Automotive rollovers are among the most dangerous kinds of road collisions. A roll over crash is an accident that causes a vehicle to turn over the roof or side. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that over 280,000 rollover incidences are reported annually, claiming over 10,000 lives. Owing to the severe characteristics of these types of accidents, victims of rollover accidents suffer from life-threatening and catastrophic accidents. Any vehicle can roll over when involved in an accident, even when it crashes against property and not a vehicle. However, pickups and SUVs are highly susceptible to rollover incidences. These vehicles have a high center of gravity making them highly vulnerable to such accidents. The following are some of the main causes of rollover accidents, the damages associated with them, and why you need a lawyer if you are involved in such a crash.
Causes of Rollover Accidents
There are two main causes of rollover accidents: untripped and tripped. Untripped accidents result from speed, friction, and steering input. Poor car design and driver error are the main causes of untripped crashes. Tripped rollovers occur due to force from external objects like when a vehicle collides with another car or when a vehicle runs over a curb. The outside force from external objects trips the car causing it to roll over.
Laws to Protect Drivers against Rollovers
Owing to the prevalence of rollover accidents, the federal government implemented laws involving the design standards of vehicles. The basic requirements include electronic stability control systems and roll cage standards. Also, new road signs have been introduced to serve as warnings of roll over black spots. Despite these improvements, many vehicles still lack significant roof support in case of rollover accidents.
Claims Made Against Rollover Accidents
Numerous factors contribute to roll over incidences; however, most people seek damages from auto manufacturers based on the concept of product liability. To win a claim made under the auspice of product liability is difficult more the reason why you need a lawyer by your side. In essence, you will be accusing the manufacturer of creating a car that is unsafe for its purpose, mainly because it has no safety features and possesses a high center of gravity. These cases are complex and rely on the testimony of various experts to determine which factors were due to the negligence of drivers and which were caused by the design of the vehicle.
Negligence in Rollover Accidents
A victim of a rollover accident cannot be compensated without proving negligence or that the other driver acted recklessly. A lawyer can help you prove negligence by obtaining police reports, taking photos of the crash scene, and interviewing eyewitnesses. With such evidence, you should demonstrate:
- You experienced harm as a direct result of the roll over incident
- The at fault driver’s recklessness caused the accident
- You deserve compensation for the harm caused by the at fault driver
For example, the statement of a bystander who claims to have seen the at fault driver speeding before crashing and rolling over, can be used as compelling evidence of negligence.
Circumstantial evidence may also be compelling. For example, a report by the police stating that the driver who was involved in the incidence tested positive for alcohol is enough to convince a jury or judge of negligence.
Compensation for Rollover Accidents
The victims of roll over incidences often receive court awards or settlements to cater for expenses such as medical bills, lost income, psychological and physical pain, and lost prospects. Juries and insurance adjusters take into account the severity of your injuries, recovery time, and pre-established formulas when setting the amount of compensation or settlement to be given for a rollover accident.
In some states, no-fault insurance laws affect compensation. According to these laws, a victim is not fully compensated for all the expenses they have incurred because of the accident. These laws were introduced to keep people from making fraudulent claims and lawsuits. These laws also enable victims to get prompt reimbursement for lost income and medical bills. One of the reasons you need a lawyer during a roll over incident is to help you where no-fault insurance laws apply.
When to Consult a Lawyer
Since rollover incidents lead to catastrophic and sometimes serious injuries, they require more serious action than the services of an insurance company. If you are a victim of a rollover accident, it is advisable to review your claims with a competent personal injury attorney:
- When you experience delays with settlements
- When your claims have been denied by an insurance company or government entity
- When dealing with an uninsured driver
- When you have not been completely compensated for all your expenses