Common Causes of Louisiana Rollover Accidents
Posted in Car Accidents on June 2, 2021
Rollover accidents are one of the most dangerous types of accidents. The chance of injury or death increases during a rollover accident. This is consistent with Louisiana data which reported over 1,700 fatality and injury rollover crashes in 2019, with 2% injury crashes and over 8% fatal crashes.
Read on to understand the causes of rollover accidents and what to do if you are injured in an accident.
What Causes Rollover Accidents?
Any accident that results in a vehicle physically rolling over or flipping onto its side or roof is classified as a rollover accident. There are several leading causes of rollover accidents, many of which only involve one car:
- Speeding. Nearly 75% of rollover accidents occur when a vehicle is traveling faster than 55mph. Drivers are less able to react quickly to changing road or weather conditions or other vehicles when driving at faster speeds.
- Driving under the influence. Alcohol consumption is a factor in almost 50% of fatal rollover accidents. Like speeding, drivers are not able to react quickly. They are also more likely to leave the roadway which can cause a rollover.
- Rural driving. Country and other rural roads are not equipped with the same safety features, including barriers, of highways. Lack of barriers means cars are more likely to leave the road, resulting in a rollover.
- Slick roads. Bad weather or spills create slick roads, making vehicle slips and swerves more likely, and increases the risk of rollover accidents.
- Driving on worn or damaged tires. Quality tread on your tires decreases the risk of a rollover because the tires are better able to grip the road and maintain control. Worn tires increase the risk of a rollover.
- Larger vehicles. Vehicles with a high center of gravity are more likely to rollover. These vehicles include commercial vehicles, trucks, SUVs, and vans. Studies show that rollovers accounted for 45% of occupant deaths in SUVs in 2017.
Vehicle manufacturers can help prevent rollovers and reduce the severity of injuries through technology advancements like stability control, side airbags, and increased roof strength. Drivers can do their part to prevent rollovers by avoiding alcohol consumption, following speed limits and adjusting speed to driving conditions, and checking tires for wear and maintaining recommended tire pressure.
Dealing with Injuries
Victims of rollover accidents can be thrown around the vehicle or ejected, resulting in serious injuries, including:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are caused by a blow or penetration of the head. The symptoms are wide-ranging, depending on the location and strength of the blow and can result in brain death.
- Head Injuries: In addition to a TBI, blows to the head cause lacerations and concussions.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: The spinal cord allows the brain to communicate with the body. If the spinal cord is injured, the victim will suffer muscle weakness or paralysis.
- Neck and Back Injuries: The jarring of the body often results in neck and back injuries, including whiplash, herniated discs, and nerve damage. Victims could suffer chronic pain and require ongoing physical therapy.
- Internal Organ Damage: Blows to the body can also cause damage to organs. The symptoms of organ damage can be hard to spot after an accident, but untreated damage can be deadly.
- Dental and Facial Injuries: A rollover accident can damage the victim’s face, including a broken jaw or chipped or broken teeth.
In addition to physical injuries, many car accident victims suffer from emotional distress including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression. Work might be impossible given your injuries, resulting in lost wages. Your car may be destroyed or damaged. You might find that you can no longer participate in activities that were an important part of your life. If another party caused the accident, they are responsible for all the damages you have suffered.
Securing Recovery After an Accident
If another party’s intentional or negligent act caused the accident and your injuries, they are responsible for your damages. Consider the following parties for potential liability:
- Negligent Driver: Some rollover accidents are caused by a negligent driver. Violation of traffic rules or regulations is compelling evidence of negligence. Many rollover accidents are the result of a single driver, but these accidents can still injure other drivers by creating a hazard on the road.
- Employer: If a negligent driver is acting in the scope of their responsibilities as an employee at the time of the accident, their employer is responsible. This is especially common when the rollover vehicle is a commercial truck.
- Vehicle Manufacturer: Tire malfunction is another common cause of a rollover accident. If your tires are not properly manufactured and contribute to the accident, the manufacturer is responsible. If your vehicle had electronic stability control that malfunctioned, this is another possible accident cause.
- Local Government: If a road hazard, poorly marked construction zone, or poorly maintained roads caused the accident, the local government might be responsible for its failure to maintain safe roadways. It can be very difficult to secure recovery against a government entity, so work with your lawyer to understand your ability to recover.
You will need to compile evidence proving the fault of the responsible party. A police report is often an important piece of evidence. It includes pictures of the accident scene, including the road conditions, witness statements, and citations for traffic violations. In addition to compiling evidence, work with your attorney to prepare a comprehensive damages assessment. This figure will be used by the jury when awarding damages and is a helpful reference point if you receive a settlement offer from the defendant or their insurance company.
Reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney early in the process. Louisiana requires a victim to bring a lawsuit against the defendant within one year of the accident. This time will pass quickly, and an attorney will help keep your case on track. Contact the Law Office of John W. Redmann, LLC today at (504) 500-5000 to receive a free case consultation from lawyers that don’t rest until they have taken every effort to secure a positive outcome for their client.