Important strides have been made in vehicle safety over the last two decades with respect to the dangers of rollover accidents. Front and side airbags for both drivers and passengers are common in many vehicles, mandatory seat-belt laws were implemented, child car seats have improved, mandatory car seat laws are more stringent, and sophisticated braking systems are widely available in many car models. However, while all of these developments improved the survivability of drivers and passengers in all car accidents, serious personal injuries resulting from rollover accidents remain an all too common occurrence.
Rollover accidents are a special concern for those who drive light trucks, such as pickups, SUVs, and vans, which account for the majority of rollover accidents. These vehicles tend to have high centers of gravity, which means that a lesser force may cause them to tip and roll compared to vehicles with lower centers of gravity. To put it in perspective, roughly 25% of all fatalities for cars and minivans occur in rollover accidents. For SUVs, the proportion jumps to 59%.
Rollover accidents are also a common type of single vehicle accident. Any vehicle can rollover if it is traveling with sufficient lateral speed and impacts a tripping mechanism such as a curb or obstacle. Sometimes, vehicles can roll even without being tripped. For example, a driver may swerve to avoid hitting an object on the road, or may lose control from a dangerous road condition, such as an icy or slippery road surface, or even a poor road design, such as a curve with insufficient banking for the posted speed. Rollovers, of course, can also occur in multi-vehicle accidents when a car gets side-swiped or otherwise ends up moving laterally.
A rollover accident may indicate a serious safety problem with the vehicle. Safety experts believe on-road rollovers not caused by tripping or an impact from another vehicle are primarily caused by specific vehicle-related factors and may indicate a vehicle design defect. Of course, tire defects that cause a car to skid sideways can lead to a rollover accident as well. After such a crash, it is imperative to consult the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine if any vehicle vehicle recalls have been issued.
If a vehicle’s occupants are properly restrained by seat belts and airbags, the greatest cause of personal injury in rollover accidents is usually due to the vehicle’s roof collapsing. While safety features like properly functioning seat belts and airbags are important in preventing drivers and passengers from being ejected from a rolling vehicle or being thrown about within the passenger compartment, they cannot help rollover accident victims when a vehicle’s roof collapses. A crushed vehicle frame can lead to serious brain or spine injuries, and, of course, death.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a rollover accident, the personal injury lawyers at E. Ryan Bradley can help you wade through all your questions about the cause of the accident. Our attorneys have decades of experience in representing injured Missouri drivers and passengers in rollover accidents. Our lawyers will investigate the facts of your accident, determine how it occurred, and why.
The sooner you contact us to investigate your claim, the better. Like all accident cases, rollover accident cases are very time sensitive. If you do not act quickly, evidence can be destroyed or lost forever. Lost evidence can significantly impact your rights, and decrease the value of your injury claim.
Contact us today and speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your rollover accident case. There is no cost for the consultation, and no obligation. Remember, E. Ryan Bradley never charges any up-front attorneys’ fees. All of our personal injury clients have comfort knowing they will never receive a bill from our office for any work on their case. If we agree to pursue your case, we will cover all the costs of pursuing your personal injury claim, and you will never pay a dime if we do not recover money compensation for you.