Myrtle Beach Rollover Car Accidents Lawyers
If you have been injured or if you lost a loved one in a rollover accident due to someone else’s carelessness, you shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. The compassionate and experienced car accident attorneys at Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you secure the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and obtain a measure of justice for your grievous loss.
Rollover accidents are easy to recognize—we have all seen a vehicle tipped over onto its side or roof beside the highway. They are comparatively rare, but spectacular and deadly when they occur.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that close to 280,000 rollover car accidents are recorded per year, causing approximately 10,000 deaths. This means that rollovers make up only 2% of recorded crashes, but account for nearly 35% of passenger car accident deaths—a frightening statistic.
We’ll skillfully handle the legal legwork for you, so you can focus on healing and your family. Call us to set up a free, no-obligation case evaluation at (843) 839-4795. We’re ready to work on your case.
Types of Rollover Accidents
There are two types of rollovers: a tripped rollover and an untripped rollover. A tripped rollover occurs when a car slides off the street and hits either an object (like a curb or a guardrail) or a soft surface like soil or grass. The force on the tires meeting this obstacle causes the car to flip over.
Untripped rollovers are less common, and mean that there was no obstacle initiating the flip. Vehicles that are top-heavy, unbalanced, and traveling above the speed limit are at much greater risk of having an untripped rollover.
Causes of Rollover Car Accidents
Safercar.gov reports that speeding contributes to 40% of rollover crashes, and that 75% of rollover crashes take place on rural roads with high-speed limits, where it is easy for drivers to feel safer driving much faster.
Overcorrection in Routine Maneuvers
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shared by Safercar.gov shows that 90% of vehicles in fatal rollover accidents were performing routine maneuvers—such as negotiating a bend. Maneuvers like this can cause friction between the tires and the road surface of the road, causing the vehicle to tip. When the driver reaches a certain speed and then tries to turn the wheel too sharply, the car may lose its grip on the road and skid. The force of the car’s momentum could then cause it to flip over.
Top-heavy or Unbalanced Vehicles
Every vehicle has the potential to roll over under the right—or wrong—circumstances, but most vehicles involved in rollover crashes are top-heavy and have a high center of gravity. If the car is carrying cargo—a canoe strapped to the roof, for example—that is not properly loaded or secured, this can also throw off the vehicle’s center of gravity and make it more likely to tip over.
Many rollover crashes involve some kind of alcohol impairment. A driver who is sleepy, impaired by drugs or alcohol, or distracted, could over-correct when trying to avoid another car or an obstacle in the road.
Problems with the Vehicle
There can be flaws in a car’s manufacturing that contribute to the likelihood of a rollover crash, such as failure of the electronic stability control, failure of the seatbelt, a fault in the airbag deployment, a problem with the gas tank, and many more.
One of the most dangerous manufacturing flaws is “roof crush,” where the roof of the vehicle is displaced into the passenger portion of the car when the car flips over. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), roof crush is the major contributing factor to fatalities and injuries in rollover accidents.
Ideally, a car roof must be able to withstand a force of at least four times the vehicle’s weight before the force caves the roof in by five inches. Any significant deviation from these measurements would indicate fault on the part of the car manufacturer.
Faulty or Incorrect Tires
Balding tires, flat tires, or tires that aren’t suitable for road conditions can also contribute to rollover accidents. Surprisingly, tires that grip the road too efficiently can also contribute to a rollover accident. Too much tire grip while braking can allow sideways forces to increase until the vehicle tips over. Sliding would be preferable to flipping, but sliding can cause the out-of-control vehicle to collide with an obstacle, and then tip over anyway.
Avoiding a Rollover Accident
Consumer Reports states that better vehicle design, rollover-avoidance technologies, better safety systems, more stringent government regulations, and consistent and correct use of seat belts could halve the number of rollover fatalities and injuries.
Potential Injuries in a Rollover Crash
Since the physical forces at work in a rollover crash are so violent, they cause many fatalities and serious injuries for anyone unlucky enough to be involved in one.
Broken bones, of course, are a common result. An accident victim could also have lacerations from broken glass and other sharp or rough objects that came into contact with the skin during the collision.
Not so immediately evident are the possible internal injuries: internal bleeding, damage to organs, and collapsed lungs. The spine could also be affected, and slipped or herniated discs, nerve damage, and even partial or full paralysis are common.
A rollover crash often results in the roof of the car caving in, as the car turns completely upside-down. This can cause severe head trauma and brain injury to the occupants, perhaps the most frightening of the possible injuries.
All of these injuries are serious, some life-threatening. If you become involved in a rollover accident, you need immediate medical care. As many rollover crashes take place on rural roads, you may not receive emergency medical attention as quickly as you need it, which can also exacerbate your wounds.
Because of their severity, many of these possible injuries will result in long-term financial and medical problems and loss of earning potential.
As well as physical injury, the trauma of being involved in such a dramatic and devastating type of accident can also have implications for the victims’ mental health. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one possible result. The stress of dealing with ongoing health problems and medical bills will also take its toll.
Who Is At Fault?
Rollover accidents are often single-vehicle accidents that take place on rural roads (as stated by safercar.gov). Aside from the driver, there are several possible culprits. The road could have been poorly maintained. A pothole or other hazard could have caused the driver to swerve and flip over. There could have been road construction along the highway with poor signage or loose debris, creating a dangerous situation for passing vehicles.
As we have seen, the vehicle involved in the rollover could also have maintenance or design issues, such as inadequate roll bars or roll cages, or defective tires. Another driver could also have been negligent, speeding, driving distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, causing the accident that lead to the rollover.
Often, however, insurance companies are quick to blame the driver in a rollover accident. One reason for this is that there is usually only one car involved in this type of crash. Multi-vehicle rollovers are rare, but not impossible. If a vehicle were hit side-on and then tipped by the force of the colliding vehicle, for example, that might cause it to roll.
Insurance companies will also often assume that the driver involved in a rollover accident was impaired or negligent, as this is also often the case. Long arguments and negotiations with these big insurance companies can delay the settlement you need after such a devastating accident to compensate for lost pay and to pay the medical bills that could be ongoing. If your spine or brain sustained injuries, for example, these could have catastrophic and lifelong effects on your quality of life and ability to work.
How Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help
Your legal team will look beyond the assumption of driver error to identify other possible culprits for your rollover crash, such as another driver, the manufacturer of your car or one of its parts, or even a government entity in charge of safely maintaining the roads. We can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to make sure you receive fair compensation for your losses.
Successfully arguing for a settlement in a rollover case requires a thorough investigation of the accident and the surrounding area where it took place. There are all kinds of evidence that can be collected to help you, but only an experienced legal team will know exactly what to look for. We will gather such things as eyewitness accounts, video footage, and expert opinions to build a strong case on your behalf. With the help of our thorough investigation, you may find that someone else was responsible for your rollover and be able to claim compensation.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a devastating rollover accident, then contact the car accident attorneys at Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers, either by calling (843) 839-4795, by filling out our email response form, or by using our live chat feature through the website.