WHAT IS A ROLLOVER ACCIDENT? ST. LOUIS CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Rollover accidents are among the most dangerous type of vehicular crashes. They account for the highest fatality rate with more than 10,000 people killed every year in a rollover accident.1 When a vehicle turns over on its roof or side the car accident is considered a rollover.
The commonality of rollovers has been linked to the changing composition of vehicles on the nation’s highway which comprises an increased number of Sport Utility Vehicles and light weight trucks. These vehicles are more susceptible to rolling over, because they have a higher center of gravity.
Rollover accidents typically involve a singular vehicle that loses control due to icy or snowy road conditions, soft road shoulders, uneven ground, collision with curbs or guardrails after a vehicle has lost traction, or hitting an obstacle while driving.
Injury Characteristics and Causes in Car Rollover Accidents
According to the National Automotive Sampling System Database, during a rollover accident, the regional body distribution of injuries normally affects five main areas: the head and neck, the thorax, the abdomen, upper limbs, and lower limbs. Often, rollover crash victims sustain multiple injuries throughout those regions of the body. Generally, the head and neck represent the most vulnerable area. Some of the most common rollover injuries include: traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones, and cuts, scrapes, and bruises.2 These injuries are caused from slamming into another vehicle or obstacle, impact with unsecured cargo, contact with broken glass or torn metal, or from being tossed within the vehicle or ejected from the vehicle. The long term effects of these injuries can include impairment of critical functions such as speech, vision, memory, and emotional control, partial vision loss or blindness, loss of hearing, loss of teeth or dental injury, chronic back pain, amputation to the arms or legs, and a variety of internal damages to nerves, veins, and organs.
Some rollover accident injuries appear very frequently.
1. Traumatic Brain Injury
Head injuries can lead to substantial losses for many victims. Victims with traumatic brain injury may find themselves losing their ability to focus on a task, their short-term memories, and even a great deal of their emotional regulation skills, all of which can cause limitations that impact their everyday lives.
2. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries may result in complete or partial paralysis below the injury site. Often, victims with spinal cord injuries will also experience a loss of organ function below the location of the injury. Paralysis can permanently change a victim’s ability to engage in many activities, including work, leisure, and even self-care.
3. Broken Bones
Frequently, rollover accidents result in multiple broken bones for the victim. Broken bones can cause substantial immediate loss of independence and ongoing pain from the injuries. In some cases, broken bones may require surgery to heal completely, and the victim may end up dealing with several long-term limitations.
4. Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises
Rollover accidents often involve a great deal of force and can cause everything in the vehicle to move around violently, leading to substantial cuts, scrapes, and bruises. Sometimes, these injuries can lead to significant scarring or pain.
Common Causes of Car Rollover Accidents
Car rollover accidents often result from driver error, including inattention, inebriation, or exhaustion. However, various other factors may also contribute to the risk of a rollover accident.
1. Dangerous Weather
In dangerous weather conditions, including heavy rain or icing, car rollover accidents may occur more frequently. Sometimes, drivers may have more trouble controlling their vehicles in dangerous weather. Excessive speeds during dangerous weather can also raise the risk of a rollover accident.
2. Aggressive Driving
In many cases, aggressive driving causes accidents with a great deal of force, which may ultimately lead to substantially worse injuries, including a higher risk of rollovers. Aggressive drivers may deliberately collide with another vehicle, even when that vehicle sits at an angle or in a location that could have a high risk of a rollover collision. Furthermore, aggressive drivers take more chances that can substantially raise the risk of a rollover accident.
3. Sharp Drops or Objects that Increase Rollover Risk
Sometimes, a rollover accident occurs because a vehicle rolls over an item, such as a sharp curb, uneven pavement, or a guardrail, that causes the vehicle to tip dangerously. On a sharp drop, vehicles may not have as much room to maneuver safely, making it more difficult for the driver to bring the vehicle back under control after a minor incident.
4. Side-Impact Collisions
A side-impact collision, particularly in a multi-vehicle accident, can significantly raise the risk of a rollover accident. A side impact can push a vehicle forcefully, whether that means shoving the vehicle over the edge of an embankment or applying force in a way that levers the vehicle over.
5. Improperly Loaded Cargo
Loading cargo incorrectly can substantially increase the risk of a rollover collision. When cargo gets loaded too high on the vehicle, it can cause the vehicle to grow increasingly top-heavy, which can make a rollover collision more likely. Furthermore, improperly loaded cargo may make the vehicle more unbalanced, raising the odds that it will continue to roll in a rollover collision.
6. Poor Vehicle Construction
Tall, narrow SUVs that sit high off the road and have a high center of gravity may have a greater overall risk of rollover collisions than smaller vehicles that sit lower to the ground. In some cases, manufacturers that fail to test vehicles properly may bear liability for a rollover accident caused by that poor balance.
liability in Rollover Collisions: What to Consider
Following a rollover collision, the police officer that responds to the scene will take the first look at the accident and the damage caused. The officer may create a police report that helps establish who may bear liability for the accident and what factors may have contributed to it. However, depending on the amount of damage to the vehicle involved and the injuries to the passengers, insurance companies and lawyers may need to look into other factors to get a better idea, overall, of what caused the accident, including whether multiple parties may share liability for the incident.
Did the collision involve more than one vehicle?
Rollover accidents often involve only a single vehicle and the error of the driver of that vehicle. However, in some cases, rollover accidents may result not from driver error, but external factors. For example, if a rollover accident results from a serious problem in the vehicle’s construction, the vehicle manufacturer could bear liability for the accident. On the other hand, if the rollover collision occurs due to driver error, the driver that caused the accident may bear liability.
Which driver committed an act of negligence that led to the collision?
In some cases, a multi-vehicle accident may result in a rollover collision. In that case, the officer who responds to the scene may take a careful look at the conditions that led to the accident and which driver likely committed the error that led to the collision.
For example, the responding officer may want to know if one of the drivers:
- Drove while distracted
- Drove while inebriated
- Deliberately collided with the other vehicle or engaged in aggressive driving behavior
- Committed an error that led to the accident
If the driver committed an act of negligence that led to the accident, in most cases, that driver would bear liability for the accident. Others involved in the accident can then pursue compensation through the liable driver’s insurance policy.
Was the driver that caused the collision on the clock?
In some cases, after a car rollover accident involving a driver on the clock at the time of the incident, you may have the right to pursue compensation from that driver’s employer—generally because the employer has some policy that increases the risk of accidents. An attorney can help you determine whether you may have the right to pursue compensation from the employer after the accident.
What to do after an accident?
The first steps after being involved in a rollover accident includes notifying the authorities and seeking medical attention. Depending on the region of the body that sustained impact, symptoms of serious injuries may not be immediately or physically apparent. Postponing medical attention may decrease the chances of discovering a life threatening injury and in fact may make your condition worse.
What Compensation Can You Recover for Car Rollover Accident Injuries?
When someone else’s negligence causes a car rollover accident, you may have the right to pursue compensation for any injuries you sustained in the accident. At The Bruning Law Firm, while we cannot guarantee the compensation you can recover following a car rollover accident, we can help walk you through the areas in which you may deserve compensation and what you should expect as you pursue those damages.
Common categories in which most people can claim damages following a car rollover collision follow the same general lines.
You may have significant medical bills from your car rollover accident injuries. Car rollover accidents often result in multiple injuries for everyone involved. Flying debris inside the car can lead to serious bruising, cuts, and lacerations, while the force of the collision can lead to much more substantial injuries.
Those injuries can mean medical expenses that continue to add up for some time after the initial incident.
You can expect to deal with emergency medical expenses, hospitalization expenses, and other costs related to your recovery, potentially including:
- Surgeries and other procedures to help treat your injuries
- Durable medical equipment
- Follow-up appointments
- Specialist appointments
- Ongoing physical or occupational therapy to help you cope with the impact of those injuries
- Medications needed to treat your injuries
As part of your rollover accident claim, you can include compensation for the medical expenses you have as a direct result of the accident and those injuries.
Losing income as a direct result of serious injuries results in a massive financial hit for many people. Unfortunately, due to the severity of car rollover accident injuries, they often mean a substantial, long-term loss of income.
Your injuries might directly prevent you from going back to work, especially if you must remain in the hospital or otherwise in a care facility during your recovery.
Your employer might not want you to come back until you can focus on your work instead of on the details of your recovery.
Even once you return to work, you may miss income as a direct result of your injuries. You might have to miss time to attend follow-up appointments, physical therapy, or even further procedures that you need to treat your injuries. The longer you need to deal with those treatments, and the longer it takes for you to recover, the more time you may miss at work.
You may need to talk to a lawyer about how you lost income due to your accident, especially if you have missed ongoing time, had to use vacation or sick time to cover some of your missing work hours, or if your injuries will involve long-term work limitations. You may also need to calculate the value of lost earning potential as it relates to your job after your car rollover collision.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to including compensation for the medical bills and other financial struggles you have faced because of your accident, most personal injury claims will also include compensation for your pain and suffering. Pain and suffering may not have tangible financial elements but can nevertheless prove extremely important as you deal with the aftermath of your accident.
Talk to your lawyer about the impact your injuries have had on every area of your life, from your ability to engage in your favorite leisure activities to your ability to take care of yourself. You may also want to discuss the direct emotional struggles you have faced due to your injuries.
How the Bruning Law Firm Can Help After Your Car Rollover Collision?
Dealing with the aftermath of a car rollover collision can be highly complicated, especially if you find yourself struggling to figure out how much compensation you deserve or what steps you need to take next to increase the compensation you can recover. At The Bruning Law Firm, we can help our clients starting in the initial days after the accident and work with them as they move through the process of filing a claim to help recover compensation for those injuries.
We have a long history of successful results in many practice areas, including car accident claims. While we cannot guarantee specific results, we can promise to work hard on your claim. Contact us today to get started.
We make sure our clients know how much compensation they really deserve.
If you find yourself dealing with an insurance company over the compensation you deserve after a car accident, the insurance company may not offer the compensation you really deserve and should expect for your injuries. Often, car insurance companies will start by providing a low settlement offer that does not reflect the compensation an accident victim really deserves. Then, the insurance adjuster may fight with you over the elements of compensation you deserve and how you should go about pursuing that compensation.
We help our clients present their claims effectively.
To help secure the compensation you deserve after a car rollover, you need to present your needs in a clear, compelling way. At The Bruning Law Firm, we help our clients put together claims that include both the elements of compensation they deserve and why they deserve that compensation, based on the evidence from the accident scene.
We fight to help our clients maximize compensation for their injuries.
Whether you can secure the compensation you deserve through negotiation or you need to take your claim to court to recover as much compensation as possible, we assertively represent our clients to help them maximize the compensation they can recover for their injuries.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
The next step after medical attention has been sought is to discuss the circumstances of the accident with a car accident attorney, like The Bruning Law Firm, dedicated to helping victims of negligence or recklessness recover. In a rollover accident it is possible that liability can be found on the part of another driver, the manufacturer of the vehicle, or municipalities responsible for road hazards. It is during the initial stages after an auto accident that an experienced attorney can determine what party’s should be held at-fault and file the appropriate claims. Contact an experienced auto accident attorney for a free consultation at 314-735-8100. The trial attorneys at The Bruning Law Firm can help evaluate the merits of your claim and offer guidance on pursuing the appropriate claims to seek just compensation to cover your medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
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