Imagine you’re driving an SUV at 65 mph down a rural highway at night. Suddenly, your headlights illuminate a fallen tree and you swerve to avoid it. This abrupt movement causes your SUV to tip. You find yourself tossed about as your vehicle rolls. When the dust settles, you’re facing broken bones, medical and insurance bills, and time off work to recover. Yet that rollover accident was no one’s fault, right? You were the only car on the road.
Well, not if the fallen tree had been there for days and known to the property owner, who refused to remove it despite it obstructing a roadway. Or if the vehicle had a defective part or design flaw that made it prone to tipping. Your injuries could also be due to improperly manufactured or installed seatbelts or airbags. Just because your car was the only vehicle involved in an accident doesn’t mean you have to walk away injured and overwhelmed, with no recourse.
In reality, most rollover accidents involve only one car. Instead of a tree, perhaps it’s a pothole, an animal, debris, or a curb. When a vehicle experiences a sudden shift in its center of gravity, such as swerving to avoid an obstacle, it tips. At freeway speeds, these moves to avoid one accident can actually cause another. In fact, rollovers are more likely to cause fatalities than any other kind of motor vehicle accident, and comprise one-fifth of all fatal car crashes. The higher a vehicle’s center of gravity, the more likely it is to tip. Trucks, SUVs, and vans are the most commonly rolled vehicles simply by being bigger and taller.
Rollover accidents cause unique injuries, usually due to a victim slamming into the sides or roof of the vehicle. There’s a reason elite pilots train to withstand rolling through the air—the human body is not naturally prepared to bear that kind of force. Yet victims may not think to seek compensation for injuries or lost loved ones because another car was not involved. While a rollover caused by a drunk driver is clearly the fault of the driver under the influence, a rollover from hitting a pothole on a poorly maintained freeway might not automatically prompt victims to consider who was at fault. Manufacturers can also be held liable for dangerous product designs for an entire type of car, like SUVs, or for a faulty or improperly installed piece of machinery in a single vehicle.
Determining who is at fault for a rollover accident can get complicated, often involving multiple defendants. Nonetheless, the high fatality rate and tendency toward severe injuries make pursuing a rollover personal injury suit worthwhile. You’ll receive lost income, money to pay medical bills, funding for changes in lifestyle, funeral costs, and compensation for pain and suffering.
Just because you were alone on that road doesn’t mean you’re alone in this fight. Contact the personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Perez Law Group, PLLC today to learn more: (602) 730-7100.