Hurt in a Car, Truck or SUV Rollover?
North Carolina Rollover Accident Lawyers Explain Common Auto Defects
A rollover is a type of auto accident in which a vehicle has tipped over onto its side or roof. These accidents are divided into two categories: tripped and un-tripped. Tripped rollover accidents are caused by another object striking the vehicle, such as another car or a curb. Un-tripped accidents are often due to a combination of sudden changes in direction, speeding and the friction on the ground. In many instances, rollover accidents are the result of driver negligence and/or equipment failure due to auto defects. Therefore, victims of rollover accidents may be able to collect compensation from the at-fault driver and possibly the car manufacturer, as well.
The team of rollover accident lawyers at the law offices of Riddle & Brantley have experience filing, negotiating and litigating both personal injury and product liability lawsuits for these types of car accidents. Rollover accident cases are often complex, especially if more than one defect causes or contributes to your injuries. Our attorneys can investigate to determine who is liable for your injuries and damages. We also proudly offer FREE consultations to determine the merits of your claim.
What Causes Rollover Accidents?
Depending on the circumstances, any vehicle may overturn in a car crash. However, vehicles with auto defects—like a center of mass that is too high for a narrow axle track—are more susceptible to rollover accidents. These vehicles are top heavy and overturn too easily, especially at high speeds. Such vehicles can include commercial trucks as well as delivery vans, certain models of SUVs and pickup trucks. Modified vehicles, including Jeep four-wheel drives, that have aftermarket suspensions and much larger wheels may also be more susceptible to a rollover accident.
Even if a vehicle has no design defects, a rollover is still possible, especially if it is “tripped.” A tripping hazard is any obstacle or object that collides with a car or truck, causing it to overturn. Usually, tripping hazards are low to the ground, like a curb, throwing the vehicle off-balance during the collision.
Some common factors that may cause or contribute to rollover accidents include:
- Auto defects
- Texting while driving
- Driver distraction
- Drunk driving
- Excessive steering maneuvers
- Higher center of gravity
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Overcompensating to avoid hazards
- Overloaded vehicle
- Slippery road conditions caused by debris, sand or ice
- Tire blowouts
- Turning at high speeds
- Uneven roadway surface
- Running off the road and then over-correcting
What Car Crash Injuries Commonly Result from Rollover Accidents?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that rollover accidents account for only 2.1 percent of all motor vehicle accidents. However, almost 35 percent of all fatal accidents are rollovers. The reason is that there is a high risk of head trauma and serious brain injuries when a vehicle overturns. If a vehicle has additional auto defects making the roof and roof supports weak, this risk increases. If a roof fails during a rollover, then vehicle occupants may be crushed under the weight of the vehicle.
Some common injuries caused by rollover accidents include:
- Airbag injuries
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Facial injuries
- Loss of limb
- Neck injuries
- Seat belt injuries
- Skull fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Wrist injuries
How to Avoid Rollover Accidents
While you may be unable to prevent motor vehicle accidents caused by auto defects, you can take steps to minimize your risk of a rollover. Often, factors like speeding and other driver negligence contribute to these kinds of collisions. Therefore, some precautions drivers can take to avoid overturning their vehicle include:
- Abide by all traffic laws and rules of the road.
- Do not over-correct when steering your vehicle.
- Be cautious on rural roads.
- Follow the speed limit.
- Load your automobile properly.
- Maintain your tires.
- Never drink and drive.
- Never drive while fatigued.
- Slow your speed in bad weather.
- Take curves slowly.
By following these simple tips, we can do our best to avoid overturning our vehicle and help to create safer and more enjoyable North Carolina roadways.
Rollover accidents are often complicated because you may be able to file a personal injury claim against several different parties. If a negligent driver caused a car crash that resulted in a rollover, then you may have an insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit against that driver. Additionally, if auto defects, such as an unstable design or weak roof, caused or contributed to your accident, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Lastly, if a tripping hazard resulted in your vehicle overturning, you may even have a claim against the person or entity responsible for the hazard. For example, you may be able to collect compensation from the government organization in charge of road maintenance if a roadway defect was involved in your crash.
With this in mind, it is important that you know your rights before you settle or execute a release of your claim. If you execute a release against the auto carrier you may also release other claims you have against other parties without knowing that you are doing so. Our best advice is to not sign a release until your attorney has reviewed all of your claims.
Hurt in an Overturned Vehicle? Contact Our Experienced Rollover Accident Lawyers Today
At the law offices of Riddle & Brantley, our team of highly trained rollover accident lawyers can guide you through the legal process. We can investigate for you and advise you of what kind of claim or claims you may file. Furthermore, we all operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that we will not charge you for our services unless a winning verdict or settlement offer has been made and you recover for your losses and damages.
With locations in Goldsboro, Raleigh, Jacksonville, and Kinston, North Carolina, we are able to serve throughout the entire state and elsewhere needed. Call one of our offices or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation about your case today.