneys in West Virginia can help you make things right.
Our nationally recognized trial attorneys represent clients in Charleston, Kanawha County, and across West Virginia. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our legal team to set up a time for a free case evaluation. We’re here to answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
We represent clients across West Virginia and surrounding areas, providing compassionate client service and relentless advocacy in and out of the courtroom.