Jackknifed Tractor-Trailer Clogs Tampa Traffic
On the morning of Monday, March 13, 2023, a jackknifed tractor-trailer held up traffic on I-275 through Tampa for hours before the vehicle was cleared from the road. According to witnesses, the driver had come upon a previously existing crash and hit the brakes heavily, colliding with an SUV and winding up jackknifed into the median wall. While thankfully, those involved sustained only minor injuries, jackknife tractor-trailer accidents are among the most common types that one sees when semi-trucks are involved.
Why Jackknife Accidents Happen
A large truck usually has two parts: a cab and a trailer. A jackknife truck accident occurs when the two parts stop communicating, so to speak; the trailer swings at a different angle to the cab and winds up folding against the cab not unlike a ‘jackknife.’ The driver’s loss of control makes this one of the most potentially dangerous types of road accidents anyone can experience – particularly if the trailer is full of cargo that can impact other vehicles at high speed.
There are several reasons why a jackknife accident may happen – a sudden stop, particularly on wet or slick roads, is one of them. Others include having a vehicle that has been poorly maintained, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and an overloaded trailer. Another common reason is if the driver has been driving while fatigued – the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established hours of service regulations, and a driver who has been driving too long is more likely to make mistakes.
Should I File Suit?
If you have been injured in an accident involving a jackknifed truck, your injuries are likely to be severe, despite the good fortune of those involved in the I-275 crash. It may feel pointless to file suit against the driver (or their employer, depending on the specific facts of your situation), but if your injuries are significant enough to breach Florida’s ‘serious injury threshold,’ obtaining money damages can help keep your family afloat while you recuperate.
Be advised that if your injuries are of the minor type, Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system generally prevents you from filing suit. Instead, you are encouraged to file a claim with your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that you are required to carry as a Florida driver. The minimum amount required is $10,000 in PIP coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage, and this is seen as enough to cover the bills for most minor harm.
Contact A Tampa Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney
While the I-275 accident was cleared with a relatively minimal amount of trouble, most tractor-trailer accidents cause far more serious harm. If you have been injured in a crash with a large truck, calling a Tampa truck accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can be the first step you take toward compensation for what you have been through. Call our office today at (813) 831-9999 for a free consultation.