Tractor-Trailer Jackknife Accidents Lawyers Richmond & Tappahannock, VA

Tractor-Trailer Jackknife Accidents

When driving around the Richmond area, there are probably few more frightening sites than seeing a jackknifed tractor-trailer strewn across I-65 or I-295. Any accident involving a commercial semi-truck is serious. These vehicles can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo, which means smaller passenger vehicles stand little chance of withstanding a collision unharmed.

Jackknife accidents are often the result of negligence, either by the truck driver, another motorist, or even the companies responsible for owning and maintaining the tractor-trailers. A qualified Richmond tractor-trailer jackknife accidents lawyer can assist you with investigating the cause of your crash and help you determine who is legally responsible for your injuries. Attorney Ryan Wind and his team at Wind Law, LLC, have represented many clients who have been seriously injured in commercial trucking crashes. We can put that experience to work for you and your family.

Who Is Legally Responsible for a Semi-Truck Crash?

Semi-Truck Crash

A jackknife accident refers to a scenario where the trailer of an 18-wheeler swings towards one side of the truck’s cab, forming a V-shaped angle that is said to resemble a pocket knife (i.e., a jackknife). When a tractor-trailer jackknifes, other vehicles often end up hitting the trailer as they are unable to stop in time. This means that a jackknife accident can potentially involve dozens of vehicles and injure a large number of people in short order.

Jackknife accidents may be the result of negligence on the part of a number of individuals, including but not limited to the following:

  • Truck drivers. Jackknife accidents frequently occur when the truck’s driver attempts to navigate a curve in the road too quickly. The driver may also be negligent in failing to obey the rules of the road–speeding, trailing too closely behind other vehicles, et cetera–or they make a mistake at a critical moment, such as failing to lock their steering axles when they see the trailer start to swing out.
  • Other drivers. If another motorist suddenly cuts off the tractor-trailer, that can quickly lead to a jackknife situation.
  • Trucking companies. A trucking company is vicariously liable for the negligence of its employee drivers. The truck owner can also be held responsible if they hired unqualified or under-trained drivers or failed to maintain an adequate maintenance program to ensure key parts on the tractor-trailer did not fail prior to a jackknifing.
  • Manufacturers. If a jackknife accident can be traced back to a defect in the construction of the semi-truck or one of its parts, the manufacturer can be held liable under Virginia law.

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Contact Our Tractor Trailer Jackknife Accidents Lawyers in Richmond & Tappahannock Today

Jackknife accidents often take weeks or months of investigation to sort out. The proximate cause of the accident may not be immediately obvious. That is why you should engage a skilled Richmond personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following a crash. Having an attorney who is on your side will prove crucial when dealing with insurance companies and multiple potential defendants. If you need to speak with a lawyer right away, contact Wind Law, LLC, today to schedule a consultation.