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    When a tractor-trailer slides and the trailer swings out to the side as a truck decelerates, the result is known as “jackknifing.”  The truck’s body and the trailer create an “L” shape at a 90-degree angle, resembling a jackknife. The swinging trailer can create an extremely harmful situation for the truck driver and any other persons or vehicles in its path.

    A jackknifing truck can strike other vehicles, slide into oncoming traffic, or create an unavoidable roadblock that causes a collision with other vehicles. Jackknife truck accidents in Memphis can lead to severe injuries for all motorists involved. If you were injured by a swinging tractor-trailer, a seasoned truck injury attorney with the Reaves Law Firm could help you file a claim for damages against the liable party.

    What Causes a Tractor-Trailer to Swing Out?

    In many Memphis accident cases, what causes a truck to jackknife is the improper distribution of weight or poor maintenance of the vehicle. If the trailer of a commercial vehicle is overloaded, it may cause the vehicle to sway and turn erratically. A trailer may also move irregularly if improperly attached or if the cargo itself has not been correctly secured.

    Furthermore, if a semi-truck’s brakes are poorly maintained, it can cause the vehicle to stop abruptly or not at all, causing the trailer to swing wildly. An abrupt stop can also be caused by brake malfunction or driver error. For example, if a driver is speeding or distracted and has to come to a sudden stop, it may cause the trailer to swing.

    Liability for Jackknife Wreck

    If the commercial driver was inattentive behind the wheel or driving recklessly, they could be held financially liable for the accident. However, under the doctrine of respondeat superior, many instances may lead to the truck driver’s employer being held responsible.

    For instance, a trucking company may be liable if they hired a driver who has a poor driving record and failed to provide proper training. Additionally, if the trucking company directs the truck driver to overload their vehicle or fails to perform proper checks and maintenance, they may also be liable.

    In some cases, the manufacturer of the semi-truck could be liable if the 18-wheeler was defective. Working with a Memphis attorney could help someone injured in a jackknife collision determine all liable parties.

    Available Damages in Memphis

    People in Memphis who are injured in jackknifing wrecks can seek compensation for their injuries and the damage to their vehicle. An injured party may pursue damages for:

    • Present and future medical expenses
    • The present and future costs of rehabilitation
    • Past and future wages lost due to injury
    • Loss of future earning capacity, and
    • Loss of enjoyment of life.

    Additionally, several additional losses are considered for compensation, including loss of consortium and property damage. A talented attorney could assist with settlement negotiations or convincing the court.

    Contact a Memphis Attorney After a Jackknife Truck Accident

    Holding a truck driver or the trucking company responsible requires a competent lawyer familiar with the laws regulating commercial vehicles. Without a well-versed lawyer’s guidance, holding the truck company liable can be extremely difficult.

    Call the Reaves Law Firm to speak with an attorney experienced with jackknife truck accidents in Memphis. Schedule your consultation today.

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