There are so many ways a truck accident can happen: Brakes can fail. Overinflated tires can burst. A fatigued driver can suddenly fall asleep at the wheel, drifting into another motorist’s lane. While all of these accidents can result in serious injury and death, rollover truck accidents are some of the deadliest crashes, with some of the highest fatality rates.
If you’ve been injured in a rollover truck accident, contact the lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our truck accident attorneys draw from over a century of combined experience to fight on behalf of victims harmed by all types of car accidents.
What is a Rollover Truck Accident?
A “rollover” involves a vehicle turning on its side or roof during an accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines truck rollovers as an “overturn” of a large commercial vehicle. This includes crashes in which trucks roll multiple times or crashes when a truck overturns onto either side.
Passengers who are not killed in rollover truck accidents are often left with incapacitating life-long injuries, such as spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury.
Causes of Rollover Truck Accidents
It takes less than people might think for a tractor-trailer weighing a few dozen tons to flip over. Over the years, studies have identified certain factors that continually contribute to truck rollover accidents, including:
A truck’s cargo alone usually weighs several tons. If the load is not evenly distributed and properly secured, it can shift when the truck rounds a sharp turn, initiating a rollover.
Underinflated tires, poorly maintained brakes, or a damaged suspension can cause a truck to tip over on sharp curves, steep downhill grades, or uneven road surfaces.
Tractor-trailers make wide turns that must be taken slowly. If a truck driver goes above the speed limit while turning, especially in bad weather conditions when roads are slick and icy, it can cause the truck to flip.
If a vehicle is sliding on a slick road and its tires suddenly hit a curb or otherwise regain traction, the inertia can cause the truck to topple.
Poor Steering Control
Truck drivers’ steering habits can increase the likelihood of truck crashes. Oversteering to avoid an obstacle or overcorrection can cause a large truck to roll over, especially if the truck’s gravity is already compromised.
Slippery road conditions and heavy rain or fog can hinder a truck driver’s ability to slow down or stop when approaching a curve. High winds can contribute to truck rollovers because wind gusts can disrupt a trailer’s stability.
Trucking and shipping companies are constantly looking for ways to ship more goods using fewer trucks, meaning more and more tractor-trailers today are carrying extremely heavy loads.
A fully-loaded 18-wheeler can carry up to 40 tons. When a driver is operating a truck with a full load, all it takes is one bad judgment call for a rollover accident to occur.
Liable Parties in a Truck Rollover Accident
Many parties can potentially be held liable in a truck rollover accident:
- The Truck Driver – If a truck accident occurs because of driver error such as excessive speed or distracted driving, the trucker would be held liable for the accident.
- The Trucking Company – Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining the trucks properly and following federal and state regulations. If they fail to do so, they may be held responsible for injuries caused due to the accident.
- The Manufacturer – If the accident was caused by a defective truck part, such as a brake failure, the manufacturer of that part may be held liable.
If other vehicles were affected by the accident, multiple parties might be involved in your claim. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you determine who is responsible for your injuries and damages.
Why Choose Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.?
If you have been seriously injured in a rollover truck accident or if one of your loved ones has been killed, pursuing a claim can seem all the more daunting in the middle of your crisis. Our truck accident attorneys know the motor carrier industry and have decades of experience handling claims for truck accident victims.
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your truck accident case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.