Rollover accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents for drivers and passengers in Maryland. Whether the car rolls over onto the side or roof, or if it flips over multiple times, the occupants can be thrown around inside the car, even if they are wearing seat belts and have airbags. Rollover accidents are also associated with a higher rate of fatalities than other accidents. A rollover accident can occur when a car is struck by another vehicle, when a driver goes off the road to avoid an accident, or involving a vehicle malfunction or defect.
After a serious accident, the driver and passengers can be left with expensive medical bills, a totaled car, and lost wages from missing work. If you file a personal injury claim against those responsible for your injuries, you can seek to recover damages to cover your medical bills, vehicle damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Rollover accidents are categorized as either tripped or untripped. An untripped rollover involves the vehicle losing stability as it turns a corner. When the forces involved in the turn are greater than the force of gravity, the car may lose contact with the road, and roll over. Tripped rollovers are caused by some external force on the vehicle, causing it to flip over. This could be caused by hitting a curb, a collision with another vehicle, hitting a guardrail, or going down a steep slope. Almost 95% of single-vehicle rollovers are tripped.
Almost all cars are subject to a rollover, given the right conditions. However, some cars are more stable than others. Generally, the higher the center of gravity, the narrowness of the axles, and high speed increase the likelihood of a rollover accident. Trucks, including large commercial trucks, can be more prone to rollovers because of their higher ground clearance and higher center of mass. SUVs and vans are also more prone to rolling over. Off-road suspensions and vehicles carrying a lot of weight on a roof rack can also increase the tipping probability.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration evaluates rollover risk of vehicles sold in the U.S. Some of the vehicles with the highest risk of rollover include the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford F-150, Toyota Hilux, Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Volvo XC90, BMW X5, Lexus RX, and Chrysler Town & Country.
According to the NHTSA, nearly 85% of rollover fatalities involved a single-vehicle accident. Almost 75% of rollover fatalities occur in rural areas, which may have undivided roads, and roads without barriers between the roadway, and the soft earth or hills. Almost half of all rollover fatalities involve alcohol. Additionally, almost 40% of fatal rollovers involve excessive speeding. Rollovers account for almost 35% of passenger vehicle deaths, but they represent only about 2% of all vehicle crashes. In many of the fatal accidents, drivers were not wearing a seatbelt.
Equipment Failure After a Rollover Accident
Vehicle design and equipment malfunction can make a rollover accident more dangerous to the drivers and passengers involved. For example, a seat belt is intended to secure the passenger from striking the interior of the vehicle in an accident, and secure them against the seat. However, if a seatbelt malfunctions, or a seat recline mechanism malfunctions, the seat belt may do little to protect them from serious injury or death. A motor vehicle defect could include a manufacturing defect or design defect that makes the vehicle more prone to tipping, or increase the risk of injury. If you were involved in a rollover accident and are unsure whether a design defect or malfunction was involved, contact your Maryland personal injury attorney for help.
Rollover Accident Injuries
Rollover accidents are some of the most dangerous and violent kinds of car accidents. They are often accompanied by serious injuries. Common injuries include head wounds, neck and back trauma, puncture wounds, broken bones, spinal cord injury, and severed limbs. When a car rolls over on the side or roof, the occupants can be thrown around inside the car, striking the inside of the vehicle multiple times.
In cases where the vehicle lands on the side, or is crushed, the occupants may not be able to get out of the car until freed by emergency personnel. This can increase the risk of death if they cannot get timely medical attention to address their injuries. Children can be especially prone to serious injury or death in a rollover accident. This is due to their smaller size, making it more likely that they can slip out of a seatbelt in a violent crash.
Rollover Accident Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in a rollover accident, you should talk to an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through the claims process and advise you of your options. Don't leave it up to the insurance company to write you a check. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rollover accident due to someone's negligence, please do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.