Any type of collision with a large truck can be dangerous, especially for the occupants of a smaller vehicle involved in the accident. A jackknife accident is one in which a truck with two parts—a cab and a trailer—fold toward each other. It can be particularly dangerous and even lead to a fatality. If you or someone you love was injured in this type of accident, an Atlanta truck accident lawyer in your area can help you recover damages.
Your personal injury lawyer will explain what a jackknife accident is and investigate its cause to determine financial liability. With their legal support, you can recover your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. They will take on the insurance company and work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
What Causes a Jackknife Truck Accident?
Jackknifing can happen for multiple reasons. If the cause of your jackknife truck accident was negligence, you can recover compensatory damages from the at-fault party. Some common reasons jackknifing occurs include:
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Failure to effectively navigate turns
- Road and weather conditions
- Truck manufacturing or design flaws
- Failure to brake effectively
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 4,000 fatal jackknife accidents involving large trucks, such as semi-trucks, occurred in 2020. Most law firms have team members who will review your case at no cost or obligation. A truck accident lawyer can explain the merits of your case and your right to recover damages. They will also explain how to file a truck accident claim in Georgia and the steps they will take toward achieving financial compensation.
How Can You Prove a Jackknife Accident Was Caused by Negligence?
A truck accident lawyer can explain how to determine fault for your truck accident. They will conduct a comprehensive investigation that proves the following elements of negligence:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
This is critical in commercial truck accident cases since they can have multiple potentially liable parties. You can sue a trucking company for an accident caused by their truck driver. Your lawyer’s investigation will determine whether you can also seek compensation from the manufacturer of the truck or its parts (like brakes, windshield wipers, and tires) or the repair and maintenance facility.
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What Type of Compensation Can You Get After a Jackknife Accident?
Truck accident victims can suffer severe injuries that require ongoing medical treatment. Economic damages you can request from the at-fault party can include all the costs associated with current and future medical care throughout your recovery. Additional economic damages include:
- Past and future lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage, loss, or diminishment
Your lawyer will support the value of your economic damages with bills, receipts, and other documentation. They will also collect tangible proof of the value of your recoverable non-economic damages. These include disability, disfigurement, mental and emotional distress, pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life.
Can Families Get Wrongful Death Damages After a Fatal Jackknife Accident?
If you lost a loved one in a jackknifing truck accident, your lawyer will help you recover a range of wrongful death damages. Typically, the decedent’s parents, spouse, and children can receive compensation. Damages in wrongful death cases can include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The decedent’s medical bills
- Loss of your loved one’s income
- Loss of their services to the family
- Loss of consortium and guidance
- Your mental and emotional anguish
Your family deserves time to cope with its loss. While you do, your legal team will handle the legal aspects of your wrongful death action.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Jackknife Truck Accident?
Generally, the statute of limitations on a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is two years after the jackknife accident, according to O.C.G.A § 9-3-33. If the statute of limitations expires:
- You will not be able to file your lawsuit at all
- Your lawsuit will be dismissed out of hand
- The insurer will refuse to negotiate a settlement
- The at-fault party cannot be compelled to compensate you
You generally have six months to file a claim against a government agency, according to O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5. The lawyer representing you will explain all the notification and filing deadlines that apply to your case and any factors that might cause them to toll or pause.
Is It Worth Hiring a Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer?
You could attempt to settle your truck accident case on your own, including dealing with the insurance company and navigating the legal system. When you hire a truck accident lawyer in Georgia, they will take care of all of the following for you:
- Explain your rights as the injured party
- Explain all applicable Georgia laws
- Review the at-fault party’s insurance policy
- Identify and pursue all liable parties
- Interview lay and expert witnesses
- Handle all case-related paperwork
- Calculate the value of your case
Your lawyer’s support also means you can focus on your recovery without losing important time to build your case and meet mandatory filing deadlines.
Will a Lawyer Negotiate With the Insurance Company?
Yes! Your lawyer will handle all communication with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Their intervention can help you avoid saying or signing anything that might be later misconstrued or otherwise harmful to your case. To handle the settlement negotiation process from start to finish, your lawyer will:
- Build a persuasive evidence-collection
- Create and send your demand letter
- Field each incoming settlement offer
- Weigh the pros and cons of each offer
You cannot request additional compensation, even for valid damages, once your case is resolved. Your jackknife accident attorney can help you avoid a speedy yet insufficient settlement. The final decision is always yours to make, but your legal team will guide you toward a well-informed settlement decision.
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Contact Our Truck Accident Team for a Free Review of Your Jackknife Case
If you or someone you love was injured in a jackknife truck accident, our law firm will help you prove the cause of the accident. They will also help you recover damages from the negligent party.
Learn more about what a jackknife accident is and how you can pursue compensation by contacting our case evaluation team at Kaine Law to get started today.