Rollover Accident Lawyers

Project Description

Rollover Accident Lawyers

Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC “KM&A” is a personal injury law firm with rollover accident lawyers serving all of Pennsylvania. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident involving serious personal injury, or you have lost a loved one from an accident, we invite you to contact us for a consultation. Call a KM&A car accident lawyer at 412-626-5626 or email us at lawyer@lawkm.com.

All vehicle accidents can lead to serious injury, but rollovers are one of the deadliest. Although rollovers are rare, occurring in less than three percent of all crashes, rollover are extremely dangerous, accounting for more than one-third of total fatalities from vehicle accidents. If you have been injured in a rollover accident you will need an attorney who understands the details of a rollover accident to ensure you get the best representation possible. We have an experienced legal team here at Kraemer, Manes and Associates ready to help you get the recovery you deserve.

What is a Rollover Accident?

A rollover is a type of vehicle accident where the vehicle is flipped and overturned either onto its side or roof. These accidents are especially dangerous because the vehicle, and subsequently its passengers, can be thrown into unnatural positions. The high amount of force applied in rollover crashes can lead to the roof being crushed, the side of the car being folded in or even the ejection of an occupant from the vehicle. Rollover accidents are invariably some of the most dangerous accidents and have a high occurrence of serious injury and even death.

What Causes Rollovers?

The causes of rollover accidents vary, but they are generally delineated into two categories: tripped and untripped accidents.

Tripped Accidents

The vast majority of rollovers, 95% to be exact, are caused by “tripping.” Tripped accidents occur when a vehicle strikes an external object or is influenced by an external surface in a way that forces the car to rollover.

External Object Tripping

Rollover Accident Lawyer: 412-626-5626

Rollover Accident Lawyer: 412-626-5626

Some of the more common objects that cause tripped rollovers are guardrails, curbs, tree stumps or any stable object that protrudes from the ground and is close to a roadway. When a vehicle strikes one of these objects at a medium to high rate of speed the vehicle is likely to be forced to rollover and cause serious injury to its passengers.

External Surface Tripping

External surface tripping can occur when a vehicle veers off the road into soft soil and the driver, in an attempt to recover control, attempts a sharp turn. Vehicles with a high center of gravity, such as a SUV, are especially prone to this type of rollover accident.

External surface tripping also can occur when a vehicle is off-roading. While off-roading a driver may be on a steep hill and the driver will misjudge the surface or slope and thus throw the vehicle off balance and flipping the vehicle.

Untripped Accidents

Rollovers can also be caused by other factors such as a vehicle operator’s overcorrection, a high rate of speed, or any other external and internal factors that apply force to a vehicle.

Types of Untripped Accidents

One of the more common causes of untripped rollovers is aggressive driving.  Aggressive driving causes rollovers when a driver takes a turn at a high rate of speed, or takes a turn too sharply, so that it tips the vehicle onto its side or roof.  These types of rollovers are rare, but not unheard of, particularly in high center of gravity vehicles like pick-up trucks and SUV’s.

Untripped rollovers also occur when a vehicle is driving at a high rate of speed and attempts to avoid a collision or a crash that is already present in the road. Similar to what happens with aggressive driving, the rapid turn to attempt to avoid the obstacle results in the vehicle rolling over.

One other common cause of rollovers is a multiple-vehicle collision. Such collisions have many vehicles slamming into each other at high rates of speed and they can lead to cars being rolled over onto their side or roof.

High-Risk Vehicles

Rollovers are most likely to occur in SUV’s, pickup trucks, or minivans because these vehicles have high centers of gravity. The high center of gravity makes these vehicles less stable and more likely to tip. Another reason SUV’s and pickup trucks have greater rates of rollover is because they have higher ground clearances, causing their weight to be positioned higher off the ground. The combination of a high center of gravity and high ground clearance gives these vehicles a greater probability of rolling over when tripped or when subject to unsafe steering.

High-Risk Vehicle Statistics

Rollover Accident Lawyer: 412-626-5626

Rollover Accident Lawyer: 412-626-5626

A study in 2012 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that 55 percent of the people killed in SUV crashes were killed in rollover accidents. The same study found that 46 percent of those killed in pickup trucks were the victims of rollovers, while only 26 percent of those killed in sedans occurred in rollover crashes.

Features in Cars that can Lower the Risks of a Rollover

There are certain features that car designers and manufacturers can put into cars to reduce the likelihood of a rollover accident or reduce the harm in the case the vehicle does rollover. Three of the more recent design features that help prevent rollovers are electronic stability control (ESC), side air bags, and crush resistant roofs.

Electronic Stability Control

Electronic stability control is an electronic computer program inside the vehicle that detects loss of steering and then automatically engages the brakes to help “steer” whenever the vehicle has spun out of control. It can prevent and reduce skidding and loss of traction. All cars designed during the 2012 model year and beyond must be equipped with ESC according to federal law.

Side Air Bags

As opposed to front air bags that are equipped on a majority of old and new vehicles, side air bag installation in most vehicles is a fairly recent development. Side air bags provide protection in side impact collisions, as they will often deploy from the side door of the vehicle. They can help protect the head and chest in rollovers and other accidents.

Crush Resistant Roofs

A key cause of injuries in rollover accidents is the crushing of the roof. Oftentimes the vehicle ends up flipping multiple times and a strong roof is vital to preventing serious injury. Different vehicles have different roof strengths and some are more crush resistant than others.

Who is at Fault for a Rollover Accident?

Assigning fault in rollover accident cases can be difficult and complicated. If more than one vehicle is involved, fault may lie with one or more of the drivers. It is also possible that the design or construction of the vehicle itself is defective and therefore the designer or manufacturer may bear responsibility for the crash and any injuries it caused. Sometimes fault is even apportioned to several different parties.

Design and Manufacturing Defects

In addition to placing liability on the party that caused the accident, liability may be assigned to the designer and manufacturers of the vehicle that rolled over. There are two strict liability legal theories, among others, that an attorney may use to hold these parties responsible: design defect liability and manufacturing defect liability. These theories relate directly to whether or not your vehicle possesses some of the above mentioned safety features like side air bags, crush resistant roofs and ESC. If your vehicle was not equipped with these features, or if they malfunctioned, you may have a greater chance of recovering under one of these theories.

Design Defect

The designer of a vehicle may be responsible for a rollover, or some of the damage caused by it, if they could have designed the vehicle in a safer way than the design that they chose. For example, if the designer placed a fuel tank in an area of the vehicle that made it more prone to catching fire when involved in a rollover, and they could have placed it in a safer spot on the vehicle, this would be a design defect.

Manufacturing Defect

The manufacturer of a rollover vehicle may be responsible for some or all of the damage done if the vehicle came off the assembly line in a way that makes it more dangerous than other vehicles that came off the line. This means that the vehicle you ended up with is an anomaly, it is different than the other ones because of a defect in its construction.  For example there would be a manufacturing defect if a safety feature, like side air bags, were left off of your vehicle when all the other models had them installed correctly.

Deciding Which Theory to Sue Under

Rollover Accident Lawyer: 412-626-5626

Rollover Accident Lawyer: 412-626-5626

Depending on the nature of your accident the legal team at KM&A will decide whether to sue under a design defect theory, manufacturing defect theory, or some other available theory. However, deciding which theory to sue under is a complicated decision and can greatly affect the outcome of your rollover case.

You May Need the Assistance of Experienced Rollover Attorneys

Due to the many types of rollover accidents that occur, the complexities of assigning fault and the availability of several different legal theories, rollover accident injuries are a complex area of law. If you have been hurt in a rollover, you need an attorney on your side. KM&A will do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to investigating the facts of your accident and presenting the best case possible. Here at Kraemer, Manes and Associates LLC we have an experienced legal team ready to help you get the compensation and recovery that you deserve.

Call (412) 626-5626 To Speak With An Auto Accident Lawyer

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