A rollover car accident is one of the most tragic collisions that you and your family can experience. Although they account for only two percent of all auto crashes, they cause approximately 35 percent of all fatalities. To protect yourself and your family, here's what our San Diego auto accident attorney says you need to know about the causes of these crashes and your right to injury compensation under California law.
Two Types of Rollover Auto Accidents
- Tripped. This is the most common type of single-vehicle rollover. It occurs when a vehicle slides sideways off the road. If the tires dig into the soil or the motor vehicle strikes something, like a guardrail or curb, this can cause the vehicle to flip over.
- Un-tripped. Vehicles in these incidents don't collide with anything. Instead, they usually involve top-heavy vehicles when the driver is excessively speeding and makes a sudden maneuver to avoid an accident.
Common Causes of Rollover Collisions
Many rollovers are single-vehicle accidents. They frequently occur on rural roads in the San Diego area and throughout Southern California, where the speed limit is 55 mph or higher. Often these roads don't have guardrails. Leading causes of these crashes include:
- Speed. Approximately 40 percent of all fatalities are due to speeding.
- Overcorrection. This happens when a driver must make a sudden steering maneuver to avoid debris on the road, fallen cargo off a truck, or other motorists swerving into their lane or otherwise driving negligently.
- Intoxication. When a driver is intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs, their reaction time, judgment, and other driving skills are impaired, making it much more likely that they'll lose control. Rollovers can also occur when a person makes a sudden steering movement to avoid a crash caused by another motorist.
- Road defects. Swerving to avoid poor road conditions, such as potholes, loose gravel, and other defects may result in an un-tripped rollover. If this happens, an accident victim may have a legal claim against the municipality responsible for road maintenance.
- Vehicle defects. Defective vehicle parts or design might also play a part in a crash. Tires blowouts or malfunctioning brakes are a few of the flaws that result in vehicles flipping over. In some of these cases, the vehicle and parts manufacturer could be held responsible in a product liability lawsuit.
Your Right to Compensation in a Rollover Accident
You could suffer life-altering medical conditions—such as burns, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and internal organ damage—if your motor vehicle rolls over. Even if you were partially at fault for causing your accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent party under California law.
Types of damages you might recover include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Lost earning capacity if you become disabled
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Repair or replacement costs for your vehicle and other damaged property
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death damages if a loved one was killed