Rollover Accident Lawsuits
Our Car Accident Lawyer in Washington, DC Can Help
Rollover accidents only account for about three percent of all auto accidents, but they are responsible for over 30% of auto accident deaths. The likelihood of being in a rollover is very low, but if you are, it is almost certain that you will be seriously injured or killed.
Why Rollover Accidents Happen
A phenomenon called “tripping” is involved in nearly all rollover accidents. Tripping happens when one of the vehicles tires hits something, such as a curb, bump, or soft shoulder, and the momentum of the vehicle causes it to pitch over forward or sideways into a roll. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) nearly 85% of rollovers are single vehicle accidents, and 95% of those are caused by tripping.
Vehicle design, tire failure, road conditions, weather, and the behavior of other drivers are often contributing factors in rollover accidents.
- High center of gravity: SUVs are the most likely vehicles to roll followed by pick-up trucks and minivans, due to their high center of gravity.
- Defective tires: Tire failure is a common cause of rollovers, causing drivers to lose control of the vehicle, or acting as the tripping mechanism itself.
- Defective roadways: Poor road maintenance and lack of warning signs are common causes of rollovers. When roads are not taken care of, they develop bumps and potholes that can act as tripping mechanisms. Soft shoulders can also act as a tripping mechanism, when drivers are not warned and hit them too fast. Other hazards which lack proper warning signs can cause drivers to take sudden evasive maneuvers.
SUV Rollover Accidents
Many people enjoy driving SUVs because it makes them feel safer navigating hazardous road and weather conditions. Unfortunately, statistics show that this is often a false sense of security. Around 10,000 people are injured or killed in SUV rollovers each year – more than side crashes and rear-end accidents combined.
Because of their high center of gravity, SUVs are naturally more prone to rollover accidents – and yet few SUV models have roll bars to prevent the roof from collapsing.
In 2009, the NHTSA established new standards that increase the minimum requirement for roof strength in SUVs. Unfortunately, these standards are still far too low, and roof crush still occurs during rollover accidents. Roof crush greatly increases the chances of serious injury or death for occupants inside of the SUV.
Most SUV rollover accidents are actually single-vehicle accidents. In fact, over 90% of all rollover accidents only involve one vehicle. These accidents can be caused by a few different factors, including:
- Tripping (when the tires hit a soft curb or shoulder, and the momentum causes the SUV to flip)
- Poor weather conditions (e.g. wet or icy roads)
- Unseen potholes or ditches
Design flaws, defective tires, and other vehicle defects causing rollovers are typically the fault of vehicle manufacturers, tire manufacturers, dealerships, and/or automobile repair shops. Although rare, some rollover accidents are caused by another driver. Defective roadways, including those which are poorly maintained and those which lack proper warning signs, are almost always the responsibility of a government entity. Lawsuits involving government entities are very different from those involving individuals and businesses.
If you have been in a rollover accident caused by a defective vehicle or roadway, you may not be aware of the cause. Rollover accidents can happen fast and without warning, but they do not just happen. Police reports and witness statements may not reveal the cause of the accident. A thorough inspection of the vehicle and the scene should be conducted as soon as possible after the accident to determine the true cause.
Injuries from Rollover Accidents
Rollover accidents often include roof crush injuries and/or ejection from the vehicle. The severity of injuries caused by rollover accidents is almost always far greater than those caused by other types of accidents, and a large portion of rollovers are fatal.
Common injuries caused by rollover accidents include:
- Head trauma
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck fractures
- Broken or fractured bones
- Internal injuries
If you have been injured, or your loved one has been killed in a rollover accident in Washington D.C., please contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for a free case evaluation.