On September 12, a 60-year old Austin man was killed when his pickup rolled into the center barrier on I-35 while en route to Waco. Witnesses reported the truck had been drifting and the driver over-corrected. The driver died at the scene, though no other injuries were reported, which is quite unusual for a rollover accident. It is sadly common for rollover accidents to result in severe injuries and death to more than just the driver of the rolled car.
One of the Most Severe Types of Accidents
Rollovers are more likely to be deadly to those inside the car than any other type of auto accident. Consumer Reports cites statistics that only approximately 3 percent of all car accidents are rollovers, but as many as 30 percent of passenger deaths are attributable to them. One can simply examine the physics – the most likely vehicles to roll over are tall and narrow, which gives them a higher center of gravity. The average car is built quite low to the ground, but a pickup truck, sport utility vehicle (SUV) or transit van, for example, will be taller and thinner.
There are other components to a vehicle that can contribute to rollover accidents, including having the wrong type of tire on your car, driver fatigue, or mere inattention. Distracted driving, in particular, is very dangerous – the most recent available data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that SUVs and pickups are far more likely than regular automobiles to experience single-vehicle rollovers, and that percentage rises sharply if distracted driving habits like texting are found to be involved.
Different Legal Theories May Be Available
There are numerous potential causes of rollover accidents, and as such, there is more than one legal theory under which you may be able to obtain compensation if you manage to escape the accident alive. The first is the legal theory of product liability. While most defective parts of an automobile will likely not cause a crash themselves, it is extremely common that a poorly made window or roof pillar can either cause or worsen injuries sustained in a car accident. If you believe that you would have been less injured without the malfunction of a part of the automobile, product liability may be a good legal theory to pursue.
The second legal theory is the more common negligence case, in which you as the plaintiff attempts to hold the defendant liable for your injuries. Even in a single vehicle accident, someone besides the driver may be injured by flying debris or some other incidental action, and if this does occur, they have the right to bring suit, just as much as a passenger or second driver in a multi-car accident. If a plaintiff can show that the defendant’s conduct was the direct cause of the harm they suffered, and show that the defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care toward the plaintiff, the defendant will then be held liable.
Enlist Our Rollover Accident Attorneys
If you are lucky enough to walk away from a rollover accident, you still may be in difficult financial, physical and mental straits. If it is possible to obtain compensation or the harms you suffered, it can go a long way toward restoring peace of mind. Our passionate New Braunfels rollover accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm understand what a difficult and scary period this can be for anyone, and we will do our best to work with you in a compassionate and logical manner.