Jackknife Accident Statistics in El Paso

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were over 1,000 commercial vehicle crashes in 2022 in El Paso. There were eight fatal crashes resulting in nine deaths. There were 801 non-injury crashes with 117 possible injuries. Conversely, there were 14 serious injuries from 13 suspected severe crashes. Semi Trucks can cause serious injury and damage when involved in collisions. If you are the victim of a negligent trucker, you must speak to an El Paso jackknife accident lawyer from Cesar Ornelas Injury Law.

jackknifed truck in the road with chains attached to pull it upright and emergency workers in attendance, with selective focus on the chains and tyres at the rear

Hazardous El Paso Highways 

Jackknife accidents pose a serious risk to everyone on the road. They can lead to truck rollovers or cargo spills. Sometimes the truck will strike other motor vehicles. These accidents happen in seconds and without warning. You must discuss your collision with a truck accident attorney in El Paso immediately. 

The majority of semi trucks travel on highways. Passenger vehicles are also on the highway. Often the highway involves higher speeds than other roads. Considering all these factors, it is no wonder why semi-truck accidents are so prevalent in El Paso. Additionally, you should be aware of some dangerous highways, such as:

  • I-10 
  • SH 20 
  • Loop 375

You might not be able to avoid these highways for your commute, but you can stay vigilant when using them. Being involved in a jackknife crash on these or other highways requires legal assistance. Speak to Cesar Ornelas Injury Law to discuss your legal options. 

The following parties may bear liability

You may assume that the truck driver is responsible for the collision. While this might be true sometimes, other parties can also be responsible for the crash. After an independent investigation, we will determine which of the following parties is responsible for the collision and should be named in your insurance claim:

  • Truck driver: many semi truck cases involve driver negligence, so they are usually the first person we will investigate and name in your insurance claim. However, truck drivers do not have extensive financial resources to pay for their losses. Insurance policies and employers can help pay for expenses.  
  • Truck owner: improper maintenance can contribute to collisions, which means the owner can share liability for the jackknife crash. Truck owners are responsible for replacing tires, brakes, and general maintenance.  
  • Loading company: if the cargo is unsecured or overloaded, it can shift or bear too much weight on the truck. That can impact how the trailer maneuvers, which sometimes leads to jackknifes. There are strict cargo rules, and when those are ignored, the loading company may be responsible.  
  • Maintenance company or mechanic: when trucks are not properly cared for, or companies take shortcuts, it can result in devastating consequences. It also means the mechanic or maintenance company can be liable for your crash.  
  • Truck manufacturer: if a defective part contributed to the collision, it might be the responsibility of the part manufacturer. This will also lead to a product liability case. Faulty parts can be found on new trucks or as replacement parts on older trucks.  
  • Government entities: local and state agencies are responsible for maintaining roads. If there was an unsafe road condition that the agency is responsible for contributing to a collision, they may also bear liability in a jackknife accident claim. The agency is responsible for remedying the unsafe condition or providing ample warning to road users.  
  • The company responsible for hiring the truck driver: sometimes, third parties hire truck drivers. Sometimes it is the trucking company. In either case, these parties can be liable for not reviewing driver qualifications or training.  

Liability is complex for all types of truck accidents. Jackknife accidents are unpredictable and should be thoroughly investigated. Cesar Ornelas Injury Law has experience handling these and other complications. We will fight for justice from negligent parties. 

Laws governing El Paso truck accidents 

The truck accident process is very complex, even more so after the implementation of HB19. This law requires victims to prove driver negligence and the total cost of damage. The biggest hurdle this law has is that a claim can only be filed if the truck driver is negligent and it is proven. Another complication of this law is if a case goes to trial, the jury cannot be informed of the truck driver’s employer. The only time they can involve the trucking company is if liability has been clearly established. 

These and other laws can be challenging for accident victims to maneuver. You are handling enough by trying to get through your medical appointments. The last thing you should worry about is a complex legal process. Let our truck accident lawyers at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law handle the legal process and these complex laws while you focus on your medical recovery. 

Some common causes of jackknife accidents 

Many semi-truck accidents are caused by driver fatigue. That also contributes to many 18-wheeler accidents happening at night. However, driver fatigue is not the only cause of these collisions. Jackknife accidents happen whenever the tractor-trailer’s cab slows down too fast for the trailer to keep up. This difference in stopping causes the trailer to pass the cab. Some common causes of jackknife accidents include:

  • Intoxicated driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Icy or slippery roads 
  • Defective truck equipment 
  • Weaving in and out of traffic lanes
  • Inexperienced or untrained truck drivers
  • Improper truck maintenance 
  • Unsecured cargo 
  • Brake failure 
  • The following distance 
  • Hard or sudden braking 
  • Improper handling of curves 

Truck drivers can prevent jackknife collisions

Truck drivers have many responsibilities when on the road. One of those is driving carefully to avoid collisions. They are aware of the dangers of jackknifing and often get training on how to prevent these accidents from happening. Some ways truck drivers can attempt to avert jackknife accidents include:

  • Gradual braking 
  • Keeping a safe distance 
  • Looking at mirrors for swinging or swaying trailers 
  • Slowing down near curves 
  • Ensuring regular truck maintenance and inspections 
  • Using technology like anti-lock brakes, systems that limit trailer swing angles 

While some of these are a driver’s responsibility, some are the trucking companies’ duty. Even others are the responsibility of a third party. Truck drivers should work with trucking companies and truck owners to prevent jackknife and other accidents. 

Injuries from jackknife accidents 

18-wheeler crashes often lead to injuries. From the size and force of semi trucks, these injuries have a higher risk of being severe. Sometimes these collisions are so grave they result in the death of a loved one. Some common injuries in jackknife accidents may include:

  • Back and neck injuries 
  • Broken bones 
  • Head injuries 
  • Internal injuries 
  • Whiplash 
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Traumatic brain injuries 

If death occurs, the surviving family can file a wrongful death claim. Often injuries can cost hundreds or thousands in medical expenses. These injuries can sometimes cause life-changing consequences. You might get reimbursement through an insurance claim or lawsuit. Speak to our El Paso jackknife truck accident attorney. 

How an El Paso truck accident lawyer can help 

When jackknife accidents cause catastrophic injuries and damage, it can lead to expensive insurance claims. Additionally, these accidents can be challenging to prosecute due to multiple responsible parties. An experienced truck accident attorney can help with the complex legal matters stemming from these claims. Some items we can help with include:

  • Explain your legal options and relevant laws 
  • Independent investigation to find evidence regarding the crash
  • Requesting black box data and cell phone records 
  • Working with accident reconstruction specialists and expert witnesses 
  • Handling communications regarding the claim process 
  • Helping with insurance and legal paperwork 
  • Helping you obtain the medical care you need
  • Negotiating with insurance companies 
  • Filing lawsuits when necessary for your claim 


There are many other steps in the legal process that we can help with. Each case is unique and requires an individual assessment. Cesar Ornelas Injury Law helps victims navigate the legal process and pursue compensation. 

Pursuing compensation after a jackknife truck accident 

Injuries from jackknife accidents can lead to extensive medical bills, property damage, etc. You should not be on the hook for these losses when someone else’s negligence is to blame. When assessing your injury claim, we will determine the compensation you may be eligible to pursue, such as:

  • Hospital and emergency bills 
  • Loss of companionship 
  • Medical expenses for ongoing and future medical care 
  • Lost wages for missed work 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 
  • Transportation and out-of-pocket expenses 
  • Lost future earning potential if you can no longer work 
  • Pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages
  • Punitive damages 

This list does not include every loss you may suffer from a jackknife accident in El Paso. Our truck accident attorneys will assess your initial damages and estimate future costs as you get diagnostics and treatment. 

Call a San Antonio Truck Accident Attorney to Schedule a Consultation

You should seek legal assistance if you have been involved in a jackknife truck accident. The best way to pursue compensation is to schedule a consolation with an El Paso truck accident lawyer. You should be represented by an experienced local attorney. Cesar Ornelas Injury Law has years of experience helping truck accident victims like you. 

Contact our jackknife truck accident lawyer in El Paso to schedule an initial consultation.


If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, please fill out the form below for your free consultation or call us at: (855) 930-1149

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