Rollover accidents are among the deadlines types of car accidents. Some vehicles are more prone to a rollover accident, but any vehicle can roll over in a collision. When that occurs, the occupants of that vehicle have a high risk of being killed or suffering catastrophic injuries.
If you are injured in a rollover accident, seeking advice from an experienced Oklahoma City rollover accident attorney can help you protect your legal right to receive fair and just compensation for your accident injuries and damages.
Contact the McGuire Law Firm for a free consultation with an experienced OKC car accident lawyer. We work with accident victims to hold negligent drives and parties accountable and liable for their actions.
What is a Rollover Accident?
A rollover accident is a traffic accident in which one or more vehicles rollover. The vehicle may roll completely onto its roof and remain upside down. The vehicle may roll over completely one or more times before landing upright, on its side, or upside down.
When a vehicle rolls onto the roof, the roof can be severely crushed. With repeated rotations, the roof and sides of the vehicle can violently press down onto the heads of the passengers. Rolling over even once time places incredible force on the occupants of the vehicle.
How Common are Rollover Accidents in Oklahoma City?
Rollover accidents are not as common as other types of accidents. It is estimated that rollover accidents account for about three percent of serious traffic crashes.
As discussed above, these accidents are deadly. Even though the accidents represent a small percent of traffic accidents, rollover crashes account for about 35 percent of traffic fatalities involving passenger vehicles.
How Do Rollover Accidents Happen?
A “tripping” event causes many of the rollover accidents that occur. A tripping event occurs when a sudden shift in the vehicle’s center of gravity and weight causes the vehicle to roll over. Tripping events usually occur when a driver jerks the wheel to avoid an object, hits a curb, or makes a sudden movement that causes the vehicle’s center of gravity to shift.
Approximately 85 percent of rollover accident fatalities result in single-vehicle crashes. According to the NHTSA, this suggests that driver behavior is a significant factor in rollover accidents.
However, speed and alcohol are also listed as factors in rollover crashes. Forty percent of the fatal rollover accidents involve excessive speed. Additionally, about one-half of fatal rollover accidents involved alcohol.
The design of the vehicle can contribute to the risk of a rollover accident. Taller vehicles that have a higher center of gravity are more likely to roll over, including SUVs and trucks. In some cases, defects in a car design could contribute to the cause of the rollover crash.
Dangerous roadways can be a factor in the cause of a rollover accident. Weather conditions can increase the risk of a tripping event if a driver suddenly jerks the vehicle and loses control of the vehicle because of slick roads.
No two rollover accidents are the same. These accidents occur suddenly, and the outcome is unpredictable. For that reason, the injuries sustained in rollover accidents vary greatly.
Common Injuries Caused by Rollover Accidents
Even though seat belts may restrain the occupants of a vehicle, a rollover accident can be fatal. The damage to the vehicle can crush the occupants even though they may remain restrained by the seat belt. In some cases, the force of the impact of rolling over causes the seat belt to release and the person is thrown from the vehicle or thrown around with the vehicle.
Sadly, rollover accident injuries often result in life-threatening conditions, if the person survives the initial crash. When a person survives a rollover accident, the person often sustains debilitating injuries that result in permanent impairments.
Because of the nature of the crash, some injuries are common in a rollover accident:
- Neck and Head Injuries — The neck and head often sustain traumatic injuries because of the violent way the head is jerked about and the crushing of the roof caused by rolling over. Traumatic brain injuries and complete paralysis from injury to the spinal cord are common.
- Crushed and Broken Bones — Broken bones in the upper and lower limbs are common in rollover accidents. However, skull fractures, broken vertebrae, and broken ribs are also very common injuries.
- Chest Injuries — Chest injuries, especially damage to the lungs and heart, are also common in rollover accidents.
Regardless of the type of injury sustained in a rollover accident, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately. Documenting injuries with medical evidence is vital for recovering compensation for damages. Following your doctor’s treatment plan is also vital for maximizing damages from a rollover accident claim.
What Damages are Available in a Rollover Accident Claim?
Damages include financial damages, which are monetary losses. Damages also include noneconomic or pain and suffering damages. Both types of damages can be significant.
Examples of damages in an Oklahoma City rollover accident claim include:
- Medical bills;
- Therapy bills;
- Personal care costs;
- Loss of income;
- Physical pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress and suffering;
- Disabilities and impairments; and,
- Scarring and disfigurement.
The compensation received for a rollover accident claim depends on a variety of factors. The severity of the injuries, type of injuries, and financial losses are significant factors that determine the value of your claim. However, your liability for the cause of the accident can also impact the compensation you might receive for a rollover accident.
What Happens if I Was Partially to Blame for the Rollover Accident?
There could be situations in which both drivers share responsibility for the cause of a rollover accident. If that is the case, compensation is based on each driver’s liability for the cause of the crash.
Under Oklahoma’s modified comparative fault standard, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for causing the crash. If your liability equals 51 percent or more, you cannot recover any money for an injury claim.
Insurance companies often use comparative fault to undervalue an injury claim. When an insurance company refuses to negotiate a fair settlement, a personal injury lawsuit might be necessary to protect your best interests.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Rollover Accident Lawsuits in Oklahoma?
Most car accident lawsuits must be filed within two years from the date of the car accident. This includes rollover accidents. If you fail to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs, you cannot pursue a claim against a negligent driver.
However, there could be situations in which the statute of limitations is longer or shorter. It is best to consult an Oklahoma rollover accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your case while providing legal advice, guidance, and support to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Do I Need to Hire an Injury Lawyer After A Rollover Accident?
Some car accident claims may be settled without an attorney. However, most victims can benefit from talking to an Oklahoma City accident attorney.
Rollover accidents are complicated personal injury cases. Proving that another party was responsible for the cause of the rollover accident can be challenging. An investigation may involve defective products and driver errors.
An experienced accident lawyer has the resources and skills necessary to handle a complicated accident case, such a rollover accident. In many cases, an attorney may need to retain experts in various professions to investigate the crash and gather evidence proving how the rollover accident occurred and who was responsible for causing the crash.
Some of the reasons you need an Oklahoma rollover accident lawyer to handle your claim include:
- Help you understand your legal rights and options for recovering compensation;
- Offer you guidance and legal advice;
- Conduct an accident investigation;
- Calculate the full extent of your damages, including past, present, and future damages;
- Seek assistance from medical experts and other experts;
- File insurance claims and present evidence in a way that proves liability and damages;
- Negotiate fair settlements; and,
- Represent you in a court action, if necessary.
Your attorney handles all aspects of your injury claim for you. Having an experienced legal team handle your claim reduces your stress, protects your interests, and allows you to focus on your recovery.
Contact an Experienced Rollover Accident Attorney in Oklahoma City
If you were injured in a rollover accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, you must prove another party was responsible for the cause of the crash. You need an experienced legal team on your side to help you prove liability.
Contact the McGuire Law Firm to request a free consultation with an Oklahoma City rollover accident lawyer to discuss your case.