Car crashes are one of the most common causes of injury in the United States, and are an occurrence with which most people can relate. However, while parking lot collisions, minor fender benders, and even larger–but not severe–accidents may all be familiar to the majority of drivers, rollover accidents are not. Indeed, rollover collisions are rare, and when they do occur, the damages have the potential to be very severe.
At the offices of the Khan Law Firm PLLC, our experienced Seattle rollover car accident attorneys know how devastating being in a rollover collision can be, and the extent of losses you have incurred. When you hire our law firm, we will open a thorough investigation into your case to determine precisely why your accident happened, the extent of damages you have suffered, and your best options for recovering your maximum settlement amount.
The Deadly Nature of Rollover Car Accidents
According to SaferCar.gov, a website that is powered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover car accidents are both rare and deadly. To be sure, these dangerous incidents have a much higher fatality rate than do other collision types – out of a total 9.1 million vehicle crashes that occurred over the course of a single year, only 2.1 percent involved a rollover.
However, while rollover collisions only characterized 2.1 percent of vehicle crashes, they accounted for 35 percent of all deaths from passenger vehicle collisions.
Why Rollover Accidents Are So Dangerous
It is easy to understand why rollover crashes might be so disastrous: a vehicle flipping over, potentially more than once, is bound to be catastrophic. While there are a variety of factors that lead to injuries for vehicle occupants during a rollover collisions–including things like broken glass, objects entering the window/windshield and penetrating or hitting occupants, traumatic brain injuries from the rolling/shaking, and crush injuries–the real risk to occupants is the risk of being thrown from the vehicle. In fact, 69 percent of the rollover crash victims that were killed (per the data cited above) were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of collision. Even if occupants are not ejected from the vehicle, the risk of injury within the vehicle increases dramatically when a seatbelt is not used.
Causes of Rollover Accidents
Contrary to popular belief, vehicle type is not the greatest predictor of whether or not a driver will be involved in a rollover crash. In fact, all vehicles can be involved in rollover collisions, and while vehicle type does play a role in the risk of a rollover, the things that have the most effect on rollover risk are driver behaviors and environmental factors. A list compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation suggests that the following factors contribute to the risk of rollovers:
- Vehicle type. Taller vehicles, such as SUVs or large vans, are more at risk of being involved in a rollover collision due to their higher centers of gravity.
- Location. Rollover accidents are more likely to occur in rural areas, most likely because rural roads are less likely to have barriers and be undivided.
- Speed. The faster that a vehicle is traveling, the more likely it is to be involved in a rollover crash. In fact, the majority of fatal rollover crashes are speed-related. Speeding significantly impairs a motorist’s ability to maintain control over a vehicle.
- Alcohol use. The use of alcohol increases the risk of all types of accidents, and rollover collisions are no exception. About 50 percent of all rollover collisions involve an alcohol-impaired driver.
In addition to the above, it is worth noting that the majority of rollover crashes occur when a driver is performing a routine driving maneuver, and that the vast majority of rollover crashes are single-vehicle collisions, which means that they occur independently of another vehicle.
In some cases, rollover collisions can be caused by the negligent actions of another driver. For example, a driver illegally changing lanes could result in another driving swerving suddenly to avoid a collision, thereby leading to a rollover crash. A rollover crash may also be contributed to by things such as a lack of proper signage warning of a sharp turn and advising drivers to slow speeds, or a lack of guardrails. Dangerous road conditions, such as debris on the road, may also increase the risk of a rollover.
Recovering Compensation for Damages Incurred in Your Rollover Crash
If you have been involved in a rollover collision, the chances that you have incurred damages are great, and property damage may be the least of it. Indeed, when injuries in a rollover accident are not fatal, they are often serious, and you may be coping with external or/and internal injuries, including bone fractures, a traumatic brain injury, soft tissue injuries, back and neck injuries, or even something as serious as an amputation or spinal cord injury. These injuries may be preventing you from doing the things you enjoy most in life, from working, or from even leading a normal and independent life where you don’t have to rely on assistance and care from others. You may also be facing lost wages, high medical expenses, and other economic losses.
If you have been involved in a rollover crash in Seattle, determining fault for the incident is key to recovering compensation. In Washington, all at-fault parties come into play when determining the cause of an accident and liability for the crash. At the Khan Law Firm PLLC, we will look into all potentially liable parties, ranging from a government agency tasked with road maintenance to another negligent driver to the manufacturer of a vehicle defect and more. We determine the precise cause of your accident in order to effectively recover the settlement you deserve.
Call Our Car Rollover Accident Attorneys in Seattle Today
If you are involved in a rollover collision and are worried about your future and what happens next, contact our talented Seattle rollover car accident attorneys today for a free consultation about your options, and how our legal team can help. We have experience recovering large settlements on the behalf of our clients.