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Each year, more than 250,000 rollover crashes occur in the United States, killing more than 10,000 people, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, rollover crashes account for approximately one-third of all automobile-related fatalities.
Sometimes, injuries arising from a rollover accident are due to the negligence or carelessness of a driver. However on other occasions, these accidents and the injuries they cause are the direct result of the defective design or manufacture of a car, truck, or SUV.
How Auto Defects Lead to Rollovers & Rollover Injuries
In some cases, a vehicle may not be properly designed or constructed to withstand the impact of a rollover. In other cases, the design of the vehicle may be insufficient to prevent a rollover in the event of anaccident. In cases like these, the vehicle manufacturer may bear some or all of the responsibility for resulting injuries.
Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are particularly susceptible to rollovers. SUVs have a higher center of gravity and narrower wheel base than other types of vehicles, making them more prone to tip and roll over than any other type of vehicle.
Added to this, many SUVs have poor roof construction and are built with insufficient roll protection, causing roofs to buckle and collapse when the vehicle flips. In such cases, rollover accidents can result in head trauma, spinal injury, neck fractures, or even death. When a roof collapses and occupants of the vehicle are injured as a result, a products liability claim against the vehicle manufacturer may arise.
Types of Rollover Accidents
There are three main types of vehicle rollovers that may result in serious injury:
- Tripped Rollovers: The NHTSA reports that 95% of single-vehicle rollovers are tripped, which occurs when a vehicle leaves the roadway and strikes an object such as a curb, guardrail, or steep slope or bank.
- Un-Tripped Rollovers: These types of rollovers are less common, but no less dangerous. Un-tripped rollovers may occur during sharp maneuvers at high speeds. For example, when a vehicle with a high-center of gravity swerves or rounds a corner at a high rate of speed, that vehicle may tip and roll over.
- Multi-Vehicle Car Accidents: When a vehicle is struck from the side by another vehicle, that vehicle may tip and roll over.
If You Think You Have an Rollover Accident Case
A vehicle manufacturer has a responsibility to design and produce cars that are not unreasonably likely to roll over. When the manufacturer fails to uphold that responsibility, the vehicle is defective and the manufacturer may be liable for resulting injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a vehicle rollover, you may have a products liability claim against the vehicle manufacturer. Ashcraft & Gerel can carefully investigate your case, work with experts to determine how and why your injury occurred, and closely advise you regarding your legal options.