Jackknife Accident Lawyer in Providence

The 18-wheeler accident lawyers of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. are here to help you if you have been hurt in an accident that occurred when a truck jackknifed on the roadway. These accidents can be particularly devastating to both drivers and their passengers and often result in serious injury or death. Our attorneys know how these accidents occur and how to identify who is ultimately responsible for what happened to you. We will fight aggressively to get you the compensation that you are owed.

You may find yourself overwhelmed with medical bills and expenses on top of the pain and anguish that you are suffering. During this difficult time, the Providence jackknife accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. will be there to answer your questions, provide support, and help get you the fair compensation you are owed. Time to file your claim is limited, so contact us at (401) 751-8855, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live on our site to schedule a case evaluation today.

Why Choose Us?

The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. is a family-run law firm of personal injury attorneys in Providence, and it is our goal to treat our clients like family. We understand what you are going through and we will work hard to make sure that you get the financial compensation that the negligent party owes you. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients, and we are ready to put our skill and experience to work for you. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, turn to the team that is committed to helping people in Rhode Island get the justice they deserve.

How Do Trucks Jackknife?

When making a turn, the rear wheels of a tractor-trailer tend to cut corners because of the length and size of the vehicle. Unfortunately, when the wheels of a massive vehicle cut corners like this, the rear wheels of the towing vehicle often skid to the side or the back of the tractor swings to the front. This is known as jackknifing, or trailer swinging, and it can be catastrophic for drivers in the vicinity. While jackknifing is used as an intended backing maneuver for tractor-trailers when they are dropping off or unloading cargo at a slow rate of speed, it is dangerous when the tractor-trailer is moving forward down the highway. In some cases, the trailer may release from the tractor, sending it hurtling down the highway.

The mechanical cause of jackknifing is brake lock, which can occur on any of the wheels on a tractor-trailer. Tractor-trailers are particularly vulnerable to brake-lock because their brakes are designed to stop a fully loaded trailer. While a normal passenger vehicle weighs about 3,000 lbs., a fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh over 80,000 lbs., meaning that a sensitive braking system must be in effect. When a wheel’s brakes are locked, they do not contribute to any steering, which can be hazardous when a tractor-trailer approaches a turn. Even though brake lock is the ultimate cause of losing control of a tractor-trailer, often a negligent driver approaches a turn going at an excessive rate of speed or without taking proper care.

Common Causes of Jackknifing

While accidents can occur due to any number of factors, common causes of jackknife accidents include:

Slippery roadways: The roads in winter are often covered with ice. This can cause wheel-spinning for a tractor-trailer, which may ultimately cause a truck to jackknife. A tractor-trailer driver with common sense should pull his vehicle over and avoid the icy conditions or modify the tractor-trailer to possess snow tires or chains on the wheels. Winter storms can also create visibility issues, so a tractor-trailer driver may jackknife the vehicle to avoid a vehicle that suddenly appears in front.

Picking up downhill speed: Truck drivers should not pick up speed when they operate their vehicles on a downslope. If there is a sudden turn or stop at the bottom of a hill, and if the driver of the tractor-trailer has failed to reasonably brake or slow down while traveling down the hill, oftentimes the driver will try to compensate by slamming the brakes, which may cause the tractor-trailer to jackknife. Moreover, if a tractor-trailer driver does not proceed down a slope with the requisite caution, the driver may be presented with a situation where he cannot stop his vehicle in time to avoid a vehicle ahead. To avoid collision with this vehicle, a tractor-trailer driver may try to shift the tractor-trailer in such a way that causes jackknifing.

Braking on a curve: The most common cause of jackknifing occurs when a tractor-trailer driver applies the brake during a curve. The common-sense tractor-trailer driver applies the brake before the curve so the vehicle proceeds on the curve with all wheels in motion. Ultimately, tractor-trailer drivers should be primarily focused on safety and should anticipate any danger. If a commercial driver places more value on meeting delivery deadlines than driving with caution, people may be injured as a result.

Even though jackknifing may be caused by driver error, the trucking company may have failed to perform proper maintenance in some cases. Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining the brakes on the vehicle to ensure safe operation. If they failed to do so, they could be held liable for injuries and property damage as a result.

Whatever the cause, the resulting accident can be catastrophic. Because jackknifing causes an uncontrollable trailer to barrel down the highway, multi-vehicle accidents are likely to occur. Unfortunately, given the sheer size of tractor-trailers, the injuries sustained from jackknifing accidents can be fatal. Whether it’s the driver’s dangerous maneuver on the roadway, a negligent transportation company for failing to repair and inspect the brakes of a tractor-trailer, or an entity responsible for the maintenance and care of the roadway, the parties responsible for causing a jackknifing incident should be held accountable for injury to others.

Contact Us

If a tractor-trailer jackknifed on the roadway and caused you harm, the truck accident attorneys of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. can help you. We are also prepared to help you seek justice if your loved one was killed in a jackknife accident. Don’t let the negligence or recklessness of a trucking company go unpunished. We are here to help you get justice and the financial compensation that you need. Contact an experienced member of our team at (401) 751-8855 to schedule a consultation with us today.

Written By: Ronald J. Resmini

Last Updated : Tuesday, September 5, 2023