Rollover accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence on Florida roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nine million motor vehicle accidents total in the U.S. in 2010. Although only 2.1 percent of these were rollovers, out of that 2.1 percent, 35 percent of total recorded fatalities sustained on the roads of America were the result of rollovers.
Although head-on collisions have the highest fatality rate percentage-wise, rollovers have the highest injury rate. An estimated 12 percent of all occupants in a vehicle that roll over suffer from a catastrophic injury that incapacitates them. Four percent of these occupants are ejected from the vehicle, while another 46 percent suffer less debilitating injuries.
Any accident, even those at slower speeds, can cause injuries. Accidents occurring 55 mph or above are considered high-speed crashes. Rollovers occur when the vehicle’s center of gravity becomes destabilized. SUVs and tall vehicles such as delivery vans are more likely to roll over than sedans or coupes.
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There are many reasons why rollovers occur. Some of the most common reasons are:
Overcorrection: If a driver notices they are drifting into another lane or off the road, suddenly jerking the wheel to correct can destabilize the vehicle. The result is loss of control and a potential rollover.
Additional weight: Additional weight on the roof can increase the likelihood of a rollover. The additional weight alters the vehicle’s center of gravity, making it more likely to tip.
Aggressive driving: Driving aggressively is another common reason for a rollover accident. Driving at high speeds while making abrupt lane changes can easily cause a vehicle to roll over or lose control.
Lane drifting: Lane drifting is its own problem and is usually the result of driving while distracted, driving while under the influence or driving while fatigued. This is why it’s very important to avoid alcohol when operating heavy machinery and to ensure that you are well rested before getting behind the wheel.
Hitting a trip: A “trip” is defined as an object that a driver hits, resulting in an accident. Trips can be anything from a median, guardrail, ditch, an area of uneven pavement or a piece of debris in the road. Striking one of these objects can result in an accident if the driver loses control of the vehicle and rolls over.
If you are in a rollover accident in Florida, first you will need to prove the cause of the accident to have a case in court. If you can prove that a hazardous road condition was responsible, you might be able to seek compensation from the government. If there was a failure in one of your vehicle’s systems – such as the brakes – you might be able to sue the manufacturer. Drivers who cut you off or who T-bone you can also be taken to court for negligence or reckless driving.
Any auto accident is intense, and rollovers are no exception. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may suffer from broken bones, brain injury, internal trauma or loss of limbs. If you are able to take the at-fault driver or company to court, you have the potential of recovering any lost wages as well as compensation for all your medical bills. If you are partly at fault, you may still be entitled to some compensation, although perhaps not quite as much.
If you or someone you know is the victim of a rollover accident, don’t try to navigate the murky waters of the law on your own. Following an accident, seek medical help and collect witness information if you can. Don’t make any claims or say anything that could imply you were at fault.
After calling the police and arranging for medical treatment, it’s time to discuss your case with a Florida injury accident attorney. This is perhaps the most important step towards recovering your life after a rollover accident.
Contact the Tragos, Sartes and Tragos today for a free case consultation.