Rollover accidents are one of the most dangerous and injurious types of auto accidents. In 2012, 6,763 people died in rollover traffic crashes, down from 8,998 fatalities in 2003, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Below, we discuss some of the causes of these dangerous crashes and the types of legal options victims or their families might have to recover damages related to the accident.
Causes of Rollover Accidents
Approximately 95 percent of rollover accidents are attributed to “tripping,” according to an NHTSA report involving accidents in the early to mid-1990s. When a vehicle hits any of the following, tripping and rollover can occur.
- Soft shoulder of the road
- Snow banks
Vehicles with a high center of gravity, such as SUVs and pickup trucks, may be more likely to roll over than others. SUVs had the highest rollover involvement rate of any vehicle type in fatal crashes at 31 percent. This was followed by 26 percent for pickup trucks. Next were passenger cars at 16 percent, and 15 percent for vans. Meanwhile, negligent driving may cause rollover accidents in some cases.
Factors that Contribute to Rollovers
In addition to a high center of gravity, there are several factors that may increase risk of rollover accidents.
- Driving at a high speed
- Presence of tripping mechanisms (poor road maintenance, uneven pavement, etc.)
- Being struck by another vehicle from the side
- Jerking the wheel suddenly
- Making a sharp, fast turn
- Riding in rural areas
- Distracted driving
- Inclement weather conditions, particularly ice and snow
- Tire failure
Can rollover accident victims sue?
When someone is injured in a rollover accident, filing a suit might be plausible if there was negligence involved or if there was some type of manufacturing defect or a defective design. If the tires were defective and contributed to the rollover, for instance, the victim might be able to file a claim against the tire manufacturer. If another driver was speeding and struck a vehicle, causing a rollover accident, then that negligent driver may be liable for any damages he or she caused.
Proving liability for a manufacturer defect may require proving the existence of the defect and that it caused the wreck, not that the manufacturer was negligent. Proving liability of a negligent driver requires proving that the driver was negligent (acted recklessly or failed to exercise reasonable care) and that the negligence caused the wreck.
If successful, victims of rollover accidents caused by another party may recover damages like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, and more. Families of victims killed in rollovers may recover compensation in a wrongful death claim, which they should review with an attorney.
Victims should consult an accident attorney to determine legal options following their accident. An attorney can review the details surrounding the accident, determine if the case is valid and worth pursuing, and advise on the next steps to take. Lawyers can be instrumental in collecting evidence that establishes negligence and then presenting a case to an insurance company, a judge or a jury to prove liability and the extent and amount of damages that the victim should recover.
Free Consultation with an Accident Attorney at Ron Meyers & Associates
If you need to speak with a lawyer about your rollover accident, call an injury lawyer at Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC. Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation at 844-920-2438 to discuss the details and specifics of your case.