Any auto accident can lead to serious injuries, however, depending on the circumstances, vehicle rollover accidents can be particularly dangerous. Despite their relative infrequency — they account for only 3% of total accidents — they have a disproportionate effect, with nearly 30% of passenger vehicle fatalities involving a vehicle rollover accident to some degree.
If you have been injured in a vehicle rollover accident, whether as a driver or passenger in the primary rollover vehicle, or otherwise affected by the rollover (i.e., in a collision with the rollover vehicle), you may be entitled to compensation for your various injuries. Rollover accidents are often the result of negligence at some level. As such, there is a strong likelihood that you will be able to hold the negligent party liable for your injuries.
What sort of negligence leads to liability in the rollover context? Consider the following.
Improper Cargo Loading
Both in the commercial and consumer vehicle context, improper cargo loading can lead to a heightened rollover risk. For example, if the defendant is operating a top-heavy van with a high rollover propensity and loaded cargo into the back that is significantly heavier on one side, then their cargo loading could be construed as negligent and — in the event of an accident — may expose them to liability for injuries suffered as a result.
Tire Grip Issues
Tire grip is an aspect of vehicle rollover risk that is too frequently overlooked. Tire grip issues often contribute significantly to vehicle rollover accidents, and had the defendant adequately inspected their vehicle (and taken steps to correct the tire grip issues that were discovered), the accident may not have occurred.
In some cases, tire grip issues are caused by the installation of new tires that change the grip profile. The defendant-driver most likely does not intend to cause a higher risk of vehicle rollover, and in fact, the defendant may not even be aware that by changing the grip profile of their vehicle, they are exposing themselves and others to a serious vehicle rollover accident risk. With a negligently-altered grip profile, however, a sharp turn during an emergency can exert too much lateral force and tip the vehicle into a rollover.
Driver error is a big contributor to rollover accidents, as one might reasonably expect. When a driver is operating a vehicle that has a relatively high propensity for vehicle turnover, it’s important that they avoid engaging in behaviors (such as speeding on a sharp turn), that could effectuate a vehicle rollover.
All vehicles could potentially experience a rollover accident, though some vehicles are at a particularly high risk. If a vehicle exposes its driver/passengers and others to an unreasonably high risk of rollover, then you may be able to hold the manufacturer liable under a theory of product defect. Though product defect claims are a bit complicated to litigate, a legitimate defect claim can lead to favorable results.
Contact Randall Spivey today to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney at the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., a Fort Myers accident law firm with a long track record of success in helping clients secure favorable results. We will provide a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal options and rights.