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Nahon, Saharovich, & Trotz

Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife Accidents

Truck Crash Lawyers Serving Memphis and Surrounding Regions

Jackknifing refers to situations in which the cab of a commercial truck and its attached trailer move in different directions while on the road, forming an L shape, like a knife with a folding blade. These are extremely dangerous situations, and jackknifing accidents in Tennessee and other states often involve numerous victims in smaller vehicles. Jackknifing accidents are generally preventable through exercising ordinary care. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, our 33 lawyers and over 100 staff members have excellent credentials. We are the largest personal injury law firm based in Tennessee, and our Memphis truck accident attorneys understand how to investigate these types of crashes to determine liability and pursue damages. We also represent injured people in Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Missouri.

Holding a Trucker or Trucking Company Liable for a Jackknife Accident

Jackknifing is often a result of a loss of traction as the wheel’s tires do not grip the road well. This may be a result of slick roads or improper braking by a driver. Sometimes an inexperienced driver slams on the brakes, causing them to lock and resulting in a wheel that does not have enough traction to stop.

Well-trained and cautious truck drivers should check their mirrors frequently to see if the trailer is swinging. If they are already starting to jackknife, there are steps that they can take to avoid completely jackknifing. For example, if the tractor wheels are losing traction due to sudden acceleration, they can let up on the gas until traction is regained and then steer out of the situation. Or, in another example, they may decelerate on a long stretch before a curve to avoid having to slam on the brakes while turning.

If a driver has the opportunity to stop a jackknifing accident but is distracted or too poorly trained to take the appropriate measures, it may be appropriate to sue the driver for negligence. This type of claim requires an accident victim to establish that the driver failed to drive safely and that this failure caused their injuries. In some cases, it is also possible to hold the driver’s employer vicariously liable. To do so, you will need to establish that the driver jackknifed due to negligence in the course and scope of their employment.

Sometimes, when jackknifing is a result of poor or no training in how to stop a situation from worsening, the trucking company may be held directly responsible. This is important because trucking companies are required to carry higher levels of insurance than individual drivers. In a jackknifing accident, there may be many people injured, all of them trying to recover from the driver’s insurance policy. The amount of coverage available can be critical, especially when there are many catastrophic injuries or deaths that may have been caused in a jackknife accident. When an employer has failed to hire a driver who is competent to handle a potential jackknifing situation or failed to train them on how to handle the situation, it may be held responsible under theories of negligent hiring or negligent training.

Explore Your Options with a Truck Accident Attorney in Memphis

Jackknife accidents in Tennessee and surrounding states may result in catastrophic injuries like paralysis, brain trauma, fractures, and permanent scarring and disfigurement. Victims of these crashes should contact the Memphis truck accident lawyers at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. We represent people throughout Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Arkansas, including in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Caruthersville, Hayti, Oxford, Starkville, Grenada, Columbus, Tupelo, Meridian, Jackson, Little Rock, and Jonesboro. Contact our office by calling 800-LAW-4004 or by completing our online form to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney.

Content Reviewer Box for A. Parker Trotz with his awards and credentials

Our Memphis Office

488 S. Mendenhall Road Memphis, TN 38117

Phone: 901-683-7000

Fax: 901-462-3350


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We represented a married couple who were struck head-on by a “big rig” 18-wheeler truck at a high rate of speed on a two-lane road.


We represented a sixty-seven-year-old male who was rear-ended on the interstate by an 18-wheeler truck. The client had sustained serious injuries including a fractured neck, fractured vertebrae, and rib fractures.


Our client was walking in a Tennessee gas station parking lot when he was struck by a commercial concrete truck. He broke both of his legs and underwent extensive medical treatment.