clauson law

Rollover Accident Attorney

Rollover accidents can be more dangerous and frightening than a standard collision. When two cars collide, both can see serious damages, including to driver and passengers.

Rollover accidents can be more dangerous and frightening than a standard collision. When two cars collide, both can see serious damages, including to driver and passengers. When a car rolls over in an accident, the damages can increase exponentially—physical, financial, and psychological.

After a rollover accident in North Carolina, your health, your family’s future, and your financial stability are all at risk. It’s vital that you have an experienced NC rollover accident attorney to represent you, protect all of your interests, and ensure that you receive the best financial settlement you can get.

Statistics on Rollover Accidents

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that:

  • Rollover accidents occur in just 3% of car accidents, but account for 30% of auto accident fatalities.
  • Forty percent of rollover accidents were due to speeding, and three-quarters of those occurred on roads with posted speeds of 55 mph or higher.
  • Close to 85% of fatalities from rollover accidents occur in single vehicle accidents.
  • Three-quarters of fatal rollover accidents occur on rural roads that typically have speed limits of 55 mph. Many occupants do not wear seatbelts.
  • Over 90% of these fatal rollover accidents were doing everyday driving maneuvers, such as driving straight, on a curve, or turning.
  • Nearly 50% of these accidents involve alcohol. Even a small amount that’s way under the legal limit can negatively impact your vision, judgment, and muscular coordination, causing a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle.

There are 280,000 rollover accidents reported every year with more than 10,000 fatalities annually.

Two Types of Rollover Accident 

A vehicle can roll either on its side or onto its roof in one of two ways:

  • Tripped is the most common type of rollover. The most common type, it occurs when the car rolls and slides sideways. This happens when the car’s tires sink into soft soil, hit a curb, another vehicle, or other type of obstruction that sends the car upwards and onto its side. Speed is frequently a factor.
  • Untripped, which are less common. Several factors contribute to an untripped rollover, including faulty vehicle design and driver errors, as well as steering, speed, and friction (or lack thereof.) Swerving to avoid something in the road, or turning a corner too fast can cause a top-heavy vehicle to simply fall over while driving.

How do these accidents happen? Speeding, distracted driving (including distractions inside the vehicle like cell phones), or driving under the influence can cause a rollover. Swerving to avoid an animal crossing the road can also cause a rollover accident. A NC Car Accident Lawyer can investigate the accident and get to the root cause.

Vehicles Prone To Rollover

From the SmartCar and the MiniCooper to large trucks, nearly all vehicles have the potential for a rollover.  But these are the most likely to roll while being driven: 

  • SUVs
  • Pickup trucks
  • Passenger vans and
    buses 
  • Utility trucks

Their larger, taller design gives them a higher center of gravity. Pickups and SUVs are also frequently driven on smaller rural roads without side barriers.  Many drivers and passengers fail to wear seatbelts, leading to the high rate of more serious injuries and fatalities.

Because SUVs offer so much room, many people tend to overload them, particularly on the roof. The owners’ manual indicates the maximum weight that a vehicle can support. Loading heavier items lower and closer to the base, and lighter items on the roof helps balance the vehicle better.

Newer-model SUVs offer more safety features, such as the electronic stability control system (ESC) that stops skidding when it detects that the driver has lost control. Most also have a wider wheelbase and a lower center of gravity.

Product Liability

It’s also possible that the vehicle’s manufacturer may be responsible for your accident through design flaws and failed safety equipment, such as airbags and ESC. Other reasons for a rollover accident can include:

  • Defective body design
  • Ineffective brakes
  • Inadequately designed suspension
  • Bad stability control

Tire failures, including blowouts and treading defects such as de-treading and delamination

Injuries during and after a rollover accident are also caused by:

  • Defective airbags:
    • Occasionally, airbags don’t deploy on impact as they were designed to. However the accident happened, your injuries can be made worse without the airbags.
    • Airbags are also known to deploy on their own or from a very light nudge, which can cause injuries such as burns and bruises, as well as cause an accident
    • Airbag deployment that is too hard or too fast can also cause serious injuries
  • Seatbelts that break or unbuckle during an accident can leave a driver or passenger unprotected, causing ejection from the car through a window or windshield or otherwise injured or killed.
  • A collapsing roof. Modern vehicles are equipped with built-in roll bars in the roof to prevent injury and deaths in the event of a rollover accident, but older SUVs may not have them.
  • Power steering failure that makes it difficult to steer the vehicle while in motion
  • Sudden acceleration that makes steering and stopping difficult
  • Brake failure
  • Vehicle fires caused by a defect in the electrical system.
  • Other types of vehicle design or manufacturing defects

Road conditions can also contribute to a rollover accident, even under normal driving conditions. Potholes, sharp curves, a lack of warning signals, and uneven roads can cause a vehicle to roll. Guardrails that are missing or broken could have stopped the accident from continuing but allowed a car to continue rolling.

Despite the improvements in automotive safety, equipment failure does happen in rollover accidents, leaving you and your passengers unprotected. Equipment failures such as these can lead to product liability lawsuits after a rollover accident.

Using modern accident reconstruction techniques, a NC accident lawyer can investigate the conditions surrounding your rollover accident, determine who or what caused it, and who is ultimately responsible for your losses.

Contact an Experienced NC Car Accident Attorney Today

A rollover accident can be even more devastating than a regular two-car collision. You may be looking for answers and not know where to turn after a rollover accident in Durham. Find a NC rollover accident attorney who understands the law and knows what to do next. We can also help you by dealing with our insurance company for you to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.

Fortunately, we’ve handled thousands of cases, and are ready to help you with yours.  Call The Clauson Law Firm today at 877-338-8515, or use our online contact form to get in touch. Not sure what to do? You can also download our free handbook on car accidents to find out more before your appointment.

Types of Car Accidents

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