One woman died after rolling her vehicle on Ralph Fair Rd in San Antonio, on the morning of July 23. Law enforcement reported that the woman was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the impact, and that speed had likely been a factor in the crash. These accidents are unfortunately all too common, especially on Texas roads, but if you are involved in one due to another person’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation stemming from your injuries.
Statistics Show Fatalities Are Common
Because so much weight and metal is moving around, rollover accidents have the potential to cause significant injury and death. The numbers of such accidents are increasing; data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show almost a 10 percent increase in multi-vehicle rollovers from 2015-2016, as well as a 2 percent increase in single-vehicle rollovers. This can affect the overall death rate in auto accidents, as rollovers are much more likely to cause injury than many other types of crash. For example, the NHTSA’s safercar.gov website cites statistics showing that almost 35 percent of all auto accident deaths were in rollover accidents, even though rollovers were only approximately 2 percent of the total accidents on U.S. roads.
The causes of these accidents are many, though they can be easier to pin down than in some other types of crashes. The deceased woman on Ralph Fair Road was driving a small SUV, which might have placed her at greater risk of accident – sport utility vehicles tend to have a higher center of gravity and thus are more susceptible to tipping over, especially when going at a high rate of speed. Another commonly seen cause of rollover accidents is distracted driving, even more so than with many other types of vehicle crash – if one becomes distracted, it may become necessary to swerve back into one’s lane or away from an oncoming danger, which can easily send a car rolling, especially if traveling fast.
If you are injured due to a rollover, or you lose a loved one due to a rollover crash, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills, and also for less tangible injuries like pain and suffering and loss of companionship (depending on your specific situation). Depending on what type of injury has occurred, you may wind up bringing suit against the other driver under a theory of either ordinary negligence or wrongful death (which is a more specialized form of a negligence lawsuit). In some rare cases, an injured driver might also allege that a part of their vehicle was defective, and try to bring suit against a manufacturer under a theory of product liability.
Be advised that in all cases you will need to show that the defendant was negligent – namely, that a duty of care was owed to the plaintiff, and that the defendant’s conduct breached it. This has to be done in different ways depending on the type of case you are bringing, but negligence must be shown to have occurred for you or your loved one’s estate to have any hope at receiving compensation. In particular, a product liability case can be difficult to prove because Texas law requires that you show that there was an inherent design defect in the faulty product, and that another reasonable alternative existed at the time – which can be difficult in the extreme for laymen to manage. Very often, manufacturers wind up insulated from liability.
Seek Experienced Legal Help Today
While it appears that the Ralph Fair Road accident was a tragic case of recklessness on the driver’s part, your accident may not be that way. If you believe you have a case stemming from a rollover accident, contacting an attorney to discuss it is a good first step. The talented New Braunfels rollover accident attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm can sit down with you and try to help answer your questions. Call us today to set up an appointment.