Rollover Crashes Pose Significant Risks

Madeleine Jones
June 17, 2016

black and white image of rollover vehicle, car accidentRollover accidents are responsible for a significant number of serious injuries and fatalities each year. Each year, nearly 10,000 people are killed in rollover crashes; this represents nearly 1/3 of all vehicular fatalities. If you or a family member was seriously injured in a car accident, call a Las Vegas injury attorney at Cogburn Law Offices today for a free case consultation.

Last month there was a fatal rollover on US 95 just outside of Hawthorne. The accident occurred when the driver of a 2010 Toyota Sienna attempted to overtake a semi-truck. The driver and all but one passenger within the vehicle were not wearing seat belts. Three of the individuals not wearing seat belts were ejected and suffered serious injuries; the fourth passenger who was also ejected died at the accident scene. This accident echoes findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that indicate seat belts reduce the likelihood of serious injury of death in a rollover accident by approximately 75%.

There are three primary causes of rollover accidents:

Excessive speed and poor vehicle design are the most common reasons vehicles rollover. The taller the vehicle, the greater the propensity of the vehicle to rollover when turning, confronted with high winds, or making sudden lane changes to avoid obstructions in the roadway. A tall vehicle has a higher center of gravity which when suddenly shifted can make the vehicle unstable and practically impossible to control.

Another common cause of rollovers is “tripping.” This occurs when a vehicle’s tire hits something in its path, such as a soft patch of soil, a log, large rocks, etc. In the case of the rollover in Hawthorne, it appears that it was the soft soil on the road shoulder that caused the vehicle to rollover even though it had a 4-star rollover safety rating from the NHTSA.

A Las Vegas accident lawyer can help clients pursue compensation for injuries and wrongful deaths that occur as the result of rollover accidents. If the accident is caused by a defective vehicle component or design flaw, it is possible to hold the manufacturer liable via a product liability lawsuit. It may also be possible to hold a municipality, private property owner, or general contractor liable via a premises liability lawsuit for creating conditions that increase the risk of a rollover accident. Should the accident be caused by the actions of another driver, the injured parties or their survivors may file a personal injury lawsuit, or wrongful death suit against the driver, or in the case of a commercial driver, their employer.