Jackknife Trucking Accidents in St. Louis
Anyone who has ever listened to a traffic report has probably heard about a jackknife accident. This is a dangerous situation where a truck and its trailer get out of sync and wind up looking like a jackknife blade. Typically, this is caused by a loss of traction on the trailer tires. When the trailer tires start sliding sideways, there is not enough traction to stop them and the trailer can come around the side of the truck. Large trucks are not the only ones at risk of jackknife accidents, it can also happen with a small trailer or boat being towed behind a pickup truck.
Holding Truck Drivers Liable for Jackknife Accidents
In most cases, we will try to prove that a jackknifing accident caused damages to our client and it happened because the truck driver acted negligently. By “negligently,” we mean that the driver failed to take the safety precautions that a reasonable truck driver in their position should take. For example, it may be that the driver was driving too fast for the circumstances and that is why his truck jackknifed. Or, it may be that they were driving while drowsy, and the resulting poor reflexes led to a jackknife accident.
Do Not Worry if You Also Made a Mistake
Sometimes, a driver that is seriously injured in a truck crash will worry that they cannot be compensated for their injuries because they were partially at fault. That is not the case. Missouri follows a rule called “pure comparative fault,” which allows a partially-at-fault party to still be compensated for his or her damages. For example, if a car driver was going one way with a burned-out headlight, and a truck coming the other way and jackknifed, then both drivers might be at fault. The jury may look at the situation and say that the truck driver was 90% at fault for driving while distracted and the car driver might be 10% at fault for having a burned-out headlight. In that situation, the car driver will still be awarded 90% of his or her damages.
Let The Dixon Injury Firm Evaluate Your Case
If you have been injured and you are unsure who is at fault, the best first step is to ask a lawyer to evaluate your case. Here at The Dixon Injury Firm, we provide these case evaluations free of charge. It is important, however, that you contact us as soon as possible. Evidence from a car crash can quickly disappear as road crews rightly work to clear up a roadway to return the normal traffic flows. Damaged trucks and cars cannot be stored in neat little evidence lockers. Instead, they can wind up being thrown in a scrap heap or even smashed down and recycled before good evidence can be collected.
Set Your Claim Up for Success
You should be very careful in dealing with the other party in the accident. Insurance companies may swoop in and try to offer you a settlement that may seem large, but it is almost certainly far less than the company is willing to pay. Many injured drivers have taken quick payouts only to see their medical bills mount to the point where the settlement was woefully insufficient. In fact, the insurance company for the other side should not talk to you directly if you have a lawyer. It is often best to simply tell them that you plan to hire a personal accident attorney in St. Louis and they can talk to them later. They may try to convince you that you have to talk with them immediately in order to get your claim paid, but that is not true.
The Dixon Injury Firm
9666 Olive Blvd #202,
St. Louis, MO 63132