A car rollover can be a devastating event on the roads. In terms of severity based on the likelihood of serious injury or death, rollovers are deemed to be second only to head-on collisions, and rollovers are by far the deadliest form of single-car events.
Rollovers can be very deadly, but they also can be hard to litigate to determine responsibility in case you suffer a loss. The causes for a rollover can be varied, and oftentimes there are more than one or two factors that go into a rollover.
SUVs vs. Small Cars
Rollovers do seem to be more common with certain vehicles than others, but even smaller vehicles like coupes and sedans aren’t immune from them. Smaller cars have a low center of gravity, so it is harder for them to roll over; they tend to roll because of something that happens on the street, such as bumping or “tripping” over a curb or some other object that impedes forward motion.
SUVs and other big vehicles, however, are a different story. With a higher center of gravity, bigger vehicles can roll over not only from “tripping” on the street, but also could roll over due to high winds, swerving at high speeds, or sometimes when decelerating while swerving.
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that up to 95 percent of all rollovers are caused by some form of “tripping” by the vehicle, there are some instances where an investigation reveals some kind of defect in how the vehicle was made or designed that may have caused or been a factor in a rollover. Single-car rollovers are sometimes hard to gather facts upon because there may be no witnesses outside the vehicle, and those in the vehicle may not be able to testify as to the events.
It is always important that should you or someone you know be involved in a rollover, that a full investigation of the incident be conducted – even more thorough than a public-safety department or an insurance company would. It is important to get all of the information about the incident and get beyond past the root cause and understand the entire chronology of the incident and how the street, other cars, and the vehicle itself performed during the time before, during and after the incident.
Get the Truth
Often, rollovers happen so quickly that even someone in the car who survives may have a hard time being able to tell exactly what happened. Witness statements, the report by public-safety officers, evidence collection and even the vehicle’s “black box” can help paint the picture, and one should never look to enter a costly lawsuit lightly. Rollovers are rarely simple incidents to investigate; the truth is usually beyond the insurance company and beyond the public-safety investigator.
Don’t give up until you learn all the facts about the incident before proceeding. With so many factors that need to collide for a rollover to happen, it’s vitally important that the entire incident is unfurled completely. Establishing liability can be difficult, but with the right personal-injury attorney in your corner, especially one who knows how to investigate rollovers to the very last detail, your rights will be protected and you can see a tragic indent put behind you as quickly as possible.
Randall F. Rogers is a personal injury lawyer that practices in the small suburb of Marietta, outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Originally working at a large firm, he left to work on his own, so he could work closely with individuals and help them seek justice. When not walking to and from the court house, he can be seen discussing gardening with the community or reading a book from his favorite author Henry David Thoreau.