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Tractor-trailers are common sights on Illinois roads but they are not always the safest vehicles to be around. One of the scariest things that can happen with these trucks is a jackknife, which has the potential cause immense damage and injury to nearby motorists. If you find yourself with a mountain of medical bills to take care of, a Cicero jackknife truck accident lawyer could help. You might be able to win enough money through a settlement or court judgment to pay off your bills with the aid of an aggressive truck accident attorney.

What is a Jackknife?

Jackknifes occur with trucks where the tractor and trailer are connect together as two separate units. When a truck jackknifes, it means that the tractor is pointing one direction and the trailer is pointing in another direction after kicking outward. These accidents can occur when a truck is traveling too fast or the weather conditions cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. When a tractor-trailer begins to jackknife, it is difficult for the driver to control it, often resulting in the trailer hitting other cars or objects.

Scenarios That Can Lead to a Jackknife

There are two common scenarios which lead to these accidents. Road conditions can make it more likely for a truck to jackknife. If the road is wet or icy, the truck can lose traction with the road because of the weight of a tractor-trailer. When it loses contact with the road surface, the truck tends to drift out of control, which can ultimately lead to the trailer sliding outward.

The other common cause of a jackknife is faulty brakes. There are many different braking systems on the tractor as well as the trailer. If the brakes are not maintained properly, it could result in the truck beginning to jackknife. This can also happen if the truck driver mishandles the braking on a tractor-trailer.

All other vehicles on the roadway are in jeopardy of being struck by the out-of-control truck. Pedestrians and other fixed objects like telephone lines and fences are at risk as well. Anyone who was hit by a tractor-trailer should consult with a local jackknife truck crash lawyer.

What Precautions Can Prevent a Jackknife from Occurring?

To prevent a truck from jackknifing, a driver must inspect the braking system of both the tractor and the trailer before every load. They must be trained in how to handle the vehicle if a jackknife is occurring. The best way to avoid this accident is to drive at a safe speed in light of all the weather conditions. Wet or icy conditions should lead a driver to take more precautions on the road.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require truckers to inspect the vehicle before every trip. Additionally, the trucking company has an obligation to inspect and maintain the brakes on the truck. A truck with faulty or inoperable brakes presents an extreme danger to the driving public. A jackknife truck accident attorney in Cicero could investigate whether the trucking company gave proper inspections.

While a truck company may claim that the jackknife accident was not foreseeable or preventable, a driver using reasonable care should always be able to avoid losing control. They should have the training and knowledge to know how to react in case of emergencies and bad weather.

Multiple Parties Named as Defendants

There is the potential for multiple parties being listed as a defendant in a truck accident claim. The plaintiff could name the driver as well as the trucking company or potentially a party that was involved in making a vehicle part that malfunctioned. That could initiate a defective product claim. If the truck driver was injured in a jackknife, they could potentially file for workers’ compensation.

It is important to speak to an experienced trucking lawyer as soon as possible. Truck accidents are not usually handled the same way as accidents involving two passenger vehicles. There are many state and federal regulations governing trucking companies, their drivers, and their vehicles and it is important to document a jackknife truck case as soon as possible after it occurs.

Consult with a Cicero Jackknife Truck Accident Attorney

You can take advantage of a free consultation with a legal professional to learn your odds of success with a lawsuit. It should not be your sole responsibility to pay for expensive treatments due to a truck driver’s negligence. Work with a Cicero jackknife truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.