East Point I-285 Jackknife Big-Rig Collision Causes Fatality


March 20, 2013

Trucking accidents often result in far more severe injuries than the average traffic collision because of the mammoth size of 18-wheelers. Although any type of big-rig collision can result in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, loss of limbs and other life-altering injuries, jackknife trucking accidents are particularly dangerous.

A fatal semi-truck crash on I-285 this week serves as a grim reminder of the risk of fatal injury in jackknife trucking accidents. Although the collision is still under investigation, the trucking accident resulted in the death of the driver according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution based on information provided by the East Point Fire Department.

Jackknife accidents occur when an articulated vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer swings out so that it is parallel to the cab or faces backwards. While not every jackknife accident is the product of negligence, many of these extremely dangerous semi-truck accidents are caused by failure to conduct proper vehicle maintenance or unsafe operation of the big-rig by the driver. Less frequently, jackknife accidents may be the result of poor road conditions or defective truck components.

Trucking accidents like the one on I-285 typically tie up highways for extended periods because the trucks cannot be driven away. A jackknife accident actually poses two distinct types of collision hazards. The initial jackknifing action of the semi-truck may cause or be the result of a collision with another vehicle. However, even a single vehicle jackknife trucking accident is dangerous because the trailer may block multiple lanes of traffic moving at high rates of speed. While law enforcement will typically close the freeway to clear the big-rig accident scene, the immediate aftermath of a jackknife collision poses a serious risk of a chain reaction crash involving multiple vehicles.

Some of the most common causes of jackknife semi-trucking accidents include the following:

  • Failure to perform brake inspections or maintenance
  • Unbalanced cargo or overloaded trucks
  • Distracted driving (e.g. violating the cell phone ban)
  • Driving at an unsafe speed
  • Failing to adapt driving to road conditions (i.e. wet or icy roadway)

Litigation of jackknife big-rig crashes is complicated because federal and state investigators, along with accident reconstruction experts from the commercial carrier, may be quickly dispatched to the scene. Our experienced Georgia big-rig accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates recognize that time is of the essence when moving to prevent the loss or destruction of key evidence in a semi-truck jackknife crash. The most critical evidences in 18-wheeler collisions can include information saved in the big-rig’s data event recorder, which is similar to a black box on a commercial flight and the physical damage or functioning of the semi-truck. The trucking company may have no incentive to preserve such evidence if it suggests fault by the driver or commercial carrier.

The Georgia truck accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Truck Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.