All car accidents can result in serious consequences, but some types are more dangerous than others. Rollover accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and have a much higher fatality rate than other types of accidents.
If you or someone you love was in a rollover accident, you could be eligible to recover compensation for any injury-related expenses and losses. The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian P.C. can help you file your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. Call us at 713-863-1515 to get started.
What is a rollover accident?
Rollover accidents occur when a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. There are two types of rollovers: tripped and untripped.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tripped rollovers make up 95 percent of single-vehicle rollovers. The vehicle may leave the ground and slide sideways into another object (i.e. guardrail, another vehicle, soft roadside shoulder). The force applied to the lower part of the vehicle by the external object causes the rollover.
Un-tripped rollovers occur less often than tripped rollovers, but they can be just as dangerous. They occur when a heavily loaded vehicle traveling at a high speed attempts to avoid a collision by turning or swerving suddenly. The sudden motion combined with the weight of the vehicle causes the vehicle to rollover.
What causes rollover accidents?
While the type of rollover can be important to your accident claim, the cause is even more important, since it will affect which party is liable for the accident and your injuries.
Many rollover accidents are caused by a combination of environment and driver negligence. A majority of fatal, single-vehicle rollover accidents occur when the driver is doing a typical driving maneuver, such as driving straight or along a curve. Therefore, driver behavior plays a significant role in rollover accidents. Some factors that play a role in these accidents include:
- Speed – Speeding is often the cause of fatal rollover accidents. In fact, more fatal rollovers occur in areas where the speed limit is over 55 mph, according to the NHTSA.
- Drunk driving – Nearly 50 percent of fatal rollovers involve driving under the influence, reports the NHTSA. Alcohol can impair judgment and affect reaction times behind the wheel.
- Distracted driving – Drivers who are not focused on the road are more likely to make mistakes on the road, even when they are driving normally.
We work with expert witnesses and fully investigate your accident so we identify the right types of evidence that prove what caused the rollover. This not only requires securing testimony from accident reconstruction experts and compiling evidence of causation, but connecting it all back to your accident and injuries through legal argument.
Which vehicles are susceptible to rollover accidents?
All vehicles have the capacity to rollover. However, SUVs, pickups, and vans are more susceptible to rollovers than the typical car. Taller, narrower vehicles tend to have a higher center of gravity. These vehicles carry more weight at the top and their balance can be more easily thrown off when the center of gravity shifts to one side during a turn. Therefore, when a driver in an SUV makes a sharp turn, the vehicle may overcorrect, leading to a loss of control.
Why is this important? If poor design or a faulty part caused or contributed to the rollover, it could leave the vehicle or parts manufacturer at least partially liable.
Who is liable for a rollover accident?
Many different parties may be at-fault for a rollover accident. In fact, identifying the parties that are liable is a crucial aspect of filing a claim after a rollover accident. It requires a legal evaluation of the accident and Texas law to make sure all proper defendants are accounted for.
The parties that may be held liable include:
- Vehicle manufacturer – If the accident was caused by a defective tire, poor vehicle design, or another manufacturing issue, then the manufacturer may be liable.
- Another driver – If another driver’s error caused you to lose control of your vehicle and rollover, they may be liable.
- The driver of your vehicle – If you are a passenger in the rollover vehicle, the driver could be liable for damages.
- Local government – If the accident was caused by poor road conditions, your municipality could be responsible for what happened.
It comes down to which party was negligent and connecting that negligence to the accident and your injuries through proper evidence collection and legal case building. If you decide to file a claim, you should name all at-fault parties in your suit to have the best chance at recovering damages.
What injuries might people sustain in rollover accidents?
Rollover accidents can lead to disastrous injuries and long-term impairment. Some of these injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cognitive deficits (i.e. memory loss, communication problems, difficulty concentrating)
- Spinal cord injury
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruising
- Impaired vision and hearing
- Chronic pain
- Permanent disability
These ailments may require months of costly treatment including surgery, injections, physical and cognitive therapy, and rehabilitation. Even with treatment, some rollover accident victims will never fully recover from their injuries. That is why it is so important to identify not only all injuries, but their prognosis too. We work with medical experts and gather all relevant medical documents to prove the extent of these injuries and their effects on the claimant.
What damages can I recover?
If you file suit within two years of the accident, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries. These damages may cover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering and other emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
Rollover accidents can result in huge expenses. Some of the injuries you suffer may require long-term treatment and may even result in permanent disability. The compensation you receive from your lawsuit can help you pay your medical bills and focus on your recovery. However, filing a claim can be complicated - and you will need an attorney familiar with these types of cases if you want to successfully seek damages.
Your attorney can help you gather evidence to prove fault and provide you with an accurate valuation of your damages. Call The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian P.C. at 713-863-1515 today to request a free consultation.