Rollover Car Accidents
One of the deadliest accidents is when a motor vehicle rolls over. A rollover crash is when an automobile rolls or flips over because of an accident or product malfunction. Rollover accidents are incredibly dangerous and have a high fatality rate. In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) states that in 2014 there were 514 fatalities from a rollover accident.
A rollover accident can happen because of negligent drivers or a flaw in the automobile’s design. Negligent drivers who speed, break traffic laws or are grossly inattentive have a high-risk of causing a rollover accident. Additionally, all cars must be tested for rollovers. Companies that don’t properly test their cars or give misleading ratings could be held legally responsible.
Attorney for Rollover Crashes in Conroe, TX
The National Highway and Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that rollover accidents only take up 2 percent of crashes, but account for nearly 35 percent of all passenger deaths. If you or a loved one were injured in a rollover car crash, then contact the attorneys at Evans & Powell, PLLC now.
The attorneys at Evans & Powell, PLLC have decades of experience in legal practice. We thank our longevity and success to completely dedicating ourselves to the clients. From the moment you contact us, we will begin investigating your case. Evans & Powell, PLLC can help you with insurance companies, collecting evidence and appearing for you in court if needed.
Call us now at (713) 622 - 2000 to schedule a fee consultation. Evans & Powell, PLLC accepts clients throughout the greater Montgomery County area including Conroe, Houston, Splendora, Willis, Magnolia, and Oak Ridge North.
Overview of Rollover Accidents in Texas
- Types of Rollover Crashes
- Causes for Rollover Crashes
- Common Car Defects
- Injuries from a Rollover Crash
- Liability in a Rollover Crash in Texas
- Damages in a Rollover Accident
- Additional Resources
Types of Rollover Crashes
A rollover crash can happen in a variety of ways and depend on what car you drive. Larger cars such as minivans, trucks and SUVS are more susceptible to rollovers. Rollover accidents are typically divided into two categories, tripped and un-tripped.
Listed below are the differences between tripped and un-tripped rollover crashes.
- Un-Tripped – It’s much less common to have an un-tripped rollover and only account for 5 percent of rollovers. Un-tripped rollovers are typically caused by the driver avoiding something through a sharp turn or maneuver. Un-tripped rollovers are common for trucks, SUVS, minivans and other “top heavy” cars.
- Tripped – A tripped rollover crash is much more common. Usually a tripped rollover happens because some contributing factor caused the car to have a high tripping force. Many factors can cause a car to have a high tripping force on their tires such as hitting a curb, digging tires into top soil, or hitting another vehicle at high speeds.
Common Causes for Rollover Accidents
Vehicle type does play a huge role in rollover accidents, but it isn’t the only one. Many factors can contribute to a rollover accident such as negligent drivers or poorly designed cars. It’s important that you’re aware of what factors played in your rollover case. Understanding the factors in your rollover can help you win your case.
- Cars with a High Center of Gravity – If your car is “top-heavy” or has a high center of gravity, they’re more likely to rollover. A few examples of top-heavy cars are minivans, pick-up trucks and SUVs. Vehicle companies must warn their customers if their car has a high center of gravity or not.
- Speed – High speeds are a huge contributor to rollover accidents. NHTSA states that 40 percent of fatal rollover car accidents happen because of excessive speeding. Drivers must be aware of the speed limit and follow laws accordingly.
- Roadway Hazards – Sometimes road conditions can lead to a roll-over incident, especially an un-tripped rollover. Poor road maintenance and lack of warning signs can lead to serious rollover accidents.
- Tire Blowouts/ Tread Separation – Tires blowing out and tread separation can be a huge component to a rollover crash. This is particularly true for top-heavy cars such as trucks or SUVs. Defective tires or poorly installed tires are a result of negligent manufacturing or installation.
- Drivers Under the Influence – Impaired drivers are always dangerous on the road. NHTSA states that 50 percent of fatal rollover crashes involve drivers who are under the influence. No driver can operate a vehicle impaired under Texas law.
- Distracted Driving – Drivers must be aware of their surrounding at all times when driving. Any driver who texts, talks on the phone, eats or other activities is putting other people at risk for a rollover crash.
Car Defects that Can Cause a Rollover
The majority of car rollovers don’t stem from an accident. Usually, vehicles rollover because of a design flaw or defect in their automobile’s equipment. A design flaw or defect can lead to a rollover or exacerbate your injuries. Motor vehicle companies who sell cars with obvious defects may be considered legally responsible for damages.
Listed below are some common defects that can lead to a rollover.
- Defective Auto Glass – Vehicles without proper auto glass have a high chance of shattering during a rollover. Shattered glass can leave occupants vulnerable to partial or full ejections during the rollover. Not only this, but shattered glass can create further injuries. While cars have been proven to be safer with laminated glass, many vehicle manufacturers still use tempered glass. This is because tempered glass is the cheaper choice between the two.
- Seatbelt Issues – Seatbelt issues are very dangerous in any type of accidents. If a car has defective seatbelts, the occupants could be thrown out or around the car during the crash. Vehicle companies must also take the into account what happens to the car’s seatbelt when the roof crushes. Sometimes when a car rolls over the roof will also crush. In some cases, the seatbelt will not be performing properly if the roof is crushed, which means the occupants could be hurt further.
- Weak Roof Pillars – Roof pillars provide support for occupants if the car rolls over. Roof pillars should be made with quality material that prevents the roof from collapsing during a rollover. If a car’s roof is crushed during a rollover, it can result in serious injuries. It can also make it incredibly hard for the victims to escape and get medical treatment.
Common Injuries in a Rollover Crash
A rollover crash is highly dangerous. It’s one of the few accidents where it’s uncommon to escape without any sort of injury. If you’re injured in a rollover accident, it’s important that you seek medical assistance immediately.
Listed below are some common injuries from a rollover accident.
- Broken bones;
- Spinal injuries;
- Third-degree burns;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Neck injuries;
- Back injuries;
- Amputations; and
- Traumatic brain injuries.
Who’s Liable in a Rollover Accident in Texas?
Rollover accidents can result in severe injuries and high medical bills. If you’ve been injured by another’s negligence or car defect, it’s important that you pursue a claim. Once your claim is filed, you can demand a settlement from the responsibility party for your losses.
Personal injury law is founded on the grounds of negligence. If another driver is negligent, the plaintiff must prove to the jury that the defendant was the cause of their injuries. If you want to file a claim against another driver, you must prove the following elements:
- The defendant had a duty to follow traffic rules and be aware of their surroundings when operating a vehicle;
- The defendant knowingly or intentionally breached this duty, which caused your vehicle to rollover;
- You were injured because the vehicle rolled over; and
- You suffered hardships as a result of your injuries.
You can also file a claim for product liability. Product liability is when a company creates a defective good, which results in your injury. Many rollover cases are from a defective or poorly designed motor vehicle, installed equipment, tread separation or tires. Vehicle companies and other third parties should have the driver’s best interest and safety in mind when creating these products. Additionally, they must follow the rules outlines by NHTSA.
Companies that distribute defective products, install equipment incorrectly or give misleading ratings could be held legally accountable. If you were injured in a rollover because of a defective product, you must prove the following elements:
- The defendant had a duty of care they must uphold to protect their consumers;
- The defendant breached this duty and the defective product caused the automobile to roll over;
- You were injured because the vehicle rolled over; and
- You suffered hardship as a result of your injuries.
Damages in a Rollover Car Accident
If you win your case, you may be awarded a monetary settlement. This settlement is payment for any losses you suffered as a result of your rollover. Personal injury calls these losses damages. You can receive compensation for tangible damages such as lost wages, but you can also get paid for in-tangible damages such as loss of enjoyment for life.
The following are some common damages in personal injury law.
- Medical costs;
- Auto vehicle repairs;
- Lost wages;
- Therapy or counseling costs;
- Rehabilitation costs;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment for life; and
- Loss of consortium.
NHTSA Resistance Rolling Rating – Visit the official website for the National Highway and Safety Administration and find information about their 5-Star Safety Rating Program. Find more information about their rollover resistance tests, static stability factors and other tests.
Rollover Crash Statistics – Visit the official website for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to find more information about rollover accidents. Access the site to download statistics, facts and data about rollovers and other types of crashes.
Lawyer for Rollover Car Crashes in Conroe, Texas
If you were injured because of a rollover, it’s important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can evaluate your case to see if you’re entitled to any compensation. Don’t struggle with your injury alone, call Evans & Powell, PLLC.
The attorneys at Evans & Powell, PLLC excel at representing victims of negligence. We understand that juggling an injury and legal issues is demanding. We want to help with quality legal service and counsel. Let us navigate you through this process to help you recover. Contact Evans & Powell, PLLC at (713) 622 - 2000 to schedule a free consultation.
The attorneys at Evans & Powell, PLLC accept clients throughout the Conroe area including Willis, Conroe, Panorama, and Cut and Shoot.
This article was last updated on February 13, 2019.