Jackknife / Rollover Truck Accidents
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Commercial trucks pose innumerable risks to public safety, but few trucking collisions have as great a potential for devastating outcomes as jackknife and rollover crashes. Regarded among the most severe and dangerous types of collisions, these truck accidents are more likely to involve multiple vehicles, substantial property damage, and catastrophic or fatal injuries.
At Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P., our Civil Trial Lawyers have earned national recognition for our work in complex injury cases. Over the years, we’ve helped numerous clients secure justice and compensation following preventable crashes, including those involving commercial trucks and tractor-trailers.
PRS: A Legacy of Results
Clients with high-stakes cases against major corporations and insurance companies continue to place their trust in our Chicago attorneys. Here are a few reasons why:
- We’ve recovered over $4 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients ($900M more than our closest competitor since the year 2000).
- Partners Joseph A. Power Jr., Larry R. Rogers Jr., and Todd A. Smith are members of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an exclusive legal organization comprised of the top 100 plaintiffs’ trial lawyers in the nation. Joe Power is currently President of the organization.
- Our firm has secured record-setting case results, including a $100M trucking accident recovery; the largest personal injury award to a single family in Illinois history.
What Are Jackknife and Rollover Accidents?
Jackknife and rollover accidents are types of commercial trucking collisions, and they are each statistically more likely to have devastating consequences.
- Jackknife Accidents – Jackknifing is a term used to describe collisions in which commercial tractor-trailers “fold” at their point of articulation (the area where the truck cab connects with the trailer). Named for its resemblance to a folding knife, jackknife accidents pose significant dangers because they can cause trucks and trailers to swing wildly across multiple lanes of traffic, posing risks to more motorists on the road, and risks of more severe injuries.
- Rollover Accidents – Rollovers similarly have a greater likelihood of lane departures and multi-vehicle accidents. Because commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, tractor-trailer rollovers often result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
Certain factors can increase risks of jackknife and rollover collisions, including driver substance abuse, improperly loaded or overweight trucks, and driver fatigue. In fact, studies have shown the first day back at work for a night driver after temporarily resuming a normal sleep cycle is when the public is at greatest risk for serious crashes caused by a dozing or sleeping driver.
Seeking Compensation for Victims: Fault & Liability
Civil personal injury claims (known as “torts”) are claims brought by individuals or families who have been injured by the negligent or wrongful acts of others. Claims which arise from trucking accident cases typically involve plaintiffs who claim their accidents and injuries could and should have been prevented had defendants upheld their duty of care, complied with applicable trucking regulations, or took reasonable measures to ensure the safety of those around them.
As with any personal injury or wrongful death case, the individual facts surrounding your accident will determine important elements of your personal case, including:
- The claims brought against at-fault parties;
- The defendants against whom claims are made; and
- The potential value of your case.
Our legal team works closely with relevant experts to meticulously investigate crashes, determine fault and liability, and create an accurate assessment of our clients’ injuries and need for compensation. Though every case is different, there are a few general things to understand about trucking cases and their components:
1. Claims Brought By Victims
Victims of jackknife and rollover accidents may bring claims against the parties they allege are responsible for their accidents, injuries, and losses. These claims may focus on:
- Truck driver negligence (drunk driving, distracted driving, fatigue, etc.);
- Trucking company negligence (failure to drug test, negligent hiring / retention, failure to adequately maintain vehicles, etc.);
- Trucking regulation violations that made rollovers or jackknifing more likely (hours-of-service violations, cargo securement or weight violations, etc.)
- Other failures to meet the “duty of care.”
2. Defendants Named in Trucking Jackknife or Rollover Cases
The parties to be held liable in your jackknife or rollover case depends on the circumstances involved. Our firm explores all potentially liable parties that may have caused or contributed to these crashes. Examples of possible defendants include:
- Truck drivers and trucking companies;
- Retailers, distributors, and cargo loaders that improperly load or overload trucks;
- Vehicle maintenance companies contracted by trucking operators;
- Automakers or auto part manufacturers responsible for defective products (i.e. faulty tires, malfunctioning brakes, etc.)
- Other negligent motorists who contributed to crashes;
- Government entities or third parties responsible for roadway defects or unsafe road conditions.
3. Potential Case Value
The potential value of any case is highly dependent on the individual facts involved. Because each case is different, we encourage victims and families to seek personalized case evaluations from our team to better understand what damages they may be able to recover. In cases of jackknife or rollover accidents, these damages can be extensive and may persist well into the future, beyond the resolution of a case or for the rest of a person’s life.
Damages victims may recover can include, among others:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost income / lost future earning
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional injury / mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life / loss of support
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Damages associated with wrongful death
Have questions about your potential case and how Power Rogers & Smith may be able to help? Call (312) 313-0202 or contact us online to request a free consultation.