Rollover Accidents and Injuries

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Rollover accidents, which occur when a vehicle tips off balance and rolls onto its roof, are among the deadliest kinds of car crashes due to the heightened risk of spine and brain injuries, as well as wrongful death. While this kind of accident can happen to any car or truck, auto defects in certain vehicles make them prone to dangerous rollovers. SUVs and 15-passenger vans are particularly at risk for rollovers due to their high centers of gravity and narrow wheel bases. Additionally, passengers may sustain serious roof crush injuries due to defective frames that are not strong enough to withstand the weight of the vehicle.

If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in a rollover crash, then you may be able to seek compensation, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. An experienced rollover accident attorney from Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., can investigate your case to determine if auto defects in your vehicle caused or contributed to your injuries. If so, we can represent your interests in a product liability lawsuit. We have the experience, knowledge and resources to get outstanding results.

Why are SUVs and 15-Passenger Vans at Risk for Rollover Accidents?

Vehicles like SUVs and 15-passenger vans carry a high rollover risk due to auto defects in their overall design. These vehicles have a high center of gravity, making them top-heavy. The result of a high center of gravity combined with a narrow wheel base is that SUVs and passenger vans are prone to rollover accidents.

Originally, many SUVs were constructed on narrow platforms usually used for pickup trucks. However, unlike pickup trucks, SUVs have high roofs, making them top-heavy. If a driver makes a quick turn or is knocked off course, the vehicle may tip off balance and roll onto its roof, leaving those inside vulnerable to serious or catastrophic injuries. Today, SUV design uses car platforms instead of truck chassis, which gives them a lower, more stable center of gravity. Features such as electronic stability control systems make SUVs less prone to accidents now. However, many defective vehicles remain on the road.

The same risks exist for 15-passenger vans. Additionally, when these vans have many passengers, the center of gravity shifts dangerously toward the rear of the vehicle, which makes the van more likely to fishtail. A report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) calculates that 15-passenger vans overturn in more than half of the single-vehicle accidents involving them, which result in 81 percent of the fatalities for these vans. The rate for other vehicles is only 33 percent.

Rollover accidents are often deadly due to additional auto defects that result in roof crush injuries. When a vehicle rolls over, its entire weight bears down on the roof and supports. If these are weak due to manufacturer negligence, the roof may collapse. This can lead to severe brain and spinal cord injuries. Also, the occupants may be expelled from the vehicle in a rollover accident.

What Other Factors Contribute to Rollover Accidents?

While SUVs and other vehicles with high centers of gravity may be more prone to rollover accidents, this kind of crash may involve any kind of car or truck. Certain conditions can make a rollover more likely, such as:

  • Sudden turn. If you suddenly change direction at a high speed, then your vehicle’s momentum may be sufficient to cause a rollover. This is a particular danger for SUVs and vans, due to their high centers of gravity.
  • Obstacles. One of the most common causes of rollover accidents are “tripping hazards.” Often, drivers may swerve to avoid low obstacles in the road. If the side of the wheels connected with a tripping hazard, such as a curb, a rollover is likely.
  • Road defects. Similarly, defects in the road itself may cause swerving or tripping hazards, increasing the risk of rollover accidents.
  • Multi-vehicle crashes. Rollovers commonly occur during car crashes, especially if one vehicle strikes the side of another. In wrecks involving multiple vehicles, the risk of a rollover increases.
  • Poor weather. Slippery conditions can make a rollover accident more likely, since a vehicle’s tires may easily lose grip on the road.

Injured in an SUV or Van? Call a Rollover Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation

The results of rollover accidents frequently include catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. However, victims and their families may be entitled to compensation both from the at-fault driver and the vehicle manufacturer responsible for the auto defects.

Our attorneys have experience with these kinds of complex cases, nationwide. We have law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but we accept cases from across the country. We offer free initial consultations and handle cases on a contingency fee basis. Call or contact us online today to speak with a rollover accident attorney about your legal options, free of charge.