Tractor-trailers are heavy vehicles that cause a disproportionate number of fatal accidents on our highways. Safe operation requires truckers to receive comprehensive training, thoroughly maintain their rigs, and load their cargo correctly. Even when commercial vehicle drivers take the proper precautions, accidents that injure innocent motorists still happen.
Jackknife collisions are particularly dangerous. These crashes happen when a truck’s trailer moves across adjacent lanes of traffic at an angle to the cab. If the vehicle remains upright during a jackknife collision, the trailer could collide with smaller cars, crushing them and causing severe injuries to any occupants. One of these collisions could even lead to a rollover wreck.
If you were injured in a jackknife truck accident in Roswell, a commercial vehicle crash attorney could help you and your family collect compensation from the responsible driver. Damages could include reimbursement for your medical expenses, lost income, or pain and suffering.
How to Prove Liability After a Jackknife Accident
Determining who needs to pay an injured person’s damages after a jackknife truck accident depends on whether the plaintiff can establish that a commercial vehicle driver acted negligently. In vehicle crash cases, negligence refers to a failure to exercise ordinary care to prevent harm to others, resulting in someone’s injury or suffering.
To maximize their chances of collecting compensation, an injured person should ask an experienced attorney to investigate a jackknife crash immediately. A lawyer could look for evidence of negligent behavior among the trucker, their employer, other people involved in the incident, or the commercial vehicle manufacturer. Any of these parties could classify as a defendant in a lawsuit.
Evidence of negligent conduct depends on the case, but valuable information could include proof that:
- A truck driver was speeding
- A trucker loaded their trailer improperly and shifting cargo caused the trailer to jackknife
- A tractor-trailer driver could not stop because their brakes locked or failed
- A trucker received poor training from their company
- A truck driver was fatigued, distracted, or impaired
- A state organization failed to maintain a safe road
Regardless of the accident’s specifics, a diligent attorney in Roswell could fight hard to prove that the negligent actions of another person caused the jackknife truck accident.
What Damages Are Available After a Jackknife Truck Accident?
If the plaintiff can establish the truck driver’s negligence after a jackknife collision, they can continue towards pursuing damages. However, collecting financial compensation requires a claimant to concretely demonstrate how the crash impacted their life.
To do this, an injured person could implement medical bills, receipts for property damage expenses, tax records, testimony about their continuing medical needs, and information about the accident’s impact on their future earning potential. A plaintiff recovering from a jackknife accident could even have a friend or family member testify about the crash’s effect on their mental well-being, relationships, or lifestyle. Once a plaintiff effectively communicates the extent of their suffering, a court will likely permit them to collect reimbursement for disfigurement, emotional trauma, unnecessary physical suffering, or diminished quality of life.
Meanwhile, the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §51-12-5.1 also authorizes a plaintiff to seek punitive damages under certain conditions. These unique repayments aim to reimburse a claimant for willful or malicious misconduct. For example, if a jackknife collision happened because a truck driver operated their vehicle under the influence of alcohol, punitive damages might apply. A tenacious attorney in Roswell could advise a claimant about whether the circumstances surrounding a jackknife truck accident merit punitive damages.
How Does Acting Quickly Help Bolster a Truck Wreck Claim?
State law establishes that anyone injured in a jackknife truck crash generally has two years to file a lawsuit. A plaintiff will usually lose their right to sue if they fail to submit their claim within that timeframe.
Seeking an attorney soon after a jackknife collision could ensure a plaintiff complies with the statute of limitations, along with helping in other ways. For instance, retaining legal counsel early on could give a seasoned lawyer in Roswell more time to handle communications with the person responsible for the jackknife truck accident or begin negotiations toward a fair settlement. Time is of the essence in these cases, so an injured person should not delay acting.
Contact a Skilled Attorney in Roswell About Your Jackknife Truck Accident Claim
Tractor-trailer companies often work hard to limit their liability when one of their commercial vehicles causes a serious injury. Trying to negotiate a fair deal without a well-practiced attorney could create problems for an unrepresented plaintiff.
You should seek the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer if you were injured in a jackknife truck accident in Roswell. Call today to learn about your options and get started on your case.