Although not as common as other types of auto accidents, rollover accidents can be some of the deadliest and most frightening events that occur on the roadways. When a vehicle flips over or falls to its side, occupants (of the vehicle) run a higher risk of suffering serious and catastrophic injuries. Rollovers generally happen when a driver loses control of the vehicle, and there are a number of factors that can cause this, such as heavy winds and the type of vehicle they are driving.
A National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) study helps illustrate just how deadly rollover accidents can be. The main take away from the comprehensive study is that, while only about 3% of motor vehicle accidents in the United States are rollovers, they account for approximately one-third of all vehicle passenger fatalities. Most rollover accidents are preventable and result from negligence on the part of a driver or another party. These types of cases can be very complicated, however, because there are several potential contributing factors.
If you or someone close to you was injured in a rollover crash, you need experienced legal counsel in your corner advocating forcefully to protect your interests. Before speaking with an insurance adjuster or any other representative from the other side, call Schilling & Esposito for a free consultation and case assessment. We will meet with you to thoroughly assess your case and advise you of your legal rights and options.
At Schilling & Esposito, we have several decades of experience representing clients who have been injured in auto accidents, and those who have suffered all other types of personal injuries in Virginia. Our lawyers focus almost exclusively on personal injury law, and we have a successful track record with even the most complicated cases. When we accept a case, we go to work immediately to conduct a thorough investigation and put together the strongest possible claim for our clients. No matter how big or small your claim may be, you can count on us to put in the time and effort necessary to secure a favorable outcome.
Whenever possible, we look to negotiate a settlement that is in keeping with our clients’ best interests. This is generally preferable rather than taking a case to trial. That said, if the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we are ready and able to aggressively pursue full damages at trial and upon appeal. The legal community is well aware of our proven track record litigating past cases, and this will often be enough to incentivize them to offer a reasonable settlement.
What Causes Rollover Accidents?
As mentioned earlier, there are numerous potential factors that might contribute to a rollover crash. Some of the most common include:
Type of Vehicle: The type and design of the vehicle is a major contributor to rollover crashes. While any vehicle can rollover, the NHTSA says that these types of accidents are more likely with cars that are taller, narrower, and have a higher center of gravity. Examples include sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and certain types of pickup trucks and vans.
Speed: How fast the vehicle is traveling has a lot to do with whether or not it will roll over, and the seriousness of the injuries that result. Approximately 40% of rollover accidents with fatalities involve excessive speeding, and nearly 75% of fatal rollover crashes happen in places where the posted speed limit is 55 mph or above.
Weight: How much a vehicle weighs also affects the chances of being involved in a rollover crash. This is because a vehicle that weighs an excessive amount has a higher center of gravity. Weight is also a common factor with rollovers and side flips that happen to large tractor-trailers. In an effort to carry more goods to their destination, semi-trucks are often overloaded and/or loaded unevenly.
Location: There are certain areas where a rollover crash is more likely. We have already talked about roads where the posted speed limit is 55 mph or higher, but another location factor is roads where there are no medians, guardrails, or other barriers to keep a vehicle from crossing the centerline or going into a ditch. In general, these types of roads tend to be located in rural areas.
Driver Negligence: In a large number of rollover accidents, some type of driver negligence plays a role. Excessive speeding is one common example, and another is alcohol, which is involved in roughly 50% of all rollover crashes. Other common forms of negligence that contribute to rollovers include drowsy driving, inattentiveness, and distracted driving.
Rollover Accident Injuries in Virginia
The trauma involved when a car flips over or gets turned on its side can cause a number of serious injuries, including:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Amputations/Loss of Limbs
Neck and Back Injuries
Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries sustained in rollover crashes can often be permanent and debilitating, resulting in losses that can easily top six or seven figures. If another party is responsible for the crash, those who are injured deserve to be compensated.
Damages available from rollover accidents may include:
Costs for surgeries and other medical treatments;
Costs for ongoing medical care;
Loss of present and future earnings;
Diminished quality of life;
As we mentioned earlier, rollover accident injury cases can be very complex and challenging to pursue. The majority of these cases involve a single vehicle, and oftentimes, the responsible party may be a third-party, such as the designer, manufacturer, or distributor of a vehicle with a faulty design.
Things are made more complicated by Virginia’s contributory negligence laws. Under contributory negligence, if an injured party is found to have “contributed” in any way to the underlying accident, they can be barred from recovering compensation. With so much at stake, it is extremely important to get an experienced attorney involved as early as possible, so your right to compensation can be protected and preserved.
Contact Our Seasoned Virginia Auto Accident Attorneys
At Schilling & Esposito, we understand that a rollover accident can (literally) turn your life upside down, and we are here to provide skilled legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. We handle the entire legal process from start to finish, and we handle all of the complicated tasks, so you can focus on getting recovered from your injuries. Along the way, we stay in regular contact with you and provide frequent case updates, so you are always kept informed.
To schedule your free consultation, message us online, or call our office today at 804-261-1001. You may also stop by one of our Richmond offices in person at your convenience, or we will come to you.
We accept all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay attorney fees if we recover compensation on your behalf.