A rollover accident is a crash where a vehicle completely rolls onto its roof one or more times before coming to a rest. Although many rollovers are single-vehicle accidents, a rollover can also occur in a collision involving two or more vehicles.
Rollover accidents are more common than people may think. According to the National Safety Council, more than 10,000 people are killed each year in rollover accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that rollover accidents rose a shocking 35 percent between 1990 and 2000, a period during which SUVs, pickups and other light trucks increased in popularity.
Some of the worst injuries in rollover accidents occur when an unrestrained occupant is ejected from the vehicle. Even when a victim is not ejected from the vehicle during a rollover crash, the victim may still suffer serious injuries as a result of being thrown around in the vehicle. A victim may be thrown against the dash, the steering wheel, seats, or even a window during the roll.
Someone who is involved in a rollover accident may sustain life-threatening injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including those that cause paralysis such as quadriplegia or paraplegia
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Facial injuries
- Broken bones
Causes of Rollover Accidents
Two common factors in rollover accidents are vehicle design and driver error or negligence. Examples include:
- Aggressive driving
- Impaired driving
- Driver fatigue
- Tire blowout
- Tire tread separation
- Vehicle instability, including a top-heavy design
- Lack of vehicle stability control
- Steering or suspension defects
- Failure to warn of vehicle’s instability.
Depending on the circumstances, victims of rollover accidents may be entitled to compensation from the negligent driver who caused the crash, even if the injured person was a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a single-vehicle accident.
If defects in the vehicle’s design, manufacturing or warnings were to blame for the crash, a victim – including the driver – may be entitled to bring a product liability lawsuit against the company that designed, built or distributed the vehicle, as well as other parties such as parts suppliers.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as the result of a rollover car accident, now is the time act. Laws in either New York or New Jersey could entitle you to compensation for your losses, but there are strict deadlines for filing a claim.