Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injury and death not just in Massachusetts, but throughout the entire country. Fortunately, though, most car accidents don’t lead to serious injury, but are instead minor fender-benders. One factor that can significantly increase the risk of severity in the event of a collision is the size of the vehicles involved. Indeed, truck accidents pose a greater threat, and one of the most dangerous types of truck accidents is a jackknife accident. 

What Is a Jackknife Accident?

A jackknife is a type of pocket knife that folds to close, hiding the blade, and then opens to reveal a single blade. True to its namesake, a jackknife truck accident is one in which the trailer of a semi-truck swings around—similar to the same arc that a pocket knife makes in opening—in a jackknife motion to end up parallel to the cab to which it’s attached. 

How Jackknife Accidents Happen

Jackknife accidents happen when the trailer of a truck stays in motion while the cab of a truck comes to a halt. When this happens, the trailer often has nowhere to go but forward, and may be pulled to one side or the other as the cab of the truck screeches to a halt (and usually jerks slightly to the left or right). Jackknife accidents almost always are the result of a trucker driver slamming on their brakes, but they can also happen when making turns or other maneuvers too fast. 

Steps to Take After a Jackknife Accident

A jackknife accident can lead to serious harm for those involved, including and especially for the occupants of any passenger vehicles that may be impacted by the accident. Large trucks often weigh in the range of 80,000 pounds—more than enough to completely total a smaller vehicle. If you’ve been involved in a jackknife truck accident, you may be facing serious damages.

You deserve to be compensated for your harm. A few steps to take that can help you recover your full damages award include:

  • Document as much as you can about your accident
  • Seek medical care immediately and follow your doctor’s orders related to recovery
  • File an insurance claim
  • Call the police, file a police report, and get a copy of the report
  • Document your damages, from the pain you’re experiencing, to any disabilities that result, to your economic losses and everything else
  • Take the time to find an experienced truck accident attorney

The Benefits of Working With a Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney 

Truck accident claims are often very complex, both because of the number of potentially liable parties involved and because of the severity of damages to victims. When you work with an attorney, your attorney will be able to build your claim, gather evidence, advocate on your behalf, prove damages, and negotiate your settlement. As your attorney manages these items, you can focus on your recovery and wellbeing. 

At the office of Tetzel Law, we are here to advocate for you. Call our Massachusetts car accident attorney today or send us a message online to get started. We offer free consultations. Reach us at (617) 742-1700 now.