As we mentioned in a previous article, many people who are involved in a rollover crash will file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the rollover. But how does one figure out who caused their rollover accident?
There are three ways to make this determination:
- Look at the police report (AKA accident report or crash report).
- Guess and file a lawsuit to find out who is to blame.
- Do an independent investigation.
Option 3 is the only one that really makes sense, as we'll explain below.
The first approach—looking at the police report to see who they believe caused the accident—is problematic for a few reasons. First, the police often get it wrong. They may falsely attribute to driver error what was actually an accident caused by a tire blowout or a poor vehicle design. Second, they may lack the sophisticated equipment necessary to extract the data from the car's computer to determine what happened. Third, some people believe that the police have an inherent bias against people involved in single-vehicle accidents, which most rollover accidents are. These folks feel that cops see a wreck where the driver hurt themselves, and they jump to the conclusion that the driver is 100% to blame, so they don't even consider other factors.
The second approach—filing suit and letting the chips fall where they may—is also a bad approach. Many lawyers employ this "sue 'em all and let God sort 'em out" approach, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. The problem with this method is that you water down your good claim by bringing in bad claims as well. For example, a Ford Explorer rolls over due to a tire defect. The victim sues the tiremaker and Ford without having done an investigation. As it turns out, Ford did nothing wrong, so now the client's case has been weakened by the lawyer's hamfisted approach. Now the tire manufacturer gets to easily deflect blame off of themselves and onto Ford for no good reason. This approach is sloppy and can hurt a case. Moreover, this approach is immoral, as it probably involves suing someone who didn't do anything wrong.
The third approach—conducting an independent investigation—is the only smart approach. With this method, your lawyer (or a private investigator) will take a holistic approach to examining the accident scene and the vehicles involved. All pertinent data will be collected and analyzed. Only then, when the evidence reveals who the culprit is, will a lawsuit be filed.
But isn't that approach expensive? It certainly can be. However, the way our firm operates, the client doesn't pay for the investigation unless we can make a case out of it and win.
So, if you or a loved one were involved in a rollover accident and you're not sure who was to blame, the easy solution is to call us and let us investigate for you. If we find that no outside party is to blame, we will simply withdraw, and you won't have to pay us a penny. If it turns out there is someone who is to blame, then we'll sue them, and you only pay us if we win.