Nearly every rollover accident that happens in the greater Phoenix area gets reported on the news and in the newspapers because they are serious accidents with potentially serious consequences. Cars are not built to withstand rollover accidents to the degree they are built to withstand other types of collisions like a rear-end crash or even a side impact collision. Rolling over presents a danger to everyone inside of a vehicle whether they are the driver or a passenger. In many cases, a rollover crash can also present a danger to others outside of the vehicle if multiple cars are involved in the impact or if others, like pedestrians, are in the path of the rolling vehicle.
Rollover collisions are less common than other types of accidents. They account for a small proportion of the accidents that occur in Arizona but they are the cause of a much larger percentage of traffic-related fatalities. Because the risks for injuries are so high in a rollover, it may not be surprising that passengers are much more likely to suffer serious injuries or even to lose their lives in a rollover crash than in one that does not involve a rolling vehicle.
Common Types of Rollovers
When a rollover crash leaves a victim injured, it may not matter to the victim what caused the collision. All that matters is getting the help needed to return to a normal life. But when it comes to determining who was at fault for a rollover crash, it is important to understand all of the factors that led to the incident including whether or not there was contact or an impact prior to the roll. Experts use the phrase "tripped" to refer to rollover collisions where an impact with a curb, second vehicle, or even road debris starts a series of events that lead to a rollover. In contrast, if no initial contact causes a vehicle to roll, experts label those crashes as "untripped."
In a tripped rollover crash, authorities usually look to the initial impact to determine if a driver negligently caused the crash. Often, this may start with a driver who runs a red light, loses control and veers across traffic, fails to stop at a stop sign, or even attempts to change lanes when it is not clear to do so. If any o these actions lead to a collision with another car, the resulting crash may trigger a rollover, potentially leaving injury victims behind. In these cases, if the negligence of one driver leaves another one hurt, the victim may be entitled to bring a civil claim for damages to recover for any losses incurred.
Untripped rollover crashes can be more difficult to analyze and to draw a conclusion about what caused the crash. Many drivers may remember a large number of SUV rollover collisions in the 1990s that were blamed on improperly designed and produced tires. The claims were that the tires would separate along the tread lines, or simply that the vehicle would experience a tire blowout, causing a driver to lose control and potentially sending the vehicle rolling. The higher the speed at which a tire blows, the more likely the driver will lose control and the car will rollover, meaning that these incidents of sudden loss of tire pressure are particularly dangerous when they occur on a highway, freeway, or expressway.
Tires are not the only cause of untripped rollover accidents, though. Mechanical failures, poorly designed roads, or even driving too fast while taking a sharp corner can lead to a rollover that may result in injuries or damage to those inside the vehicle.
Why are Rollover Collisions so Serious?
Safety has been at the forefront of the design of modern vehicles and that includes the ability to help occupants survive a collision. From the seat belt to antilock brakes and even to airbags, engineers have spent thousands of hours trying to make car accidents more survivable and the cause of fewer personal injuries.
But accidents still occur and they still leave victims in their wakes, often causing needed medical care and being responsible for serious medical bills. Yet when it comes to injuries, not all car accidents are created equal.
Any car crash can result in injuries to those involved but the higher the speeds of the vehicles at the time of impact, the more likely that injuries will result. This means that while a bump between two cars waiting at a red light can and sometimes does cause injuries, a collision between two vehicles traveling at 70 miles per hour each on a highway is more likely to cause harm.
Rollover crashes are much more likely to happen when a vehicle is traveling fast. Small speed collisions, regardless of where on a car the impact occurs, are less likely to generate the force necessary to cause a vehicle to roll. The high speeds involved are just one of the factors that can lead to injuries.
Most of the safety designs implanted in modern vehicles are designed to protect occupants in the most common types of collisions. As rollover crashes are not as common, less of a focus has been placed on safety features related to them. Generally there is no reinforcement in a vehicle's roof to keep it from caving in as a car rolls and there are no airbags on the vehicle's ceiling to prevent passengers from striking their heads. Also, rollover collisions are likely to cause damage to the structural nature of the vehicle, meaning that occupants may become trapped after a crash. With the odds stacking up against the passengers, it is easy to see how and why a rollover crash can be so devastating.
What to Do After a Rollover Crash
The laws in Phoenix make it clear: if the negligence of a driver has caused you to become injured, you may have a valid legal claim for your damages. This can include the medical bills you have already incurred, any surgical, hospital, nursing or rehabilitative bills you are likely to incur in the future, time you had to miss from work, and even the pain and suffering you were forced to endure.
If you have been injured in a rollover accident, you may have a claim for your damages. Contact the legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. today at (855) PHX-LAWYER for a free, no-obligation telephone conversation. We are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year because we know that accidents occur at all times of the day and night. Do not let yourself continue to be victimized by an accident; call us today and let us help you get the relief you deserve.If you have been injured in a rollover crash, call us at (855) PHX-LAWYER or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.