Claiming over 10,000 lives, rollover accidents account for 20% of serious traffic injuries and 30% of deaths. Each year more than 280,000 of these accidents are reported nationwide. Most rollover accidents occur in accidents where only one car is involved.
There are variety of reasons that rollover accidents happen, such as a defect in the vehicle. Before a car is put on the market for distribution, it will undergo various tests to ensure that people have a likelihood of surviving if they are involved in a collision. Although environmental factors could influence survival rates, some manufacturers may be aware that certain features in their vehicles aren’t sturdy enough to withstand the impact of rollover car accident. In fact, the force of an impact experienced by victims are lower in rollover accidents than in frontal accidents, making a rollover survivable with adequate occupant protection in cars.
Another reason that rollover accidents can occur is driver negligence. A driver who is not paying attention to the road or engaging in other unsafe driving behavior can cause a vehicle to rollover which may lead to any passengers inside the car suffering injuries or death.
Rollover Accident Injuries
There are a wide range of injuries that you can suffer if you are involved in a rollover crash. Some types of injuries that commonly occur in rollover accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord issues
- Broken bones
- Impaired speech and vision
- Partial vision loss and blindness
- Chronic back pain
- Nerve, vein and organ damage
Causes of Rollover Accidents
There are a number of different factors that can cause a vehicle to be in a rollover crash. These include manufacturing issues, reckless driving, and accidents involving a semi-truck.
Some potential unsafe features on a vehicle can be:
- The door latches in some vehicles may be too fragile to keep doors shut during a rollover accident
- The roof isn’t sturdy enough
- Seat belts that may unlatch
- Door locks and latches that don’t work properly
- Lack of glazing in the side or rear window that help keep occupants inside vehicles
- Airbags that don’t work
- Lack of rollover preventative features in vehicles with a high center of gravity
SUV Rollover Crashes
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), “In 2014, 50% of SUV occupants killed in crashes were in vehicles that rolled over.” SUV’s have the highest rollover involvement rate of any vehicle type in fatal crashes and collisions involving an injury. One reason that this may be is because of design flaws in these vehicles, like the fact that SUVs have a higher center for gravity, meaning that they have a higher chance of rolling over in collisions. Companies have made efforts to improve the stability of SUVs including using technology such as electronic stability control which “helps prevent the sideways skidding and loss of control that can lead to rollovers.” Another factor that may contribute to injuries is roof strength. The IIHS states that “the roof and other vehicle structures must be strong enough to resist occupant compartment intrusion that can increase the risk of head and neck injury.”
If you are a passenger in a vehicle that is involved in a rollover accident, the driver may be liable for your injuries if the driver was acting negligently. A driver who speeds, runs red lights or stop signs, drives while under the influence, texts, uses social media, or otherwise engages in unsafe behavior may be held accountable for their actions. Responsible drivers know that when another person enters their car, they should drive carefully. If a victim can prove that the driver of the accident wasn’t showing any regard for their passenger’s safety, that driver could be held liable for damages.
People who drive semi-trucks must obtain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) before getting behind the wheel. Acquiring a CDL consists of two months jam-packed with driving classes and assessments that help prepare these drivers for the road. Such preparation is necessary for the adequate navigation of trucks that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, 20-30 times the weight of the average vehicle. In trucking school, semi-truck drivers are taught to operate these vehicles efficiently and safely. In a crash with a passenger vehicle, like a sedan, the majority of deaths that occur are in the passenger vehicle, not the large truck. A truck driver who does not operate his or her vehicle safely can be held liable for his or her negligent actions. In addition, the trucking company that the driver works for may also be liable for the actions of its employee.
If a driver or other party is found liable for the injuries that you have suffered in a rollover accident, then you may receive damages for your losses. Victims in a personal injury case are typically awarded economic and/or non-economic damages.
These damages are tangible and relatively easy to assign a dollar amount to. They generally refer to the amount of money lost or that potentially could be lost because of an injury. A few examples of economic damages are:
- Time spent away from work
- Vehicle damage
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Financial support for those that are dependent on you
- Ambulance charges
- Replacement costs
These damages refer to losses experienced by victims that are not necessarily tangible. Testimonials regarding a victim’s damaged emotional state would have to be proven here in order to be awarded for non-economic damages. Some examples of non-economic damages are:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of a loved one
- Reduced quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Shortening of lifespan
- Mental anguish
Hire an Experienced Rollover Accident Attorney
If you or someone you know how has been severely injured, the skilled rollover accident attorneys at the Dysart Law Firm can help. We will meet with you for a private consultation to discuss your claim and the types of damages to which you may be entitled.
We believe that you should focus on your recovery while we handle the legal obligations. Contact our office today at 314-548-6298, or fill out our online contact form.