Rollovers are auto accidents where one vehicle tips over or flips onto its own roof, and they are very dangerous. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports they account for less than 3 percent of passenger vehicle accidents but, represent 23 percent of all fatal passenger vehicle accidents.
The data in these statistics include accidents that happen as a result of negligence on the part of the driver or someone else. In situations where a rollover is caused by someone’s negligence, the people injured are often eligible for compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering in addition to physical damages.
This article will offer you insight into the legal issues associated with rollover accidents. If you are ever involved in this type of accident, we offer to help evaluate your specific situation and determine your legal rights.
Why Are Rollovers So Dangerous?
Every passenger vehicle — cars, trucks, vans and SUVs – is capable of rolling over if the right conditions present themselves. Although, according to the IIHS, they are most common among pickup trucks, Jeeps and SUVs because they:
-Have a higher center of gravity than passenger cars
-Have relatively narrower track widths (distance between right and left tires) than passenger cars
-Are more likely than passenger cars to be driven on rural roads where most rollovers occur
The probability of dying in a rollover accident is greater because the tendency for vehicle occupants to be ejected from their vehicle when it tips over is greater. Also, roofs can crush in. In fact, in 2006, rollovers resulted in the deaths of 10,682 people. This is nearly 35 percent of the passenger vehicle occupant deaths that occurred that year.
As a matter of law, a rollover accident is when a motor vehicle tips over on its side or onto its roof during a crash and results in harm, such as property damage, traumatic brain injury, other serious injuries, and/or death. The IIHS reports that almost 75 percent of all fatal rollovers involve a single vehicle. The remaining 25 percent are a result of accidents with 2 or more vehicles.
When You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
If you are a victim of a rollover accident, you cannot obtain compensation for your losses without first proving negligence. Another party had to have been involved in causing the accident. Negligence can be shown with the support of police reports, photographs of the crash scene, eyewitness testimony and other types of direct evidence. Along with evidence, you must be able to demonstrate the harm was a result of the rollover accident, and that the rollover accident was caused by recklessness or negligence.
Any auto accident involving injury should be reviewed with a qualified personal injury lawyer to discuss financial losses, seek treatment, determine if there is a claim, and establish what is available to you from your own and the other party’s insurance. Note that not every accident where someone was negligent has to involve another driver. For example, if a driver hit some construction debris that has been left in the road or too close to the road, and this caused a rollover, the construction company could be held responsible. It is always wise to obtain the professional opinion of an experienced auto accident lawyer.