Large trucks serve a useful purpose, but they also pose a serious danger to motorists on the road, especially if the driver is not trained properly or the truck is not maintained in good working condition. One of the most common ways that trucks can cause serious harm is a jackknife accident. This occurs when an 18-wheeler or semi-truck skids out of control, resulting in the trailer swinging out to one side at an angle resembling a jackknife. This type of dangerous maneuver occurs most frequently when the roadway conditions are slippery or wet. Dedicated Columbia truck accident lawyer Matt Uhrig has advised and represented many victims who have been struck by a negligent trucker. He is ready to help you explore your legal options.Pursuing Compensation after a Jackknife Accident
To seek compensation after being involved in a truck accident, you can file a personal injury case against the truck driver responsible for the collision in addition to the trucking company that employed the driver. This usually means that you will be required to prove that the driver acted negligently at the time of the accident. Truck drivers are required to operate their massive vehicles with the same degree of care that a reasonable and prudent driver would use in a similar situation. If the road conditions are slippery and wet, or there is severe weather, for example, a prudent driver would likely reduce his or her speed. A reasonable truck driver would also execute turns carefully and keep appropriate distances from other vehicles on the road.
If the plaintiff can prove that the driver violated a statute or an applicable traffic regulation at the time of the crash, the plaintiff is entitled to use a rebuttable presumption that the defendant operated his or her truck negligently. Also, if the driver was operating the truck during the course and scope of his or her employment, the plaintiff can try to hold the trucking company that employs the driver liable as well. This doctrine is known as respondeat superior or vicarious liability.
In some cases, jackknifing occurs more through the fault of the trucking company than the driver. Truck drivers receive training on how to brake in emergency situations. If a trucking company fails to ensure that its drivers have received the appropriate training to handle these situations, the trucking company may be held directly liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.
After showing that the truck driver or trucking company acted negligently, the plaintiff must show that this breach was the direct cause of the crash and his or her resulting injuries. The plaintiff will need to submit evidence supporting the damages that he or she is claiming in the action, such as medical expenses, missed wages, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of future earning capacity, and diminished quality of life.Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Columbia
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a jackknife accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Experienced Columbia truck accident attorney Matt Uhrig has guided many injured individuals throughout Missouri, including in Ashland and Jefferson City. We provide a free consultation to assist you in learning about your legal options, and we do not recover any fees unless we obtain a favorable result for you. Call us at (573) 657-2050 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney.