In Truck Accidents Blog

A jackknifed box truck shut down outbound traffic on I-55 after it was involved in a multi-vehicle accident in Chicago’s southwest suburbs.

Five Vehicles in Southwest Suburban Crash

On February 3, 2020, at approximately 10:00 a.m., the Illinois State Police responded to the scene of a five-vehicle crash on I-55 near 1st Avenue. State troopers blocked all outbound lanes of traffic, though they allowed vehicles to pass on the right shoulder.

The multi-vehicle accident reportedly took place because a box truck lost control and jackknifed across several lanes on I-55, causing a diesel leak and a chain reaction accident. Three semi-trailers and one green Honda passenger were also involved in the crash with the jackknifed box truck.

Police reopened all lanes of traffic by 11:15 a.m. The Honda’s driver was transported to an area hospital for injuries sustained in the jackknifed box truck accident.

Jackknifing: A Common Traffic Hazard

Large trucks are essential to American commerce, with millions of them traveling on the roads each day. But large trucks, whether they are box trucks or semi-trailers, are often much harder to maneuver than other vehicles, since they frequently haul heavy trailers that can move independently from the cab. A large truck must be driven steadily and stopped gradually because of its longer stopping distance. When a driver operates a box truck or a semi-trailer recklessly or comes to an abrupt halt, the trailer can wrap around the cab and into other lanes of traffic. This is called jackknifing, a common, potentially deadly traffic hazard.

Different activities may cause a truck driver to jackknife, including:

  • Exceeding the legal speed limit.
  • Traveling too fast for road or weather conditions.
  • Engaging in distracting activities, such as texting, adjusting the radio, and eating.
  • Receiving improper training or instruction.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

The unsuspecting motorist approaching a jackknifed box truck or semi-trailer may have few options to avoid a crash. A driver who stops too quickly could be struck from the rear by another vehicle. A truck that tries to swerve off the road can fall into a ditch or crash into a tree. A driver who strikes a jackknifed box truck, however, can be crushed under thousands of pounds of metal.

Have You Been Injured by a Jackknifed Box Truck or Semi-Trailer?

Moreover, if you are unfortunate enough to have been hurt in a collision with a jackknifed box truck or semi-trailer, you may soon find how challenging it can be to get financially compensated. Even though truck drivers have a heightened responsibility to operate their vehicles so as to avoid jackknifing, that does not prevent a defendant’s insurance company from arguing that you were the one who was at fault, with enough stopping time to avoid crashing into such a huge object. Compounding this difficulty is the fact that large trucks are also typically owned by commercial transport companies, multi-million-dollar entities with vast resources available to fight these cases, and years of experience doing so, all to make sure that they pay you as little as possible.

Furthermore, those pursuing a truck accident injury claim may face an additional burden because of how many parties may be involved. In addition to the driver, and the commercial transport company that employs the driver, there is very often another company that hired the commercial transport company to ship its goods, and possibly other companies still. It is therefore highly important that injured plaintiffs identify all parties who are potentially at fault and pursue them within the time limited by law. Failure to do so could forever bar them from receiving full and fair compensation.

To help overcome the specific challenges associated with a crash involving a jackknifed box truck or semi-trailer, get in touch the Chicago truck accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.

GWC is one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois, with over $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements in more than four decades in practice. Our truck accident lawyers have the experience, the determination, and the record of success you need to obtain the justice you deserve.

If you or a loved one have been wrongfully injured, please contact GWC today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. You may call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.