Few accidents produce injuries as catastrophic as jackknife accidents. Since these collisions frequently involve commercial trucks and big rigs, it is not uncommon for victims to suffer life-threatening or permanently disabling injuries. When another party is responsible for causing the injuries you sustain, you have the right to compensation for your damages.
With help from an experienced Albany jackknife accident lawyer, you can pursue total reimbursement of your damages. Contact us to schedule a free consultation where you’ll learn the claims process and how we can help you pursue full compensation for your injuries.
How do jackknife accidents occur?
Jackknife accidents most often occur when a semi-truck or vehicle towing a trailer loses control. The bed or trailer swings to the left or the right, resembling a folding jackknife. Multiple factors can result in devastating jackknife accidents, including:
- Tractor-trailer drivers brake too quickly, causing an imbalance and skidding on the roads
- Commercial truck drivers traveling above the speed limit, unable to maintain control of their big rig
- Inclement weather, including snow, rain, and ice storms or debris on the roads, such as oil spills
- Equipment malfunctions or defects with tires, braking systems, or other mechanical defects which may lead to a loss of traction or control over the vehicle
- Improper weight distribution, which makes it difficult or impossible for the tractor-trailer to remain stable
In some of these jackknife accidents, the truck driver’s negligent actions are the cause of the collision. If the trucker was violating traffic rules and regulations by speeding, failing to use a turn signal, or making improper lane changes, you may have grounds for legal action.
However, mechanical defects and dangerous road conditions can also contribute to jackknife accidents. You can rely on your truck accident attorney in Albany to thoroughly investigate the cause of your collision so we can gather the evidence we need to support your case and prove culpability.
Possible damages you can claim
After a jackknife accident, you may be wondering how much compensation you could recover. This makes complete sense, as you will want to be sure your efforts in pursuing your claim are going to pay off when you are already struggling emotionally, financially, and physically.
You have the right to be made whole, which means you should be compensated for every loss you experience. This includes economic damages, which have a financial value, and non-economic damages, which do not.
Economic damages are relatively simple to calculate as they already have set financial values. For example, if you paid out-of-pocket for your prescription medication at the pharmacy, you will have a receipt for your expenses or bank records that show your purchase. You might also have copies of your medical records, which detail your treatment plan and the costs of medical interventions.
The at-fault party should compensate you for every medical expense that relates to your jackknife accident. This does not only include immediate medical expenses but future healthcare costs you might require, such as surgical intervention, ongoing physical or occupational therapy, and mental health counseling.
You should also be repaid for your wage-related losses. This includes not only your missed salary or weekly pay but your diminished earning potential and loss of employee benefits, such as:
- Health insurance from your employer
- Vacation time
- Paid time off and sick time
- Bonuses and salary increases
- Retirement savings and 401(k) contributions from your employer
Furthermore, the costs associated with your vehicle damages should also be taken into account. Not only should the at-fault party cover the repairs or cost of replacing your vehicle, but when your vehicle has a reduced value due to being involved in an accident, you require a rental car, or you owe more on your vehicle than the car is worth, the liable party will be responsible for these damages as well.
Non-economic damages can be a little more challenging than economic damages as they do not have a monetary value. However, due to their extreme impact on victims’ lives, they need to be quantified so you can be compensated for these losses accordingly. Some examples of non-economic damages that are often recovered in jackknife accident claims include:
- Psychological distress
- Emotional turmoil
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of protection and guidance
- Skin scarring
- Disfiguring or disabling injuries
- Loss of spousal intimacy
- Damage to your reputation
- Inconvenience and embarrassment
- Indignity and shame
After going over the various ways your life has been affected by your injuries, your jackknife accident attorney will have a better idea of how much your case is worth. We will also be able to determine whether you have the right to file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company.
Filing an insurance claim is one of the top ways to recover compensation for your damages. However, since insurance settlements rarely, if ever, offer coverage for non-economic damages, to get the most out of your claim, you may need to settle with the liable party outside of court or bring your case to trial.
Common jackknife accident injuries
The injuries jackknife accidents have the potential to cause are often catastrophic. We must consider the impact your injuries will continue to have on your life when we calculate the value of your claim. Some of the most common injuries you could shoot for after a jackknife accident include:
- Brain trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
- Compound fractures, muscle sprains and strains, and bone breaks
- Paralysis and loss of limbs
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
Parties who may be liable for your injury
You can rely on your jackknife accident attorney in Albany to figure out who is at fault for your injuries. This is the party who will be compelled to compensate you for every loss you experienced due to the accident itself and your subsequent injuries. The cause of your accident will help us determine who is responsible.
For example, if the truck driver who caused the collision was too tired to operate the big rig safely, not only might you have grounds for a claim against this negligent truck driver, but you may also have the right to sue the trucking company that employs them.
This is particularly true if your attorney uncovers evidence that shows the trucking company was in violation of work-hour regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Other potentially liable parties
Other parties who may be partially responsible for your jackknife accident injuries include:
- The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)
- The owner of the commercial truck
- Cargo loaders
- The trucking company
- Negligent truck drivers
- Tractor-trailer maintenance workers and safety inspectors
- The city of Albany and other municipalities
How our Albany jackknife accident lawyers prove liability
Proving liability is crucial if you hope to show the defendant’s conduct is responsible for causing your injuries. Throughout the course of your jackknife accident attorney’s investigation, we will gather compelling evidence to support your case. This might include:
- Footage of the jackknife accident from traffic or dashcams
- Photos from the accident scene and the victim’s injuries
- Copies of the truck driver’s blood alcohol test results and cell phone records
- Analysis of the tractor-trailer black box data, which details how fast the trucker was going, whether any mechanical defects were present, and other information regarding the accident
- Copies of the trucking company’s employment records and safety inspection logs
- Reports from accident reconstructionists, experts, and police
Make sure you file your jackknife accident claim on time
The statute of limitations limits the amount of time you have to file your jackknife accident lawsuit. Georgia personal injury laws state your lawsuit must be filed within two years of the accident under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33.
If a minor child suffered injuries, the statute of limitations may be temporarily tolled until the child reaches the legal age to pursue the claim on their own. However, if you are unsure how long you have left to get your claim filed, the best way to protect yourself and your compensation is to get in touch with a jackknife accident attorney who can offer further clarity.
Why do I need a jackknife accident lawyer in Albany, GA?
There are no legal requirements that say you must have a jackknife accident attorney in Albany, GA, working for you. However, when your injuries have made it impossible for you to focus on anything other than recuperating, our team will be here for you.
Your attorney can handle every legal element of your case from start to finish, so you do not have to concern yourself with complex legal jargon or worry unnecessarily.
We will identify liable parties, establish culpability, gather evidence to support your case, quantify damages, and negotiate and handle communication with the insurance company for you, all while you focus on healing from your physical injuries and psychological trauma.
Our Albany jackknife accident lawyers are here to help
The process for recovering compensation can be complex at best. Make sure you have an experienced and knowledgeable legal advocate working for you. Contact a dedicated Albany jackknife accident lawyer with Shrable Law Firm, P.C. for help demanding the at-fault party compensate you fairly for your damages.
Our firm proudly offers free case reviews to car accident victims across Albany, Georgia, and surrounding cities. Claim yours when you call our office or complete our convenient contact form to take advantage of this opportunity.
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