Injuries often are very serious for auto wreck
victims, and death is possible
The National Highway Traffic Safety Commission reported 37,461 fatal car accidents in 2016. Of the fatal accidents that occur each year, the NHTSA estimates that approximately 20 percent involve vehicle rollover. Rollover accident occur when a vehicle interacts with the road, environmental factors, and driver input in a manner that causes the vehicle to roll over onto its side or even roof. Light trucks and SUVs are more susceptible to rollover accidents than ordinary passenger cars and large trucks. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a rollover accident, call a car accident lawyer in Plantation immediately to discuss your best options.
Why light trucks and SUVs are more susceptible
By design, light trucks and SUVs are more likely to roll over due to impact or sometimes simply due to abrupt handling. These vehicles have a higher center of gravity; therefore, they are more top-heavy than lighter passenger vehicles and large trucks. Another factor that may contribute to rollover is tire grip. Surprisingly, too much tire grip can increase the risk of rollover as it is better for a vehicle to slide across the pavement on its tires than to tilt over due to excess friction. Therefore, some SUV manufacturers have partially addressed rollover risk by equipping the vehicles with tires that have slightly less grip.
How rollover accidents happen
Most single vehicle rollover accidents are not the result of steering alone. Often, the vehicle "trips" over or comes into contact with an object such as a pothole, curb, or the shoulder of the road. Other situations in which a vehicle may roll over include:
- losing control of steering
- colliding with another vehicle
- coming into contact with uneven ground
- turning at unsafe speeds
- swerving to avoid a person, object, or animal
Although certain designs lend themselves to rolling over more easily, a rollover accident can happen in any vehicle. Driving aggressively and weighing down a passenger car with a heavy load can also increase the risk of rollover.
Rollover accident injuries
Because the vehicle becomes inverted during a rollover, these accidents are more likely to cause severe injury. The risk of serious injury is especially high if vehicle occupants are not wearing a seat belt. Examples of injuries that are common in rollover accidents include:
- head and brain injury
- neck injury
- spine injury
- broken bones
- soft tissue injuries
- burns, bruises, and abrasions
- chest injury
- internal injuries
Preventing rollover accidents and fatalities
No one can guarantee he or she will not be involved in an accident; however, there are steps drivers can take to reduce the likelihood of being seriously injured in a rollover. Drivers who prefer SUVs should choose models that have the most up-to-date safety technologies, including electronic stability control and side curtain airbags. Drivers and passengers should wear seat belts as approximately 50 percent of rollover fatalities occur when a vehicle occupant is ejected due to impact. Overall, fatalities occur in 75 percent of all vehicle ejections that are the result of a collision. Tires should be maintained in good working condition and at proper inflation levels according to manufacturer recommendations. Heavy loads should not be placed on the roof of a vehicle, and drivers should remain well within the manufacturer's recommended weight limits when transporting a load. Drivers should always maintain a safe reasonable speed, especially on rural roads, which tend to have higher speed limits and are the setting for nearly 75 percent of all fatal rollover accidents.
What to do in the event of a rollover accident
While prevention is best, accidents do happen. Individuals who are involved in a rollover accident should first seek medical attention, even if he or she feels uninjured at the scene of the accident; some serious injuries can go undetected until evaluated by medical staff. The next call should be to an experienced Plantation auto accident lawyer. Individuals who are injured in an accident due to another person's negligence are eligible to file a claim to be compensated for medical expenses and related lost wages. Your injury lawyer can evaluate the case free of charge and take steps to pursue the negligent party's insurance company to get the compensation the accident victim deserves. Moreover, if the accident resulted in the injured party's death or if he or she is unable to call a lawyer, the victim's family members may contact an attorney on his or her behalf. For accident victims, the first call to a lawyer may be the first step to protecting his or her rights.
The Ellsley Law Firm is ready to help you through this tough time.