Regan Zambri Long PLLC
English Español
Call Now 202-960-4596

Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer

Injured in a Jackknife Truck Accident?

If you sustained a serious injury in a jackknife truck accident, the Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyers can help. Our attorneys understand the dangers of a passenger vehicle crashing into a tractor-trailer. A jackknife accident only increases the chances of many people getting hurt. Our attorneys have secured millions for truck accident clients, including a $15.2 million settlement on behalf of one of their truck accident clients. Call today for a free consultation with a veteran truck accident lawyer to make sure your voice is heard.

Schedule a Free Consultation
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
5 stars

Take Legal Action with Your Jackknife Truck Accident Claim

Our Senior Partners Patrick Regan, Salvatore Zambri, and Victor Long have a national reputation for protecting rights and winning legal battles. If you were injured in a jackknife truck accident, the attorneys at Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help you take legal action. Below are a sample of some of the verdicts and settlements we have achieved on behalf of our clients.

$77M Wrongful Death Settlement

$20M Brain Injury Verdict

$19.5M Wrongful Death Verdict

$16M Premises Liability Settlement

$15.2M Wrongful Death Settlement

$14M Car Accident Settlement

$10.6M Car Accident Settlement

$8M Medical Malpractice Settlement

$7.3M Legal Malpractice Settlement

A serious truck accident can be devastating to you and your family. Whether you are struggling to get compensation through insurance companies or uncertain what steps to take, the experienced jackknife truck accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help. Our skilled attorneys have decades of experience handling trucking injury cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.

5 stars Commercial Truck at sunset, cargo truck accident lawyer

What Is a Jackknife Truck Accident?

To understand how a commercial truck “jackknifes” we have to first look at the parts of the vehicle. The tractor (commonly called the “cab”) is where the driver sits. The trailer is where the freight being transported is loaded. The combination of the two is called tractor-trailers, also known as semi-trucks or 18-wheelers. While carrying cargo, these vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is 20-30 times the weight of a regular car.

Because of their weight and size, tractor-trailers take much longer to stop than cars traveling at the same speed. In ideal conditions, an average sedan traveling at 65 mph can stop in about 300 feet, which is almost half the length of a football field; a loaded tractor-trailer can take 525 feet to come to a complete stop. If bad weather or poor road conditions are factored in, it could take the tractor-trailer even longer to fully stop.

With stopping times in mind, let’s look at how a tractor-trailer truck jackknifes. When a truck driver tries to brake too suddenly or loses traction on the road, it can cause the cab and the trailer of the truck to skid. When this happens, the trailer may swing out to a 90-degree angle so the truck is in an L shape. This shape resembles a folding pocket knife or jackknife, which is where the name comes from. Many times, when jackknife truck accidents occur, the tractor-trailer plows through multiple cars as it slides across several lanes. Additionally, cargo may spill out of the trailer, causing further damage and hazards on the road. If the truck driver cannot regain control, the entire truck could rollover.

5 stars

Which Kinds of Trucks Cause Jackknife Accidents?

Several different kinds of commercial tractor-trailer trucks have the capability of causing jackknife accidents. Each of these trucks travels the roadways of Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, and across the rest of the United States. While they are very important to our economy, they also create unique dangers to other drivers on the road. The safest thing you can do when sharing the road with one of these trucks is to place as much distance as possible from these trucks.


18-Wheeler trucks are tractor-trailers that have 18 wheels total. On average, 18-wheelers are about 72 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 13.5 feet tall. While carrying cargo, these trucks can weigh 80,000 pounds. They may carry construction equipment, machinery, and hazardous material.

Flatbed trailers

Flatbed trucks are some of the most commonly used tractor-trailers. They are called flatbeds because the trailer is a flat deck that is open on all sides. While this makes it easier to haul oversized goods, flatbeds make the cargo less secure. They can be as much as 53 ft long and 8.5 ft high. They carry construction materials, machinery, oversized or unusually shaped cargo, and lumber.

Lowboy trucks

Lowboy trailers have a drop flatbed that is lower to the ground than other tractor-trailers. Like flatbed trucks, these commercial vehicles also carry oversized cargo. Large construction equipment like excavators, backhoe loaders, and bulldozers are transported by these trucks. They can be up to 29 ft long and 14 ft high when carrying cargo.

Tanker trailers

Tanker trailers have a unique cylindrical shape and are mostly used to transport liquid such as petroleum, fuel, and other chemicals. Tankers have a maximum weight of 80,000 pounds and can be as long as 53 ft.

Other types of tractor-trailers that can cause jackknife accidents are:

How Does a Jackknife Truck Accident Happen?

There are many reasons a truck can jackknife while traveling, but the most common cause is improper braking or brake malfunctions. Brake problems are the single greatest cause of large truck accidents across the board. If the truck driver brakes too hard, the wheels can lock up causing a jackknife. If the truck’s brakes are already faulty, then it won’t matter if the truck driver uses the brakes perfectly – they will not work correctly.

Truck companies are required to regularly service their vehicles before sending them on the road. A Regan Zambri Long jackknife truck accident lawyer will investigate maintenance logs and the maintenance crew to discover if poor maintenance led to your truck accident.

Other causes of jackknife accidents are:

What Are the Costs of Jackknife Truck Accident Injuries?

The costs associated with jackknife accident injuries largely depend on how severe the victim’s injuries are. Victims of jackknife truck accidents can sustain the following injuries:

All of these injuries can be life-threatening or leave jackknife truck accident victims permanently debilitated. Victims of traumatic brain injuries or those who suffer from paralysis due to a spinal cord injury will have a drastically different life after the accident. Ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, and ongoing medications and treatment can send even the wealthiest of families into financial distress.

In addition to ongoing medical care, paralysis victims must buy special equipment and may have to restructure their entire home to accommodate wheelchairs, etc. According to the Christopher Reeve Foundation, living with a spinal cord injury can cost a victim upwards of $5 million over their lifetime.

The Regan Zambri Long jackknife truck accident lawyers will work to ensure you have enough financial compensation to cover all current and future medical expenses. If you or your loved one suffered a life-changing injury from a jackknife truck accident, we will make sure the accident doesn’t send you and your family into financial debt.

5 stars Jackknife truck accident lawyers can help you with your claim in case of injury

Call an Experienced Jackknife Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Free Consult Today!

5 stars

Frequently Asked Questions About Jackknife Truck Accidents

Q: How do I prevent getting into a jackknife truck accident?

A: Not all accidents can be prevented, but there are several safety measures you can take while sharing the road with large tractor-trailers that will help you avoid a collision:

Q: How long do I have to file a jackknife truck accident claim?

A: The time restrictions on filing a truck accident claim differ from state to state. In Washington, DC and Maryland, the statute of limitations is three years. However, in Virginia, truck accident victims only have two years to file a claim. While that may seem like a long time, once the window is closed, you may not recover damages for your injuries. The safest thing to do is to contact a Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to start your claim immediately. That way, you will have a financial safety net when medical bills start piling up.

Q: What is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration?

A: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the government organization that regulates and oversees the trucking industry. Truck drivers and trucking companies must follow local, state, and federal laws, which can make truck accident claims complicated. The Regan Zambri Long truck accident attorneys are experts in FMCSA laws and will use their knowledge to build a rock-solid case that will secure the maximum amount of compensation. The FMCSA laws include:

Q: Why should I choose Regan Zambri Long to represent me?

A: Jackknife truck accidents often involve multiple vehicles and victims, which makes the claims process extremely complex. Working with a seasoned truck accident lawyer will help ensure that you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible. Our truck accident attorneys will determine liability, collect evidence from the scene of the accident, interview witnesses, obtain the police report, and deal with the insurance companies.

We have years of experience so we know which damages to pursue and how much you should receive. Damages you can recover from a jackknife truck accident include current and future medical treatment, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.

We offer free initial consultations to discuss all your legal options and we don’t take a fee unless we win. Call today to speak with an expert truck accident attorney to get the claims process started.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

  • Please do not send any confidential or sensitive information in this form. This form sends information by non-encrypted email, which is not secure. Submitting this form does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Back to Top