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Rollover Accidents

One of the deadliest types of auto accidents is when a motor vehicle rolls over, also referred to as a rollover accident. Often rollover accidents occur because the automobile was flipped from the force of a car crash or there was a defect/malfunction with the truck itself. These types of accidents are incredibly deadly and statistically have a high fatality rate. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS) reported that 35 percent of deaths in passenger vehicle crashes are due to rollover accidents.

Drivers who act recklessly and negligently by breaking traffic laws or are grossly inattentive have a high risk of causing an auto accident espeically a rollover accident. This especially applies to truck drivers as the weight of their cargo increases the chances their vehicle may flip during an auto accident. Additionally, all cars must be thoroughly tested for rollovers by the manufacturer. Companies who fail to properly test their cars or spot design defects could be held legally responsible for distributing an unsafe product to the public. 

Rollover accidents have the potential to cause permanent, substantial injury and in some cases death. If you or someone you love has been injured in a rollover accident as a result of a negligent third party, we recommend you secure legal representation immediately.

Rollover Accident Attorney in West Des Moines, Iowa

Rollover accidents may be rare, but when they happen the results are devastating. Often victims of rollover accidents sustain catastrophic physical and emotional injuries. In some cases, a party to the accident may lose their lives because their injuries from the accident are fatal. If you have been injured or lost someone due to a rollover accident by a negligent third-party, consult the skilled and experienced personal injury attorney Gregory Landry at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.

Attorney Landry has filed lawsuits on behalf of rollover victims for decades with positive results. He can examine the facts of the case to determine if you’re entitled to a monetary award. From there, he can begin investigating every aspect of the accident and lay out all your legal options to you. Set up your first consultation with Gregory Landry at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. by calling (515) 279-9700. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has offices located in West Des Moines and accepts clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area. 

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What is a Rollover Accident?

Rollovers can happen for a multitude of reasons and often are highly influenced by the type of vehicle you are driving. Larger motor vehicles such as minivans, SUVs, and trucks are much more susceptible to rollovers as the weight distribution for those cars is not completely even. Smaller and more compact motor vehicles tend to be much more difficult to roll over as their weight is evenly distributed and their center of gravity is lower. 

Rollover accidents are typically divided into two categories: tripped and un-tripped. Listed below are the differences between tripped and un-tripped rollover crashes. 

  • Tripped – The most common type of rollover accident is when the vehicle has been tripped. A tripped rollover accident usually occurs because a contributing factor caused the vehicle to have a high tripping force. There are many contributing factors that can cause a car to have a high tripping force such as hitting a curb, digging tires into topsoil, or hitting another vehicle at a very high speed.
  • Un-Tripped – Un-tripped rollover accidents only account for 5 percent of rollover accidents, but they can still happen. Un-tripped rollovers are typically caused by the driver making a sharp turn or maneuver that causes the vehicle to roll over. Un-tripped rollover accidents are much more common for trucks, SUVs, and other cars that are deemed “top heavy.” 

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What Causes Rollover Accidents?

Rollover accidents can be caused by various factors including the following: 

  • Speeding – High speed collisions or speeding in general is a huge contributor to rollover accidents. The NHTSA stated that 40 percent of all fatal rollover accidents involve excessive speeding of some sort. Drivers who are using Iowa’s public roads must follow the speed limit or are putting their fellow drivers at risk of an accident.
  • Tire Blowouts/Tread Separation – A tire blowing out or tread separation can be a huge factor to a rollover accident, especially for top-heavy cars such as trucks or SUVs. Tires that are poorly installed or are inherently defective are the result of negligent manufacturing or installation. That means you could seek damages from the at-fault manufacturer or installer if their defective tire or installation job caused the accident.
  • Cars with a High Center of Gravity – Cars that are deemed more “top-heavy” and have a high center of gravity are much more likely to roll over. Vehicle manufacturers must warn their customers of their product’s susceptibility to rollover accidents and failure to do so could mean they are liable for damages.
  • Roadway Hazards – Poor road conditions can sometimes lead to a rollover accident, especially an un-tripped rollover. Dangerous road hazards could be a sign of poor road maintenance and lack of hazard signs.
  • Drivers Who Are Under the Influence – Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or another substance are knowingly making reckless and careless decisions. The NHTSA states that nearly 50 percent of fatal rollover accidents involve at least one driver who is under the influence.
  • Distracted Drivers – Doing other activities while driving could distract the driver from operating the vehicle and cause a rollover accident. Drivers who knowingly and recklessly text, talk on the phone, eat, change the radio station, or do other activities while they driver are putting their fellow drivers and pedestrians at risk. 

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Car Defects That Could Cause a Rollover Accident

While a rollover accident can certainly be caused by external factors, they are often caused by a design flaw or manufacturing defect in the automobile’s equipment. These defects heighten the chances of a rollover accident and/or increase the risk of catastrophic injury or even death. Motor vehicle companies and their manufacturers must do whatever they can to ensure their product is safe and has the appropriate hazard warnings if needed. Corporations who fail to follow these standards could be held liable for damages if injury or death occurs.

Listed below are some common defects that can lead to a rollover. 

  • Defective Auto Glass – Vehicles must have proper auto glass with a low chance of shattering in case they’re involved in a rollover accident. Shattered glass can leave the vehicle occupants vulnerable to partial or full ejections during the rollover, which can increase the seriousness of their already severe injuries. Although it’s been proven that cars are safer with laminated glass, motor vehicle manufacturers still choose tempered glass because it’s a cheaper choice.
  • Weak Roof Pillars – Roof pillars are incredibly important in relation to rollover accidents as they provide support for the vehicle’s occupants if the car tips over. These pillars should be manufactured with quality material so the pillars can prevent the roof from collapsing in case of a rollover accident. If the pillars cannot support the roof during a rollover accident, the occupants of the vehicle are likely to sustain catastrophic injuries. Additionally, a crushed roof from a rollover accident can make it extremely hard for victims to escape and receive medical treatment.
  • Seatbelt Issues – Seatbelts are incredibly important for protecting passengers in any type of car accident. The vehicle’s occupants could be thrown about and sustain serious head injuries if the car has defective seatbelts. Manufacturers must also consider what happens to a seatbelt after a rollover accident. Often when a car rolls over, the seatbelts that strap the occupants in will also be crushed. Motor vehicle companies and manufacturers must ensure their seatbelts are sturdy and working properly in case the vehicle’s roof is crushed from a rollover accident. 

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How to Recover from a Rollover Accident

The aftereffects of a rollover accident can be devastating. Injured victims or grieving families may be saddled with astounding medical bills, therapy costs, and may be unable to work because of their injuries or grief. Thankfully, you have legal options you can pursue to recover from a rollover accident. You can choose to file a lawsuit against the responsible party and if the court rules in your favor you’ll be granted a monetary award for all your damages.

If another driver’s negligence caused the car the rollover, then you can file a claim against them and name them as the responsible party. For example, if another driver t-boned your car and the speed of that impact caused your car to rollover, then you could file a lawsuit against them as your injuries were directly caused by the other driver’s negligent speeding and disregard of traffic laws. 

In some cases, no other driver is at fault for the rollover accident. It could instead be the motor vehicle’s manufacturer who is the at-fault party for distributing a defective or poorly designed automobile. Another possible responsible party for a rollover accident is any third-party companies/contractors who have done work on your car such as installing faulty new equipment or tires with tread separation. Both motor vehicle manufacturers and third-party services who work on vehicles should have the driver’s best interest and safety in mind when creating /installing these products as well as follow the rules outlined by the NHTSA. Companies and contractors who fail to uphold these standards could be held liable for damages. 

If the court is in your favor, you’ll be provided a monetary award to cover all your losses. The value of the award will depend on your damages and the facts of the case. The following are some possible damages you may recover if you’re successful with your lawsuit. 

  • Medical costs
  • Auto vehicle repairs
  • Lost wages
  • Therapy or counseling costs
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment for life
  • Loss of consortium 

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Additional Resources

NHTSA Resistance Rolling Rating – Visit the official website for the National Highway and Safety Administration and find information about their 5-Star Safety Rating Program. Find more information about their rollover resistance tests, static stability factors and other tests.

Facts & Statistics for Highway Safety | III – Visit the official website for the Insurance Information Institute (III) to research into safety devices and how functional equipment can save lives. Access the site to learn why these devices are so important, statistics for motor vehicle crashes including rollover accidents, and how driver behavior comes into play.

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Injury Attorney for Rollover Accidents in Des Moines, IA

Have you been injured or lost a loved one in a rollover accident? Was another driver or the vehicle’s manufacturer at fault? If so, we urge you to get in contact with an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Gregory Landry, our seasoned personal injury attorney, has decades of experience under his belt he can utilize for your case. Don’t struggle another day with your injuries or grief alone. Recover as much as possible with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.

You can set up your first consultation with Gregory Landry at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. by calling us at (515) 279-9700. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. is based in the West Des Moines area, but we accept clients throughout Polk County and Dallas County including Ankeny, Altoona, Polk City, Johnston, Pleasant Hill, Windsor Heights, Van Meter, Minburn, Waukee, Redfield, Adel, Dallas Center, and Perry.

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