Rollover accidents are some of the most serious types of auto accidents that have higher rates of serious injury and death. These accidents occur when a vehicle tips or is knocked over, causing it to turn and rest on its roof or side. In some cases, the occupants of the vehicle involved in a rollover accident are ejected, which significantly increases the chances of catastrophic injury or death. While SUVs are more prone to rolling over, passenger cars, vans, and pickup trucks can also be involved in a rollover accident.
These types of accidents are usually complicated cases. While the driver of another vehicle may be responsible for causing the accident, most cases involve holding manufacturers liable for the victim’s injuries. Claiming compensation from big corporations can be an uphill battle that only rollover accident lawyers like the team at Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney can handle.
You may be eligible for benefits to cover the costs of medical treatment, hospitalization, pain and suffering, mental distress, lost wages, rehabilitation, home care, and long-term care. This may sound easy, but defendants are usually quick to levy the blame against victims and put in resources to fight the claims. You need a tough who will earnestly fight for you every step of the way. We can review your case and advise you as to your options.
Common Causes of Rollover Accidents
While driver negligence can be the cause of a rollover accident, most of these accidents usually occur as a result of poor design, vehicle defects, and even poor road conditions. These can act as a “tripping” mechanism. Think of a large pothole that causes a ramp of one side of the vehicle or a blown tire that causes an over-correction. Here are common reasons for rollover accidents:
- High center of gravity- some automobiles come with a design flaw referred to as the center of gravity. This is the case with SUVs. A rollover accident may occur if when the driver is forced to makes a sudden sharp turn, causing the vehicle to topple.
- Tire failure- faulty tires can fail unexpectedly, causing a vehicle to lose control and flip or roll over. Losing contact with just one tire can also cause the vehicle to topple over.
- Poor road conditions- the government must maintain safe roadways. Uneven pavement, poor signage, and neglected maintenance can become “tripping mechanisms” that lead to rollover crashes.
- Defective suspension- the suspension system of a vehicle is responsible for supporting the stability of the automobile. If it fails, the vehicle can lose control, causing the vehicle to roll over or flip.
- Defective parts- Other defective parts such as defective accelerators, steering wheels, or brakes can also increase the risk of a rollover accident.
These points show that rollover accidents are usually caused by manufacturing defects, which occur during the vehicle’s production. This may involve failing to use the wrong materials during production, tighten a part correctly, or putting on the wrong part. Manufacturing defects differ from the manufacturer’s design or specification, or other standard units within the same product line. With many possible causes of rollover accidents, it can be challenging to prove fault and liability.
Liability in Rollover Accidents
Rollover accidents can be life-changing because they tend to cause a significant amount of injury and damage those involved. In most cases, the automobile is a write-off since the roof, and most of the sides are severely damaged. Occupants may be slammed about in the vehicle or may be ejected from the vehicle as it rolls over, sustaining significant injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and fractures. Victims may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or corporation responsible for the accident. However, before a lawsuit can be filed, it must be clear who is accountable for the accident. In a personal injury claim, the injured plaintiff bears the burden of proof and must show the defendant’s negligence caused the accident. When an accident is caused by negligence, California negligence law holds the negligent party liable for injuries and damages. The elements of negligence include:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care,
- There was a breach of this duty of care, and
- The breach was a substantial factor in causing the injuries sustained by the plaintiff.
When these elements are established, the defendant will be liable for injuries caused. So, if another vehicle hit your vehicle, then he/she was 100 percent to blame for the wreck, and he/she may be found responsible for all the victims’ bills. Also, manufacturers can be held responsible for vehicle rollover accidents if the vehicle’s defects led to the accident. If, for instance, defective tires were the reason for a rollover accident, or if the roofs could not sustain the forces of the crash, the manufacturers of the defective part may be held liable. In 2013, new standards for vehicles’ roofs were set. Even though a small number of pre-2013 models have a stronger roof, all vehicle manufacturers were required to have stronger roofs on their products by 2017. Manufacturers whose vehicles do not have the recommended type of roof can be held responsible in case of a rollover.
Holding The Vehicle Manufacturer Liable for Rollover Accidents
Most consumers are not aware that they can hold manufacturers accountable for being negligent in how they designed, manufactured, marketed, or sold a vehicle. However, California’s product liability laws do not require plaintiffs to show who was individually responsible for the defect. Strict liability applies to the parties who designed, manufactured, and sold the products. As such, the vehicle company, the distributor, or dealership could be held accountable for any injuries caused by the defective vehicle.
Since the person who bought the vehicle does not have the details of how the vehicle was designed and tested, he/she can file a product liability claim without being required to show that any one person individual or group acted with negligence. Therefore, in a rollover accident caused by a vehicle defect, the plaintiff can seek damages for:
- Design defects,
- Manufacturing defects, or
- Failure to warn about defects.
Therefore, in a rollover accident involving a defective product, the plaintiff only has to show that the vehicle was defective or if there were not proper warnings given. In a personal injury claim, the plaintiff has to prove that:
- The defendant designed, manufactured, marketed, distributed, or sold a defective vehicle,
- The vehicle was already defective when it left the defendant’s possession,
- The plaintiff used the vehicle in a reasonable manner, and
- The defect caused injury or harm to the plaintiff.
Injuries Sustained in Rollover Accidents
While rollover accidents are not as common as other types of auto accidents, their results are usually catastrophic. Rollover accidents account for less than 3% of accidents and approximately one-third of vehicle occupant deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Rollover accidents tend to be violent and cause numerous serious injuries to the victims, even when individuals are using safety restraints. Injuries in rollover accidents can depend on a number of factors, including the type of vehicle, airbags, vehicle speed, seat belts, multiple vehicles involved, age of the passengers, where the accident occurred, and other factors.
The high rate of injuries and fatalities after a rollover accident is based in part on the fact that many cars do not have adequate roof supports, headers, and roof strength. Also, the roof is too easily crushed in a rollover accident, which can, in turn, crush the vehicle’s occupants. Brain, spinal cord, and neck injuries are a frequent outcome of rollovers. When a vehicle rolls over, there’s also its gas tank and/or fuel line that may get damaged, which can result in the leakage of gasoline. Horrific burn injuries are a frequent result of rollover fires.
When a vehicle rolls over, the occupants are thrown around inside the vehicle, striking the vehicle’s surfaces. With exposure to dangers from multiple sides, the occupants are usually at a greater risk of sustaining serious injuries. Other victims are trapped inside the vehicle. Moreover, the longer the victims are trapped, the more serious the injuries may be become, including the risks of bleeding to death or sustaining serious burns. The outcomes of a rollover accident may also depend on how quickly the emergency team can free the occupants and them medical treatment.
While the use of seatbelts significantly reduces the risk of getting ejected, some individuals who are using seatbelts may still be ejected as the automobile is rolling over, causing them to be crushed between the vehicle and the ground. Individuals who are totally ejected from a rolling automobile may be permanently injured or killed one they strike the ground or surrounding objects like trees or rocks.
Common types of injuries common in rollover car accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Loss of a limb
- Internal organ damage
Filing a Lawsuit After Being Injured in a Rollover Accident
A person injured in a rollover accident can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or group liable for the accident. If the accident was caused by a negligent driver, that driver would be responsible for any resultant damages. If a defective car part caused the accident, the manufacturer, distributor, or seller may be liable for damages. In a fatal rollover accident, the surviving members of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit. In this type of lawsuit, the family can hold the person responsible for the death accountable for their actions and seek compensation for the loss of a loved one.
Compensation after a rollover accident owes to put the injured person back into a similar position they would have been had the accident not occurred. Money may not be able to fix a victim’s problem or bring back a loved one, but it can help bring closure and allow those affected to pay for related expenses. Damages in a rollover accident lawsuit include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that have monetary value, like lost wages or hospital bills. Non-economic damages are expected to recompense the victim for injuries that are hard to assign a dollar value, such as pain and suffering or having to live with scars for the rest of their lives.
The following are some of the damages that can be obtained in a rollover accident lawsuit:
- Surgery bills
- Ambulance bills
- Hospital bills
- Medical supplies
- Prescription medications
- In-home care
- Physical therapy
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
- Emotional pain
- Court fees
Obtaining compensation from the liable party is not always easy, and this is where a rollover accident lawyer can really help. After the accident, you should get in touch with a car accident attorney as soon as possible. In most cases, the outcome of a case will depend on the victim taking quick actions.
You may expect your insurance to help you put your life back together. The main issue is that insurance companies are often looking after their bottom line and will be committed to denying, delaying, or underpaying the recovery amount. Your Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney will evaluate your case and map out a plan that details the compensatory damages owed as a result of the car accident.
Winning a Personal Injury Case Against Big Defendants
It can be possible to win a personal injury case against a big car company or any other resourceful defendant if you have a strong case. However, many defendants will have a number of defenses to avoid liability and paying out damages in a lawsuit. Common defenses to a rollover accident may include:
- The vehicle was not defective as designed,
- The plaintiff drove the vehicle in an unforeseeable way,
- The plaintiff misused the vehicle,
- The plaintiff caused the accident,
- There were no manufacturing defects, or
- The car company did not know about any problems with the vehicle.
If it’s found that the plaintiff caused the accident, the plaintiff may still receive compensatory damages. This may happen under California’s comparative fault law, which allows the plaintiff to recover damages even if he/she was partly at fault in causing the accident. However, damages may be reduced depending on the plaintiff’s level of fault. For instance, if the plaintiff is 30% at fault for the rollover accident and the car company is 70% at fault for failing to warn consumers about the risk of rollover risk, the plaintiff may receive 70% of damages from the car manufacturer.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in a Rollover Accident Case
Compared to other types of accidents, rollover accidents have a higher rate of fatality. Unfortunately, when a child, spouse, or close family member is killed in a rollover accident, he or she cannot be able to file a lawsuit and hold the negligent party liable. However, surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the driver or car manufacturer liable for their actions. California wrongful death law allows certain family members to file a wrongful death claim damages. These people include:
- Spouse or partner of the deceased
- Grandchildren when the children are deceased
- Any other person who would be entitled to the property of the decedent
The damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit include both economic and non-economic damages suffered by the family members as a result of their loss. This includes damages for:
- Financial losses to the family in terms of lost income and lost future earnings,
- Funeral costs and burial expenses
- Non-economic damages for the loss of support, loss of companionship, or loss of affection.
Finding a Los Angeles Rollover Accident Lawyer Near Me
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a rollover accident, a Los Angeles rollover accident lawyer can review your case and discuss available options. At the Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we understand the difficulties you’re facing, and we are here to remind you that you’re not alone. Our car accident lawyers are highly experienced in fighting to recover injury settlements and will keep pushing until our clients obtain the full amount of compensation.
We work directly with investigators and accident reconstruction experts to determine what events and/or might have exacerbated accident. Our car rollover accident attorney will use this information along with the recollection of the accident to evaluate the merits of your case. We also work with experienced medical professionals to help us evaluate the injuries sustained, any possibility of permanent limitations, the long-term prognosis, and how our client’s quality of life may be affected.
The Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney is relentless in the efforts to help you obtain restitution for any damages. When you retain our legal services, you don’t have to pay a dime unless we win or settle your case. Contact us at 424-231-2013 to schedule a free legal consultation. Our team is available round the clock and will act quickly to protect your rights.