Determining the Cause of a Rollover Accident

Approximately 18,000 auto accidents occur every day in the US of which 4,500 are serious but not fatal, and 1,000 are fatal. Those who are seriously injured in a rollover accident account for only 3% (about 135) but for fatalities, a rollover accident accounts for fully 30% (about 300). Rollover accidents are therefore potentially deadly, but it could be caused by a number of factors, which would determine who should be held liable.

There are some vehicles which are significantly more prone to rollovers, so if an accident was due to that, liability would lie with the manufacturer. But if the rollover was caused by another vehicle, that would be a different matter entirely. It is also possible that when you are injured in a rollover accident, it would involve both product liability and negligent driving issues.  In many cases, accident reconstruction may be necessary to determine causation, both primary and secondary.

There are three considerations that a personal injury lawyer will initially think on to find out when attempting to determine liability for a rollover accident before calling in an expert witness. These are the reason why the car went sideways, why it rolled over, and if it the rollover actually caused injury to the client.

The answer to these questions will be forthcoming during interviews with the client, police reports, and testimony from witnesses. In order for a vehicle can roll over, it has to be going sideways. There are four ways this can happen: if the vehicle is structurally unstable i.e. high center of gravity and can tip over negotiating a curve or if it loses traction, if the vehicle was subject to a triggering event such as a tire blowing out or the brakes lucked, if the vehicle hit a road defect i.e. pothole at high speed causing the car to tip over, and if another vehicle struck the client’s car. If causation is obvious in the initial assessment, it would greatly help a personal injury case. If the proximate cause is indeterminate, it can make problems for the personal injury lawyer.

If you are seriously injured in a rollover accident, a personal injury lawyer such as Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® will determine what kind of case can be filed after finding out the proximate cause. If the cause was not the manufacturer’s fault, but another driver’s, the lawyer will probably pursue that person’s auto insurance company for damages.

One Comment

  1. Hach Rose says:

    This was interesting!

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