Vehicles can roll over for several reasons and these accidents often involve severe injuries or fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers rollover accidents second only to head-on crashes in terms of severity. While any vehicle has the potential to roll over in certain circumstance, some types of vehicles are more susceptible to rollovers than others. Drivers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the rest of the state should recognize these high-risk vehicles and exercise appropriate caution when operating them or driving near them on the road.
Cars with higher centers of gravity like sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and tractor-trailers are much more susceptible to rollovers than other vehicles, but the main cause of rollover accidents is “tripping.” Tripping describes a car’s tire striking something that causes the vehicle to lose its forward motion. The disruption in forward motion sends the car rolling forward or on its side, and the NHTSA estimates that about 95% of all rollover accidents happen because of tripping.
Dangerous roadways also play a significant role in rollover accidents. A car that takes a turn at too high of a speed risks the inner tires lifting off the ground, which sends the vehicle tumbling over. Larger vehicles – especially tractor-trailers – are highly susceptible to this type of rollover. Drivers must exercise extreme caution when navigating sharp turns while operating a high-risk vehicle. Design flaws or defects in the vehicle also increase the risk of rollover accidents. Weather conditions may also play a role in these accidents since cars lose traction on wet or icy roads.
If you suffer injuries and damages from a rollover accident, you’ll more than likely have few options for legal recourse unless a vehicle defect or negligent driver is to blame. Speaking with your local car accident lawyer can help give clear direction following a rollover accident. If a defective tire caused the issue, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. If there is some design flaw or defect in your vehicle that caused it to roll over, you may be able to sue the vehicle’s manufacturer if they did not supply sufficient warnings for this issue.
Tripping remains the most likely cause of a rollover accident, so if your losses resulted from tripping on the road, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the organization or entity responsible for maintaining that area of the road. If the accident occurred on a public road, you’ll need to file a lawsuit against the municipality or local government. There are very strict filing requirements for doing so. Additionally, whoever you sue may argue that your own negligence played a role in the incident.
If you drive a vehicle with a high center of gravity, it’s imperative to drive accordingly. Drivers are also responsible for vehicle maintenance, and a worn tire does not qualify as a defect. Failing to replace worn tires can lead to you incurring partial fault for the incident. Florida operates under a pure comparative negligence law, meaning that if a plaintiff is partially at fault his or her compensation reduces by a proportionate amount. For example, a plaintiff found 25% at fault for an incident will only receive 75% of the compensation awarded.
Rollover accidents have a high likelihood of causing severe injuries or even deaths, so it’s important to hold the responsible parties accountable after a rollover. The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs has over a decade of experience representing clients in all manner of cases, and we want drivers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the surrounding area to know they can turn to us for legal representation after a rollover accident.
Contact our team today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys. We’d be happy to discuss the details of your situation and let you know how we can be of assistance.