Seattle Vehicle Rollover Lawyers
What To Do After Being Injured in a Rollover Car Accident
Rollover accidents have the potential to result in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities. Victims of these types of crashes often suffer catastrophic injuries or even death. Anyone who has suffered a loss in a Washington vehicle rollover accident would be well-advised to seek legal guidance from an attorney with experience handling rollovers.
Vehicle Rollover Recoveries
- $1,925,000 recovery in a wrongful death claim for a Federal Way family that was traveling to Los Angeles, CA when they were cut off on the freeway causing their car to rollover.
Injuries Suffered in a Rollover Accident
Rollover accidents tend to be more serious than other types of crashes and they account for about a third of vehicle occupant fatalities in the United States. The initial collision can be devastating, but then, occupants can also be crushed during the rollover and some are even ejected while the vehicle is still in motion. There are many reasons why rollovers are dangerous and there are many types of injuries that Seattle motorists may suffer during one of these violent crashes.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
When a vehicle crashes, the occupants may be thrown around in the interior of the car. Even someone who is wearing his or her seatbelt can strike a side window, a seat, the dashboard or the steering wheel. This sudden, violent impact can result in severe head trauma and brain damage. Anyone who has lost consciousness, or who feels nauseated or confused after an accident should seek out immediate medical attention. Traumatic brain injuries often have long-lasting or permanent symptoms including significant changes to one's physical and mental abilities.
Neck and Back Injuries
The violent and sudden changes in directions that can occur during a rollover can result in devastating neck and back injuries. Even those who are wearing a seatbelt can experience severe whiplash injuries, herniated disks and other debilitating spinal cord injuries. Those who are not buckled up are more likely to be ejected or thrown about inside the rolling vehicle. In such cases, victims may lose feeling or sensation in their limbs resulting in permanent disabilities, such as paralysis.
Even when a car has a solid frame and maintains its shape during a rollover, it is still likely that the windshield and side windows will shatter during the crash. Lacerations and amputations are possible in these types of accidents. Victims who do not receive immediate treatment may lose a significant amount of blood and others may suffer permanent scarring and disfigurement.
The NHTSA reports that about 40 percent of all fatal rollover crashes involve excessive speeding.
Causes of Washington Vehicle Rollover Accidents
There are a number of contributing factors to rollovers. Some of the most common causes include:
- Vehicle design: Many vehicles such as SUVs, pickup trucks, vans, and 15-passenger vans have a high center of gravity. A vehicle with a high center of gravity and narrower track width has a greater chance of tipping or rolling over.
- Road conditions: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that rollover accidents are most likely to occur on rural roads that do not have barriers.
- Speed: The faster a vehicle is going, the more likely it is to roll over, especially when there is some type of impact. Additionally, most fatal rollover car accidents occur where the posted speed is over 55 mph.
- Driver negligence: Most rollovers are single vehicle crashes. Many of these accidents could have been prevented had the driver been more attentive or careful. Drivers who are fatigued, speeding, drunk, or distracted have a greater chance of being involved in a rollover crash in Washington.
- Routine driving: It is a common misconception that rollovers have to involve a reckless driver or a dangerous condition. The NHTSA has stated that over 90 percent of fatal rollover accidents involve routine driving maneuvers such as negotiating a curve. Rollovers can also occur when the drivers attempt sudden action.
- Dangerous roadway: If a driver has to veer suddenly to avoid a pothole, there is the risk of a rollover. Governing bodies in charge of the roadway have a legal obligation to keep it properly maintained.
- Defective tires: When a tire goes out on the highway there is a risk that the vehicle will veer out of control. In 2000, Bridgestone/Firestone had to recall millions of tires that had the potential to cause fatal SUV rollover accidents.
How Dangerous Are Rollover Accidents?
In a recent one year period, rollover accidents only made up three percent of all vehicle collisions. During that year, however, rollovers were involved in 33 percent of all fatalities. This means that rollover accidents, while not common, are tragically dangerous to the occupants of the vehicle. One way to help prevent rollover fatalities is to make sure that everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seatbelt. Also, 72 percent of the fatalities suffered in rollover accidents that year involved a lack of safety belts.
Rollover accidents make up only about 2 percent of all vehicle accidents in the U.S. each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, 33 percent of all deaths in motor vehicle accidents occur when a vehicle rolls over. Serious injuries can also result.
Seatbelt use plays a huge role in protecting motorists from rollover crash injuries. Studies by the NHTSA estimate that 75 percent of those who are killed in a rollover crash weren't wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident. Almost two-thirds of these victims were completely thrown from the vehicle during the accident.
After a Rollover
Victims of rollover accidents often need immediate medical attention. Emergency services, surgery, hospitalization, and rehabilitation services are necessary but extremely costly. There is financial compensation available for victims of rollover accidents that resulted from someone else's negligence. A skilled car accident attorney will work with investigators to determine who should be held liable for the accident. Potentially liable parties include:
- The vehicle's driver: Did the driver cause the rollover because he or she was speeding, intoxicated, or distracted?
- Driver of other vehicle: Did another negligent driver cause the rollover by making an unsafe lane change, by forcing the vehicle off the roadway, or through some other negligent or reckless act?
- Manufacturer of the vehicle: In some cases, it is possible to recover financial support from the manufacturer of the vehicle if the car rolled as the result of faulty design.
Getting Support Following a Rollover
The experienced Seattle car accident injury attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. know how to handle all types of injury cases. We work with accident investigators to determine the cause of the crash and liability. Our experienced lawyers are ready to provide you and your loved ones with a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation on your potential personal injury claim. Contact us today at (888) 228-3860 to find out how we can help.
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