June 17, 2024
Auto Accident FAQ

Rollover accidents are some of the most terrifying and devastating car crashes imaginable. The force and angle of the crash often result in serious injuries or fatalities as well as lasting emotional scars.

If you’re hurt in a crash due to another person’s actions, knowing who is at fault can help you recover fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Our Alabama car accident lawyers offer skilled legal guidance after a dangerous rollover accident. We can help determine who is liable and fight for the compensation you deserve.

What Is a Rollover Accident?

A rollover accident occurs when a vehicle flips onto its side or roof during a crash. These incidents are among the deadliest types of vehicle accidents, frequently leading to severe injuries or fatalities for those inside.

One study found that about 220,000 rollover crashes occur among light vehicles in the U.S. annually, resulting in about 14,100 serious injuries and 9,000 deaths. Even though they only make up about 2.2% of all vehicle collisions, they represent around 33% of annual injury costs in the country. In addition, in 2021, rollover crashes represented about 14% of all car occupant deaths.

Common Causes of Rollovers

There are two main types of rollover accidents: tripped and untripped. Tripped rollovers generally occur in accidents when a vehicle strikes another object like a curb or a median, causing it to flip. Untripped rollovers often occur when a top-heavy vehicle, like an SUV, swerves sharply at high speeds to dodge a collision.

The following factors can trigger rollover accidents:

  • Vehicle Design: SUVs and trucks with a high center of gravity are more prone to rollovers than cars with a lower center of gravity. Certain vehicle defects, like faulty suspension systems or tire tread separations, can also increase the risk.
  • Driver Behavior: Speeding, aggressive driving, and sharp turns can all increase the likelihood of a rollover. Distracted driving also plays a role, as distracted drivers may struggle to react quickly enough to avoid hazards, triggering a rollover.
  • Road Conditions: Uneven pavement, potholes, drop-offs, and roadside hazards like guardrails can all contribute to rollovers. Poor weather conditions like rain, snow, or ice can also make roads slick and increase the risk of losing control of the vehicle.
  • Multi-Vehicle Crashes: When a vehicle is involved in a multi-vehicle pile-up, the impact or attempt to avoid it can cause a rollover accident. This can result in secondary collisions involving other vehicles, causing damage and injuries.

Parties Potentially Liable for Rollovers

Rollover accidents can result in contentious legal disputes over liability. Determining responsibility often involves multiple parties, each potentially liable under different areas of the law.

  • Drivers: Motorists may be liable under Alabama’s negligence laws if their reckless or inattentive driving led to the accident. For instance, a driver speeding or failing to adhere to road conditions might be found negligent if these actions directly contributed to a rollover.
  • Vehicle Manufacturers: Vehicle or parts manufacturers could face liability under product liability laws in Alabama. If the rollover was due to a vehicle’s design defect, such as a stability flaw or failure in safety features, the manufacturer might be responsible for damages.
  • Entities Responsible for Road Maintenance: Liability for negligence can apply to government or third-party entities if substandard road conditions were a factor in the accident. This includes situations where poor maintenance, such as unaddressed potholes, improper road design, or inadequate signage, led to a vehicle losing control and rolling over.

Legal Considerations in Rollover Accidents

When you file a negligence or product liability claim after a rollover crash, you typically assert that another party’s action or inaction caused the accident. However, the defendant in your case might use several legal defenses to reduce or eliminate their liability. Two common defenses are:

  • Contributory Negligence: In Alabama, if you have any degree of fault in causing the accident—even just 1%—you are barred from recovering damages. We can combat this by arguing that the defendant is fully liable, using detailed evidence and expert testimony to contest any fault attributed to you.
  • Assumption of Risk: This defense might be used to argue that you accepted the inherent risks of driving, possibly in hazardous conditions, which contributed to the rollover crash. We counter this by demonstrating that the specific circumstances leading to the rollover were not risks you could have anticipated and that the other party is fully at fault.

Trust Your Case to The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers

Rollover accidents are highly complex, and these cases require a law firm with specialized experience, ample resources, and an exhaustive understanding of Alabama’s liability laws and defenses. Let the rollover accident attorneys at The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers put our knowledge and dedication to work for you.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Our team will fight tirelessly to secure the full financial recovery you deserve.

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