Tractor-Trailer Jackknife Accidents Are Dangerous
Tractor-trailers are extremely large vehicles that can still cause serious accidents if they are not in the hands of a person who understands how to operate them. That said, even the most experienced operator cannot prevent every accident. Jackknife-type truck accidents can happen for many other reasons besides driver error, and they can cause significant, life-changing injuries.
Happens In An Instant
A jackknife accident happens when the cab and the trailer of a large truck stop communicating with each other. Most often, the cab will travel one way, while the trailer will skid in another direction – and given the size and speed of such a vehicle, cars and trucks in the way may be severely damaged and their passengers hurt. This is particularly true if a truck overturns – this can happen in an instant, and it may be all too easy for drivers to get caught up.
While driver error can play a role in these types of accidents, there are several other potential reasons why jackknife accidents can occur. For example, improper brake maintenance or brake failure may be the fault of the vehicle’s owner or the company that maintains it. Poorly maintained roads can sometimes be laid at the door of a municipality – for example, the Florida Department of Transportation may be sued if a failure to maintain a highway leads to an accident.
Should I File Suit?
If you have been injured in an accident involving a jackknifed tractor-trailer, you may be unsure about filing suit to seek money damages. It may feel too overwhelming, too time-consuming; you may simply want to focus on physical recovery. Alternatively, you may worry that you played a role in causing your own injuries, meaning that recovery would be impossible. In reality, Florida law is fairly forgiving toward injured plaintiffs.
In March 2023, Florida adopted what is known as a modified comparative fault law. What this means is that unless a plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault, they may still recover for their damages minus their percentage of fault. So, if you are found to have been 10 percent at fault for your own injuries, and you prevail at trial, you will – at least in theory – be able to recover 90 percent of your damages from the defendant or defendants.
Contact A Tampa Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney
An accident involving a tractor-trailer carries the possibility of serious injury or even death due to the size and speed of the vehicle. If you or a loved one have been injured in such a way, a Tampa tractor-trailer accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can offer compassionate and dedicated representation at a time that can be frightening for you and yours. Call our office today for a free consultation.