Semitrucks that have large trailers behind them are always in danger of causing a jackknife accident. When an eighteen-wheeler jackknifes, it means that the truck driver took too sharp of a turn — so sharp that “tractor” and the “trailer” started moving at odd angles to one another. These accidents are most common when a tractor trailer is trying to back up in a small space.
Whether the semitruck driver and his or her employer are liable for the injuries and damages that stem from a jackknife incident depends on the circumstances surrounding the crash. If the semitruck driver negligently attempted a risky maneuver when other, safer options were at his or her disposal, then the driver could be viewed as negligent.
However, if the semitruck driver ended up jackknifing the eighteen-wheeler in an attempt to avoid a far worse calamity, then he or she will not be viewed as negligent regarding the jackknifing. In a case like this, however, other negligent parties will likely be at play, and those parties could be financially liable for the deaths, injuries and property damages resulting from the incident.
At The Dickerson & Smith Law Group, we have represented numerous Virginia plaintiffs in claims against semitruck drivers and their employing transportation companies. In these cases, the laws and regulations — and the circumstances — are often quite different from normal vehicle accident claims. If you or your family member was injured or killed in a truck accident, our legal team is available to listen to your story and advise you of your legal rights and options.