Rollover Accidents in Pensacolaare among the most frightening types of motor vehicle accidents. When an automobile gets thrown on its side or flips over, occupants of the vehicle often sustain severe and catastrophic injuries. Rollover accidents generally occur when the driver loses control of the vehicle, causing it to turn or flip over. These accidents are more common with sport utility vehicles (SUVs), but they can also happen to cars and trucks. Large tractor-trailers are also susceptible to rollovers under the wrong set of circumstances.
Rollover accidents are not nearly as common as most other types of auto accidents, but when they happen, there is a much greater chance of a fatality occurring. According to a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, while only about 3% of all motor vehicle accidents in United States are rollovers, they account for approximately one-third of all vehicle passenger fatalities.
There are number of reasons rollovers happen, and many of these accidents are preventable. If you or someone close to you has been injured or killed in a rollover accident, it is important to speak with an experienced accident injury attorney, so you understand your legal rights and options.
At the Law Offices of Whibbs, Stone & Barnett, P.A., we understand that injuries due to a rollover accident can put an enormous physical, emotional, and financial strain on victims and their loved ones, and we are committed to helping those who have suffered obtain the just compensation they need and deserve. Our lawyers have over six decades of combined experience representing clients injured in rollovers and all other types of auto accidents in Florida. We have extensive knowledge of this area of the law, and a successful track record with even the most complex cases.
Rollover accident cases can be especially complicated, because there are a number of potential factors that may contribute to the accident, and an extensive investigation may be required to untangle everything. We routinely handle challenging cases like these, and we are not afraid to go up against well-funded adversaries, such as large corporations and their insurance companies. We have the experience, knowledge, skills, and resources to help ensure that our clients obtain a favorable outcome, and that those responsible for their injuries are held fully accountable.
Common Causes of Rollover Accidents
As mentioned earlier, there are a number of factors that may contribute to rollover accidents. Here is what Safercar.gov says about these types of accidents:
Rollovers, more so than other types of crashes, reflect the interaction of the driver, road, vehicle, and environmental factors. So while vehicle type does play a significant role, other factors such as driver behavior and road and environmental conditions can also cause a vehicle to roll over.
Here are some of the most common factors that contribute to a rollover:
- Type of Vehicle: While any vehicle can roll over, the design of certain vehicles makes them more susceptible to this type of accident. Vehicles that are taller, narrower, and have a higher center of gravity are more likely to be involved in a single vehicle rollover crash. Examples include SUVs and certain types of vans and pickup trucks.
- Speed: Speed is a common contributor to rollovers, and this is particularly true of fatal rollover crashes. 40% of rollovers with fatalities involve excessive speeding. In addition, the vast majority of fatal rollover accidents happen on roads where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour or higher.
- Location: Roads without barriers are another danger that can contribute to a rollover. In fact, almost 75% of fatal rollover crashes occur on undivided roads where the posted speed limit is usually 55 miles per hour or higher. These types of roads tend to be in rural areas.
- Alcohol: After decades of public awareness campaigns, it is well known that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs negatively affects your judgment, vision, reaction time, and muscle coordination. In other words, chemical impairment makes motorists more likely to make poor driving decisions and lose control of their vehicles. So, it comes as very little surprise that nearly half of all fatal rollovers involve alcohol.
- Weight: Vehicles that are weighed down are more likely to be involved in a rollover. For example, if there is a lot of heavy luggage tied to the top of a vehicle, this pulls the vehicle’s center of gravity away from the ground, making this type of accident more likely. As we touched on earlier, 18-wheeler trucks can experience a weight problem as well if the truck is overloaded or unevenly loaded.
- Driver Negligence: The NHTSA data shows that various driving maneuvers play a role in the vast majority of fatal rollover crashes. Examples include over correcting when the vehicle has drifted into another lane, aggressive driving, inattentiveness (e.g., texting while driving), and many others.
Injuries from Rollover Accidents
Rollovers can result in some very severe injuries, such as:
- Head and traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Fractures/broken bones;
- Neck and back injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries;
- Amputations/loss of limbs;
- Internal injuries.
For those injured, medical bills can easily exceed six figures and in some cases, seven figures. This coupled with time missed from work can cause a major financial hardship. And if the injury is permanent and debilitating, the victim may no longer be able to go back to work or participate in any type of gainful activity at all.
Compensatory damages for rollover accident injuries may be divided into two general categories:
- Economic Damages: These are losses that are quantifiable, such as hospitalization costs, costs for medical treatment, surgeries, rehabilitation, ongoing medical care, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and funeral and burial expenses (in the case of a wrongful death).
- Non-Economic Damages: These are intangible losses that are more difficult to assign a dollar figure to. Examples include physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life.
Although a large percentage of rollover crashes involve only one vehicle, this does not necessarily mean another party does not bear some of the responsibility for the accident. For example, if poor vehicle design was a major contributor to the accident, it may be possible to hold the vehicle designer, manufacturer, or distributor liable. If hazardous road conditions such as large pot holes were uneven pavement were major factors, those responsible for maintaining the road could be held liable. A professional and thorough assessment of the case will help determine the available options and the best legal avenue for the injured party to pursue.
Speak with an Experienced Florida Auto Accident Lawyer
Rollover accident cases can be complex, and those responsible often put up many unnecessary roadblocks to prevent those injured from obtaining the compensation they need to treat their injuries and move forward with their lives. At the Law Offices of Whibbs, Stone & Barnett, P.A., we know the common tactics the other side typically uses to avoid responsibility in an auto accident case, and we put our in-depth experience to work to aggressively pursue full and fair compensation on behalf of each client we serve.
For a free consultation with one of our seasoned personal injury attorneys, call our office today at 850-500-1111 or send us a message through our online contact form.