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Jackknife Accidents in Waco

Jackknife accidents are a frightening occurrence on the road, particularly when involving large commercial vehicles. These accidents, characterized by the trailer of a truck swinging outward to form a 90-degree angle with the cab, pose significant dangers to other motorists and can result in devastating consequences.

What Causes Jackknife Accidents?

Jackknife accidents typically occur when the trailer of a truck loses traction with the road surface, causing it to swing outward and fold against the cab. Several factors can contribute to the occurrence of jackknife accidents, including:

  • Poor Road Conditions: Slippery or icy roads can reduce traction, increasing the likelihood of a jackknife accident, especially during braking or sudden maneuvers.
  • Excessive Speed: Traveling at high speeds, particularly when braking or navigating sharp turns, can exacerbate the risk of losing control and jackknifing.
  • Brake Failure: Malfunctioning brakes or improper braking techniques, such as sudden or hard braking, can lead to loss of control and jackknife accidents.
  • Equipment Malfunctions: Mechanical failures in the truck’s braking system, tires, or suspension components can contribute to jackknife accidents, particularly if these issues go undetected or unaddressed during vehicle inspections.
  • Driver Error: Inexperienced or distracted drivers may make errors in judgment or fail to react appropriately to changing road conditions, increasing the risk of jackknife accidents.

Who Is Liable for a Jackknife Accident?

The question of who is liable for a jackknife accident hinges on the party responsible for causing it, often involving multiple entities. Potential liable parties can include:

The Truck Driver

Truck drivers are obligated to comply with traffic laws and federal regulations governing safe vehicle operation. If their negligence leads to a jackknife accident, they can be held accountable. Additionally, if the driver is an employee of a trucking company and the accident occurs during work hours, the company may share liability for the driver’s actions.

The Trucking Company

Commercial trucking companies bear responsibility for the actions of their employees and can be held liable for any harm caused. They may also be deemed liable for contributing to or causing a jackknife accident if they fail to adhere to safety standards, maintain vehicles adequately, ensure proper loading procedures, and so forth.

Loading Companies

Companies responsible for loading cargo can be held accountable if their actions or negligence contribute to a jackknife accident. This might occur if cargo is loaded improperly, insecurely, or excessively, leading to instability and loss of control.


Mechanics can be partially responsible for a collision if negligent repairs or maintenance contribute to the accident. This could involve installing incorrect parts, performing unnecessary or incorrect repairs, or failing to identify and address potential issues during maintenance checks.

Defective Parts Manufacturers

In cases where a jackknife accident is caused by a defective vehicle or component, the manufacturer of the truck or part may be held liable for producing a dangerous product. Their liability extends to any injuries or damages resulting from the defect.

Speak to an Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been severely injured in a jackknife accident, contact our Waco trucking accident lawyer. These cases are often complex, and we can help you identify who is liable and hold them accountable.