Personal injury Library

What is a Rollover Accident?

What makes rollover accidents different from other car accidents?

A rollover accident is the type of accident that involves the car rolling over onto its side or roof. Rollover accidents can happen in several ways. Rollovers most commonly occur when something happens to shift the vehicle's center of mass or there is a driver induced issue that causes a shift in the vehicle's center of mass, the driver hits an object that sends the car into a rollover, or the driver is forced off the paved road onto uneven terrain, causing a rollover. The higher a vehicle's center of mass, the greater the likelihood a rollover. Speed alone does not cause rollover accidents, but can make the impact and damages from a rollover accident worse.

Rollovers are also more common in certain types of vehicles. SUVs have a higher probability for rolling over than a car or even pick-up truck does. In fact, of the SUV passenger deaths in 2009 56% of those deaths occurred in vehicles that rolled over. In the same year rollover deaths accounted for 47% of deaths in pick-up truck accidents and 25% of deaths in car accidents. SUVs and pick-up trucks tend to rollover more frequently than cars because they both have a higher ground clearance and center of mass than cars.

If you have been injured in a Texas rollover accident, the attorney you select to litigate your claim is important. Simply hiring an attorney that has handled rollover cases is not enough. You need to make sure the attorney you hire has experience in the kind of rollover accident in which you were injured.

Common Rollover Accidents

Rollover accidents are often caused when one vehicle comes in contact with another object or vehicle and the contact causes the center of mass of the vehicle to shift suddenly. The center of mass is essentially the heaviest part of the vehicle and if that is thrown off balance the stability of the vehicle is jeopardized.

An example, when driving along and a vehicle is clipped or bumped with enough force by another vehicle. This can throw the vehicle that has been hit off balance and send them into a rollover. Another example is if a vehicle suddenly hits something in the road that causes the tires to lose contact with the road then making it off balance. This scenario can send a vehicle into a rollover.

Another cause of rollover accidents would be the actions of the driver. If the driver encounters something in the roadway and jerks the wheel suddenly to avoid hitting the item in the road, the sudden motion can throw off the vehicle's center of mass and send the car into a rollover. This can happen when cargo or something else suddenly falls off the vehicle ahead of you and you have to swerve unexpectedly to avoid it.

Another example would be when the driver attempts to go through a turn too fast and ends up in a rollover. It is not the speed that sends the car into a rollover, but the force that happens when the tires are in the opposite direction of the weight of the car. This force is called centripetal force. These types of rollovers happen because the tires are trying to maintain contact with the road and the most of the weight of the vehicle is going in the opposite direction.

Finally, another common cause of rollover accidents is when the driver suddenly leaves the paved area and goes off road. The unexpected unevenness in terrain can cause the vehicle's center of mass to shift and compromise the vehicle's balance. The instability can send the vehicle into a rollover.

For example, when a car leaves the roadway and drives onto the unpaved area near the road it may go into a rollover because the terrain it is now driving on is typically uneven and unstable due to the natural conditions such as mud, branches and other debris that was not present on the paved roadway. The unevenness that the driver is now driving on can throw the vehicle's center of mass off balance and a rollover can result.

The Right Attorney for the Job

When you have been injured in a rollover accident in Texas, it is important that you understand the circumstances surrounding the accident. This is crucial because the manner in which the accident occurred will help determine the approach that should be taken in handling your claim. In each of the rollover scenarios described above there could be different kinds of defendants involved.

Obviously the motorist that hit you would be involved, but there may also be claims against the manufacturer of your vehicle because of the way your car performed in the accident itself. Vehicles are made and designed with the anticipation of the possibility that accidents, including rollover accidents will occur. If your vehicle has not performed according to the industry standards and expectations in your rollover accident and your injuries are the result of this failure or were made worse because of this failure, this will need to be explored as well. The specific details of your rollover accident will help understanding where and if such a failure occurred.

This is why choosing the right attorney for the job is so vital to your ability to successfully litigate your rollover claim. Rollover cases can be complicated and selecting an attorney that has some experience handling rollover cases is not enough. You need to hire an attorney that has experience in the type of rollover accident you have been in. Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have experience litigating many types of rollover accidents and we have dealt with the different types of defendants in these kinds of cases. Contact us today at (855) 326-0000 for a free consultation today.

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