According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, approximately 5% of all commercial truck accidents involve a jackknife. This equates to about 2,500 jackknife accidents in the United States each year.

If you were hurt in a jackknife accident in Fort Worth, an experienced truck accident lawyer can help. They can review the circumstances surrounding your accident and determine who is responsible.

What Is a Jackknife Accident?

The jackknife truck meaning derives from a situation in which the trailer of a semi-truck and the truck’s cab stop moving in unison. The trailer may move in a different direction than the front of the vehicle. The shape resembles that of an open pocket knife, otherwise known as a jackknife. 

When the trailer and cab go in different directions, the driver may lose control of the vehicle or hit vehicles in adjacent lanes. Jackknife truck accidents result in many injuries and deaths every year.

What Are Common Causes of Jackknife Truck Accidents? 

A truck losing traction with the road surface can cause the truck to jackknife. Jackknife accidents can also occur when a driver makes a sudden movement. 

Common causes of jackknife truck accidents include:

  • Driving at high speeds
  • Driving at speeds that are too fast for weather or road conditions
  • Improper braking
  • Taking turns too quickly 
  • Slippery roadways due to ice, snow, rain, or spills
  • Fatigued driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Light trailer loads
  • Improperly secured cargo that shifts during transit
  • Equipment failure or inadequate truck maintenance 

An experienced truck accident lawyer can investigate how the accident occurred and who is responsible for it. 

Who Is Responsible for Jackknife Accidents?

There are several different parties who may contribute to a jackknife accident, including the following:

Truck Driver 

The truck driver’s error while driving may have caused the accident, such as if the driver suddenly braked or was speeding. Your first option may be to file a claim against the truck driver’s insurer, but you may have other options as well. 

Trucking Company 

The trucking company is generally responsible for the actions of the drivers it hires. 

Additionally, a trucking company may contribute to jackknife accidents through their own negligence, such as:

  • Negligent hiring practices
  • Negligent supervision
  • Failing to conduct pre-hire and routine drug and alcohol tests
  • Forcing drivers to exceed hours of service rules
  • Failing to maintain its vehicles 

An experienced Fort Worth truck accident lawyer will have extensive experience holding negligent trucking companies responsible for the harm they cause.

Shipping Company 

In some situations, a third-party cargo loader may be responsible for safely loading and securing cargo. If the shipping company or its employees commit cargo loading errors, it can make it more difficult for truck drivers to stop in time to avoid an accident or cause cargo to fall off the truck. 

Truck Manufacturer 

If defective tires, brakes, or other components caused the accident, the manufacturer of the truck or auto parts might be responsible for the accident. 


If the trucking company outsources the maintenance of its fleet to another party and that person or business negligently maintains the vehicles, that party may be responsible for the accident. 

Other Drivers

Even if you were involved in a collision with a truck, another driver may have acted carelessly and may be responsible for the accident. 

For example, another driver could have been texting or impaired and drifted into the trucker’s lane, who then had to try to make a sudden driving maneuver, which caused a jackknife. That party may be responsible for the accident. If the driver was working at the time, their employer may be responsible for the damages you incurred due to the legal principle of vicarious liability

A thorough investigation by a truck accident lawyer may help reveal who is responsible for the accident.

Contact an Experienced Fort Worth Truck Accident Attorney If You Were Involved in a Jackknife Accident

If you were hurt in a jackknife truck accident, reach out to an experienced truck accident lawyer in Fort Worth, TX for assistance.

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth truck accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 420-7000