Have you been injured or a loved one killed in an rollover accident? You may be entitled to sue the manufacturer for your injuries or your loved one’s death. SUVs are built on truck chasis and have a high center of gravity, which makes them prone to roll over, especially in a sharp turn to avoid an accident, an animal, or other obstacle. Some vehicles have defective design and/or manufacturing defects that make them more prone to rollovers.
There are several complications with rollover accidents that make these particular types of accidents more dangerous than others. For example, a roof crush resulting from a rollover can cause catastrophic injuries. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary for you to hire the right law firm that has the experience in handling these types of cases.
There are thousands of injuries and deaths each year attributable to rollover accidents. The main reasons for injuries and deaths in rollovers is the crushing of the roof, causing head injuries and spine injuries resulting in paralysis from the neck down (quadriplegia) or waist down (paraplegia), and serious injuries and even death by an ejected passenger, particularly if the passenger was not wearing a seatbelt. The rollover accident can be due to a number of factors, such as collision with another vehicles, loss of control due to a tire blowout or tread separation, a distracted driver who is not paying attention and runs off the shoulder of the road, too sharp of a turn, or other cause.
Traditionally, SUVs have been more likely to roll over because of their higher center of gravity. Besides the reasons for rollover listed above, SUVs can rollover in a sharp turn, causing serious injury to or death of the occupants of the SUV. In addition to the roof collapse, drivers and their passengers are injured, killed, or ejected from the SUV due to failure to wear their seat belts. In 2000, over 10,000 people died because of traffic collisions that led to SUV rollovers. More than 62 percent of all SUV fatalities occur because the vehicles experiences a rollover.
New technology has reduced the number of rollovers of SUVs. In fact, someone driving a 2009 model year car is almost twice as likely to die in a rollover accident as someone driving a 2009 model year SUV. The main factor in the declining rollover rate and an overall declining death rate for SUVs drivers is electronic stability control (ESC). ESC is a computer-based system that helps drivers maintain control during abrupt maneuvers such as sharp turns and on slippery roads. More stable car-based SUV designs have also played a role in decreasing SUV rollover death rates, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Prior to the electronic stability control, approximately 26,5000 vehicle occupants sustained serious or fatal injury due to rollover each year. Over half of these were ejected and about 13,000 are occupants who remain in the vehicle. In some 7,500 cases, at least one injury was due to contact with the roof, and roof intrusion was present for 7,000 of those. Over half of those sustaining injury due to roof intrusion were wearing their seat belts. Hence, roof intrusion is estimated to occur and potentially contribute to serious or fatal occupant injury in about 25 percent of all rollover crashes.
Contact with the roof and the severity of rollover injury is greatly influenced by whether the occupants were wearing seat belts. 89 percent of unbelted ejected occupants receive their most serious injuries from ejection from the vehicle. Accordingly, preventing ejection is the most important means for reducing injury to unbelted occupants. Roof crush intrusion is present in the majority of cases, but is only the leading cause of injury in less than 10 percent of unbelted rollover cases.
To summarize, unbelted occupants in rollover cases are primarily injured by ejection from the vehicle, which is fatal in about half the cases. Belted occupants in rollover crashes are primarily injured by roof contact and by contact with other components intrusion in severe cases of intrusion. In less severe cases, the severity of injury is related to other vehicle and occupant factors.
If you have been seriously injured or had a loved one killed due to the rollover of a vehicle, you should contact an experience personal injury attorney as soon as possible to represent you in your efforts to receive maximum monetary recovery from the careless (“negligent”) driver who caused the accident or the automobile manufacturer for failing to build a roadworthy vehicle. Call TorkLaw today for a free consultation (888) 845-9696