Causes and Liability in SUV Rollover Accidents
SUV safety continues to be of paramount concern, despite major improvements in recent years. The good news is that, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, SUVs had earned safety ratings on par with other motor vehicles by 2011, largely in part to a reduced propensity to rollover. Still, statistics released by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) show that 280,000 rollover accidents are reported each year, accounting for more than 10,000 fatalities annually.
A vehicle rollover is among the most terrifying accidents that can occur on the road, and although they only account for about 3 percent of all serious accidents, they are to blame for nearly 30 percent of passenger deaths.
In the minutes following any major car wreck such as a rollover, confusion and panic sets in, as victims are rushed to the hospital for emergency medical attention. After car crash injuries have been tended to, the next step is determining the cause of the collision. While there are many common reasons for rollover accidents, including poor road conditions, uneven terrain, overcorrecting by the driver, excessive cornering and carrying too much weight, determining legal responsibility in an SUV rollover requires the skill of New York auto accident attorneys who are familiar with manufacturing liability.
Common causes of rollover accidents
Under the right circumstance, any type of vehicle can roll over, but taller models such as Sports Utility Vehicles and some pickups and vans are more susceptible due to their higher center of gravity. Since rollovers are directly related to a car’s inherent stability, a vehicle with a narrow wheel base and high center of gravity, like an SUV, has a greater likelihood of toppling over following a quick turn or sudden lane change, leading to a potentially fatal rollover accident. While negligence and road conditions can play a role, many rollovers are caused by faulty vehicle design or manufacturing defects.
In order to file a personal injury claim following a crash that resulted from automobile defects, an SUV rollover accident lawyer must demonstrate the following elements were present in cases involving strict liability:
- The SUV or vehicle and its parts must have an “unreasonably dangerous” defect that caused the occupants to suffer injury. The defect could be a design or manufacturing flaw, or a failure to warn the public about dangerous aspects of the vehicle
- The defect which caused the injury happened while the vehicle was being used as intended
- The vehicle had no substantial changes in condition compared to when it was originally purchased
Leading New York auto accident attorneys
Victims of motor vehicle accidents such as rollovers may be entitled to monetary damages for their injuries, property damage and non-economic losses. Depending on the circumstances of the claim, compensation may be secured for hospital and medical expenses, lost income, diminished earning capacity, as well as pain and emotional suffering. In the tragic event of death following an SUV rollover, relatives of the victim may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit if another driver was found to be negligent, or manufacturing defects in the auto were the cause of the wreck. In certain cases, punitive damages may also be granted, if liability falls on defective components within a vehicle, or parts that were subject to a recall.
If you’ve suffered car crash injuries following a rollover accident and need the representation of New York auto accident attorneys, contact The Sanders Firm to schedule a complimentary case review. We take on new cases on a contingency basis, so there are never any upfront fees unless you win your suit. Call toll-free to arrange your consultation with an SUV rollover accident lawyer at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY.