Los Angeles Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife accidents are somewhat common within the commercial trucking industry. They result from the cab of a truck rotating away from the trailer in such a way that they are rendered immobile and resemble a pocketknife or jack knife closing. Jackknifing can occur because of sudden braking, which often causes a fully loaded trailer to either skid out of control, jackknife into the cab or roll over completely. It can also result from driver error or negligent driving in general where the truck and trailer are forced into a swerve or an out of control skid. Speeding is a common factor in jackknifing, especially when sharp curves or abrupt turns are involved and unsafe driving in poor road conditions can also contribute this variety of truck related accident.

Victims of a truck related accident that results in a jackknifing situation often suffer severe injuries and in extreme circumstances, fatalities may occur. Victims of jackknife accidents are left with significant property damage, emotional distress and bodily harm that may result in ongoing medical treatment with excessive medical expenses.

Common Causes of Truck Related Jackknife Accidents

There are many factors that may contribute to a truck related wrongful death accident. Such accidents may be the result of the following:

  • Maintenance Negligence: This occurs when a trucking company or driver fails to adequately maintain equipment and perform routine inspections. Without proper inspections, equipment can fall into disrepair and go unnoticed, causing dangerous situations on the highway.
  • Overloading Cargo: May create an unstable load that is more prone to roll over accidents
  • Excessive Speed: Lessens a driver’s reaction time to respond to road hazards and other drivers
  • Reckless and Aggressive Driving: While operating a large truck and trailer is unsafe for the driver and other motorists based on the sheer size and mass of the rig.
  • Equipment Malfunction: May cause the truck to become unstable, removing the integrity of its foundation and functionality.
  • Driving Under the Influence of an Illegal Substance: Is highly illegal and responsible for the severe impairment of judgment and ability to safely operate machinery.
  • Poor Driving Conditions such as a Snow and Ice: May cause large truck and trailer rigs to slide out of control, careening off of embankments or into other vehicles.
  • Driver Fatigue: Creates a volatile situation when you combine drowsiness and nodding off at the wheel in a massive piece of machinery traveling at high speeds
  • Impaired Vision from Night Driving: Makes it difficult for drivers to recognize potential road hazards and conditions.
  • Overloaded Trucks: Brake Failure: Makes it difficult or impossible to slow a heavy load safely, potentially resulting in a serious accident.
  • Inexperienced Drivers: May result in a collision based on a new truck operator’s lack of exposure to driving hazards when a commercial company does not take the time to sufficiently train and educate them to uphold the highest safety measures on the road.
  • Failure to Follow Posted Traffic Signage: Creates dangerous driving situations such as ignoring “one way” indications that may result in collisions with oncoming traffic.
  • Insufficient Driver Training: May result in a collision based on a new truck operator’s lack of exposure to driving hazards when a commercial company does not take the time to sufficiently train and educate them to uphold the highest safety measures on the road.
  • Defective or Damaged Equipment: May result in a malfunctioning of the truck and trailer, such as a tire blow out that can cause a truck to roll over based on it being rendered unstable.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a jackknifing accident, it is important to understand your rights as a victim and to align yourself with an attorney who is well versed in the California specific laws pertaining this variety of commercial truck accident. Determining who is the responsible party is of the utmost importance and such accidents are time sensitive in nature. As the victim of a jackknife accident, you may have legal recourse to obtain compensation for damages suffered.


With over 12 years of experience in specifically dealing with Truck Injury Accidents within the state of California, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel A. Gibalevich – California Truck Injury Attorneys – are committed to providing you with the exceptional legal services you need to obtain just compensation for your injuries. Contact us today at (323) 947-2224 for a free consultation with one of our California Truck Injury Attorneys.