Rollovers carry a much higher risk of victims sustaining severe injuries when compared with other crash types. The physics of the vehicle turning over, often more than once, being hit by flying debris or crushed metal, the risk of ejection from the car— all these unique features of rollover accidents carry an increased possibility of severe injuries or fatalities. Because of the severity of these accidents and the difficulty proving negligence in such cases, it’s critical to have a car accident lawyer on your side. Help from an experienced lawyer can steer rollover accident victims in the right direction to help build a compelling case.
Read further to learn the causes, injuries, and legal recourse associated with rollover accidents and how a car accident lawyer at Joye Law Firm can help.
The Danger and Causes of Rolling Over
Several factors determine whether a vehicle is likely to tip over and roll. Some of the most common include:
Vehicles moving at highway speeds or higher are more likely to roll over. In the case of an emergency, the driver has a limited reaction time. It’s also harder to control the car because of the momentum.
The presence of objects on the road can cause a startle reflex, causing the driver to swerve, veer off the road, and eventually roll over.
If the road is slippery or has loose gravel, the vehicle can lose traction, skid, tumble, and fall over. Ice, snow, rain, and other road conditions can increase the risk of a rollover accident.
Many rollover accidents happen when the driver tries to avoid colliding with another motorist. The other driver keeps going, sometimes oblivious of the accident their actions triggered.
Overreacting in emergencies
Imagine a hypothetical situation. You are driving on the highway when you notice that you have strayed onto the side of the road. You immediately try to steer the vehicle back. But you oversteer. You panic and navigate in the other direction, and suddenly, the car is rolling into the vegetation on the roadside. Split-second reactions like this cause many rollover accidents.
Some rollover accidents happen because the manufacturer failed to take necessary precautions when designing the vehicle. For example, if the vehicle has flawed tires, this increases the likelihood of a car losing traction.
Some manufacturer errors can increase the magnitude of injuries in a rollover. For example, if the seatbelts in a car are defective, providing too much slack when pulled, the driver’s and passengers’ safety can be highly compromised.
Type of vehicle
Top-heavy vehicles (with a high center of gravity) are more likely to roll over. Such is the case with pickup trucks, SUVs, and large vans compared to the smaller, more compact coupes.
What Are the Common Injuries in a Rollover Accident?
Rollover accidents can cause severe injuries to the driver and passengers. Here are a some of the most common injuries associated with rollovers:
- Traumatic brain injuries
The human body is typically thrown into awkward positions during a rollover. These movements can happen suddenly, increasing the chances of hitting the car’s roof, steering wheel, or other metal parts. As a result, these accidents often cause traumatic brain injuries and concussions.
- Spinal injury
With bodies thrown up and down repeatedly, it’s not surprising that many rollover accident victims suffer spine injuries. Spinal injuries can be life-altering, leaving victims suffering with excruciating nerve pain and sometime temporary or permanent paralysis.
In addition to the above, rollover accidents also result in:
- Broken limbs/bones.
- Soft tissue lacerations.
- Nerve damage.
- Slipped disc.
- Neck injuries.
What is the Legal Recourse for Rollover Accident Victims?
Seriously injured rollover accident victims are left with many questions. Who is to blame? Will I ever heal? How will I prove someone else is responsible for my injuries? How will I pay for medical care? This is where the guidance and support of a North Charleston car accident lawyer can ease a victim’s worry.
In the meantime, this is the general procedure for pursuing compensation after a car accident is:
Report the Accident to Authorities
In South Carolina, it is a requirement to report car accidents to the authorities as soon as possible. Whether these are police officers or the sheriff, an auto accident report is mandatory. If you are unconscious and must leave the scene in an ambulance, you may report your recollection of the events as soon as possible.
Gather as Much Evidence as Possible
Take pictures of the scene at the time of the accident if you can do so safely. Be sure to note the registration numbers of any other cars involved in the accident. You can also obtain contacts of witnesses willing to testify during the claim process.
Keep Records of Medical Treatment and Expenses
These records can help you quantify your damages.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Contacting an experienced lawyer is the most crucial step. Victims may not know whether to blame the manufacturer, the road, another driver, or themselves. An experienced attorney can assist in assigning and proving negligence. A car accident lawyer will also represent your interests by negotiating a fair settlement.