Chattanooga Jackknife Accident Attorneys

Representing Jackknife Truck Accident Victims in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama

Jackknife truck accidents happen when the trailer of a truck slides out in a sideways motion, forming an acute angle with the driver compartment. Most commonly occurring when a commercial vehicle is braking too hard or going around sharp turns at high speeds, jackknife accidents can be particularly hazardous due to the large size of commercial vehicles and their unpredictability on the road. Accident victims are likely to sustain catastrophic or even fatal injuries, especially if the collision at high speeds on a highway like the I-75

If suffered injuries in a jackknife truck accident, more than one party may be liable, and you may be entitled to compensation. You will need attorneys who are familiar with the intricacies of investigating truck accidents and layers of ownership and insurance coverage. 

At The Hamilton Firm, we make it our mission to provide aggressive, ethical representation to personal injury victims in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama, including individuals and families impacted by devastating jackknife wrecks. Our Chattanooga jackknife accident lawyers have leveraged our almost 100 years of combined legal experience to obtain over $100 million in settlements and judgments. We bring a personal touch to our practice, and you will work directly with one of our attorneys as we conduct a thorough investigation and build your case. Our seasoned team works fast without ever sacrificing our meticulous attention to detail, and we will do everything in our power to maximize what you recover.

You will never pay anything upfront and do not owe us any legal fees unless we win or secure a favorable settlement. Call (423) 454-3288 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. 

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Trucking and car accidents can take a toll on your life. Our attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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We recognize that your injuries may leave you unable to travel to our office, which is why one of our attorneys is happy to come to you to learn more about your situation. Call (423) 454-3288 or contact us online to schedule a case evaluation today.

Jackknife Accidents, Explained

To understand what a jackknife accident is and why they happen, we must first examine how a truck or tractor-trailer is meant to function. The trailer, which gives a truck its mammoth size and carries its cargo, is affixed to the vehicle, also known as the driver compartment or the “cab.” The trailer and vehicle are meant to move in unison, though its immense size and length do require the driver to exercise extreme care when turning. 

A jackknife accident results when the vehicle and trailer no longer move in unison. The driver consequently loses control of the trailer, which will begin moving in different directions behind the vehicle. This often leads to the trailer “sliding” and forming a V or L shape with the vehicle, hence the name “jackknife accident.” 

The shift in momentum will result in the trailer swinging unpredictably, potentially hitting a nearby or oncoming vehicle. Depending on the size of the trailer and the weight of its cargo, this impact will frequently cause serious injuries, including brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, or even death.

But why do jackknife accidents happen? Many are the result of negligence. Professional truck drivers should know the risks of jackknifing and take steps to limit the possibility of one of these accidents occurring. That includes following all rules governing fatigue, observing all traffic laws, and exercising extra caution when driving in poor weather conditions.

Our Chattanooga jackknife accident attorneys are prepared to represent you if suffered injuries in a wreck caused by:

  • Failure to properly brake
  • Equipment failure
  • Inadequate truck maintenance
  • Attempting to turn too quickly
  • Excessive speeding
  • Failing to exercise sufficient caution when driving in inclement weather 
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Distracted driving
  • Inexperienced or unqualified truck driver

Who Is Liable for a Jackknife Accident?

Liability for jackknife truck accidents can often be complex, as multiple parties may be involved and factors that contributed to the accident can be difficult to determine without proper investigation. In general, any party responsible for contributing to the accident in any way may be held liable, from the driver of the truck to the manufacturers of faulty parts or components. It is important to consult a qualified attorney, such as those at The Hamilton Firm, when attempting to ascertain liability in these cases.

Depending on the circumstances, one or more of the following parties may be liable for a jackknife truck accident:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company or broker
  • The owner of the truck
  • The shipper or warehouse involved in the cargo loading
  • The truck or vehicle component manufacturer
  • Parties responsible for vehicle maintenance, repairs, and inspections
  • Insurance companies for various parties

How Long Do I Have to File a Jackknife Accident Lawsuit?

The state where the jackknife accident occurred will determine how long you have to take legal action against liable parties. Each state enforces its own deadlines for auto accident claims.

In Tennessee, you will have only one year from the date of the jackknife accident to file a lawsuit. In Georgia and Alabama, you get two years from the date of the crash to bring a claim.

When someone suffers fatal injuries due to a jackknife accident, qualifying parties in Tennessee have one year from the date the victim passed away to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Qualifying parties in Georgia and Alabama have two years from the date of the victim’s passing to bring wrongful death claims.

You cannot recover any damages if you do not file by the pertinent deadline. Therefore, it is in your best interest to explore your legal options with a legal professional as soon as you can after being injured in a jackknife accident. 

What Damages Can I Recover for Jackknife Accident Injuries?

Injuries sustained in a jackknife accident tend to be severe and life-altering. By taking legal action, you can potentially obtain compensation for calculable, out-of-pocket expenses related to your accident (“economic damages”) as well as the more intangible losses stemming from your injuries. In some rare cases, you may also be able to get punitive damages if there is evidence that a defendant (such as a trucking company) acted fraudulently, recklessly, and/or maliciously.

Our Chattanooga jackknife accident lawyers will work to secure maximum compensation for all losses, including:

  • Past, current, and future medical bills 
  • Ongoing or permanent disability
  • Lost wages and reduced earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Property damage
  • Loss of consortium
Over $100 Million Recovered for Our Clients

Our pledge
To Our Clients

  • To exhibit the highest degree of ethical conduct in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility.
  • To preserve the client’s confidences learned during the lawyer-client relationship.
  • To work with other participants in the legal system to make it more accessible and responsive.
  • To respect the client’s decision on the objectives to be pursued in their case, as permitted by law and the rules of professiona
  • To keep clients informed and provide them with copies of important papers.
  • To return phone calls promptly.
  • To charge a reasonable contingency fee and to explain in advance how that fee will be determined and how expenses will be paid.
  • To handle their legal matters competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the legal profession.
  • To treat clients with respect and courtesy.
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