If you have ever been tooling down the highway and suddenly see the brake lights of traffic ahead lighting up, it may be that a large semitruck has jackknifed itself on the highway.

These incidents are incredibly dangerous because of the tendency or the truck to slide across occupied lanes of traffic. Any car or other vehicle in its vicinity can be at risk of getting involved in the semitruck crash

When a truck jackknifes, either due to inclement weather conditions or some mechanical failure, the cab of the semitruck and its trailer swing apart at a “V” angle similar to a folding knife that has been collapsed into the same shape — hence the name “jackknife.”

At that point, the driver is no longer in control of their big rig. Pile-up collisions after a jackknife incident are common as frantic motorists try to avoid striking the tractor-trailer or its cab.

The injuries that the crash victims suffer can be permanently disabling and life-altering, if not fatal. Even those involved in the secondary collisions can suffer serious injuries if they get jammed up in an accordion-style accident scene.

The first order of business is to seek emergency medical treatment for your injuries. Remember, too, that all injuries may not be immediately evident following a semitruck collision on the interstate.

Filing a claim for damages with the at-fault trucker and others who caused or contributed to the accident and your subsequent injuries is the first step to recover any financial compensation for your damages, injuries and other losses. An experienced attorney can help.