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Rollover accidents are one of the most dangerous types of accidents one can experience driving. Rollovers can happen under many different circumstances, and often lead to serious injuries or death. If you were injured or lost a loved one because of a rollover accident that someone else’s wrongdoing caused, you can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts you incurred because of the injury or loss.
Contact an experienced rollover accident attorney as soon as possible to schedule a consultation In the meantime, read on for more information about rollover accident cases and how victims can recover compensation.
A rollover accident occurs when a vehicle rolls over, either in a crash with another vehicle or a single-vehicle mishap. Rollover accidents are highly deadly accidents.
There are generally two types of rollovers, including:
According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most rollover crashes are single-vehicle crashes. Nearly three-quarters of the individuals killed in this type of crash are unrestrained by seat belts, and more than two-thirds of those are ejected from the vehicle during the crash. One-fifth of all the fatalities in traffic-involved accidents are the result of a rollover crash.
The incidences of rollovers involving SUVs have nearly doubled in recent decades. Part of the reason is due to the popularity of this particular vehicle style, with nearly half of all new vehicles purchased in the U.S. being SUVs. Newer model SUVs often come with improved technology, such as electronic stability control (ESC), which have made many of them comparable in terms of safety from rollovers as sedan-style passenger cars.
However, many older model SUVs and even newer higher-profile SUVs carry a greater risk of tipping over due to a higher center of gravity. Newer-model SUVs most at risk of rolling over include the Cadillac Escalade, the Toyota 4Runner, and the Chevy Tahoe.
Rollover accidents are most often the result of human error, and particularly in the form of negligence. In law, negligence is a term covering a wide range of careless actions that result in injuries to others.
Some of the most common negligent actions that result in rollovers include:
Because ejection is a common feature in rollover accidents, some of the most common injuries to result from this type of accident are also the most catastrophic and deadly. Impacts on ejection often affect the brain and the spinal cord, which make up the body’s central nervous system.
The brain sends messages through the spinal cord to the rest of the body, controlling all the body’s functions and involuntary responses. Unfortunately, despite the importance of the brain and the spinal cord, they are delicate and have only a limited capacity to heal from damage. Injuries to either carry a high risk of permanent deficits.
The brain is made up of several segments, known as lobes, which are each responsible for specific functions of the body. The deficits incurred in a traumatic brain injury depend not only on the severity of the impact, but also the injured part of the brain.
Some common deficits associated with traumatic brain injuries are memory loss; difficulty controlling behavior, impulses, or emotions; difficulty speaking or understanding spoken language; vision problems including blindness or the inability to perceive the size or shape of objects; and consciousness disorders such as coma, persistent vegetative state, or minimally conscious state.
Contrary to some understandings, a spinal cord injury rarely features a severed cord, but rather more targeted damages. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that span the distance from the base of the skull to the waist. It is located within the bony protection of the spine.
Damage to the spinal cord results in the loss of sensation and function below the site of the injury, which is known as paralysis. Damage occurring high on the cord, in the cervical (neck) area, often results in tetraplegia—also known as quadriplegia—which is paralysis of all the limbs, the torso, hips, pelvis, shoulders, and diaphragm.
Damage occurring in lower areas of the spine can result in paraplegia, which is paralysis in the legs, hips, pelvis, and feet. Spinal cord injuries have a high risk of complications, including the inability to feel extremely hot or extremely cold sensations; loss of bowel and bladder control; a risk of damage to the skin caused by remaining in one position too long, known as pressure ulcers or bed sores; and the inability to cough secretions from the lungs, which can result in pneumonia.
Damage to the spinal vertebrae and discs as well as the soft tissues in the back and neck are also common injuries in rollovers, even for restrained occupants, as a vehicle rollover is often violent and forceful.
Broken bones are also common for both restrained and unrestrained passengers in rollovers, from being struck against objects inside or outside of the vehicle, in addition to the basic impact of the rollover’s force on the body. Rollover crashes also commonly result in a lot of broken glass, which may result in deep cuts and even penetration of the torso, eye, or other vulnerable areas.
If you were injured in a rollover crash that was the result of someone else’s careless or reckless actions or a product defect, an experienced car accident attorney can provide services aimed at ensuring that you obtain the maximum level of compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury. Recovering compensation in rollover accident cases typically involves filing a truck accident lawsuit. This seeks to prove who was liable for the accident, and show the extent of the expenses and impacts you have incurred and for which you deserve compensation.
In California, the statute of limitations for truck accident cases—including rollover accident cases—is two years from the date of the accident. However, some exceptions may result in a shorter or longer deadline, including rollover accidents that involve liability by a governmental employee or agency, which must be filed within six months. This alone is a reason to consult an attorney so that you do not miss the statute of limitations and your opportunity to recover the compensation you need and deserve.
In truck accident law, the word “damages” refers to a payment made in compensation for harm. Economic damages involve compensation for the tangible expenses of your injury.
Common expenses included in a damage claim are:
Non-economic damages refer to compensation for other impacts resulting from your accident injuries that do not have as readily assignable value, such as:
To have a court order a party to pay damages, you must prove they are liable, or legally responsible.
To prove liability in your rollover accident case, you must show:
Rollover accidents are not only terrifying and often tragic, but they can make for complex legal cases. Speeding, impairment, driver inattention, or driver inexperience can come into play, as can the conditions of the weather, the behavior of others on the roadway, and even issues that can have a huge ripple effect across a large number of consumers, such as a tire defect that results in recalls and other product liability cases.
Many individuals are tempted to seek compensation for their injuries on their own, but this is often an overwhelming and disappointing process. An experienced truck accident attorney can provide services and guidance that are necessary for rollover accident victims to recover full and fair compensation for the often-catastrophic injuries that are produced by these particularly devastating accidents.
An attorney can provide:
When you are dealing with all of the mayhem following a rollover accident, the last thing you need is to have to be fighting with an insurance company. Contact an attorney, and get the professional assistance you need to recover the compensation you deserve.
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