Rollover accidents are a uniquely dangerous form of motor vehicle incident that can lead to serious injuries and, in many cases, deaths. Victims of rollover crashes are often left with serious injuries, some of which they never fully recover from.
A rollover incident often happens as a result of driver mistakes. However, they can also occur because of defective vehicle design, defective tires, dangerous roadway conditions, or a collision with another driver.
Anyone who is injured in a rollover accident will likely have grounds to file an injury claim. They can choose to do so with the assistance of a Miami car accident lawyer.
Most commonly, a rollover injury claim will be filed with your own personal injury protection (PIP) policy or, if you were a passenger, the driver’s PIP policy. Some cases may involve defective products claims, or they could be related to dangerous road conditions that invoke premises liability laws. If the injury victim sustained a qualifying “serious injury,” they could also potentially file a liability claim against any other at-fault drivers involved in the accident.
Because of all these possibilities, rollover accidents in Florida can lead to quite complicated personal injury claims. You can learn more about your available legal strategies and what your best options could be for seeking the maximum available compensation during a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced car accident attorney in Florida.
Call the law offices of Michael Steinger, Sean Greene & Michael Feiner at 800-560-5059 or contact us online to schedule your free case review today.
Florida Rollover Accident Statistics
Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that Florida is the third-worst state for dangerous crashes in the U.S. In 2017, the state saw 2,922 fatal crashes leading to a total of 3,112 deaths. One bit of solace can be had in the fact that the state has a relatively middling rate of motor vehicle crash deaths compared to the total population or the total annual miles traveled by vehicles.
Rollover accidents contribute to the trend of dangerous and deadly car crashes. In 2017, overturned vehicle crashes in Florida caused 1,836 reportable injuries, 912 major injuries that incapacitated the victim, and 175 deaths, according to the FLHSMV annual crash report.
Nationwide, rollover incidents remain a serious concern. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that while just 2.1% of accidents nationally involved a rollover, rollovers were responsible for 35% of all deaths from passenger vehicle accidents.
This high rate of fatalities makes a rollover one of the worst things that can happen in an accident in Florida, especially at high speeds.
What Causes Rollover Accidents?
Rollover accidents occur when the weight of a vehicle’s roof acts in tandem with lateral forces to overturn the vehicle. Depending on the accident circumstances — and no small amount of bad luck — the affected vehicle could rollover multiple times. It may or may not end up resting on its roof, which tests the limits of the vehicle’s structural integrity.
The majority of rollover accidents (85%) involve just one vehicle, meaning they are not typically caused by a collision with another car. For the vehicle to rollover, it must often have to “trip” over some sort of obstruction on or near the road. Curbs, gouges in the road, uneven pavement, potholes, bumps, and even clods of soil can be enough to tip a vehicle over.
In the past, SUVs and trucks were notoriously more likely to roll over compared to cars. Now, though, sources like Consumer Reports say advances in design and safety features make SUVs no more prone to rollovers than cars, generally speaking. Despite these advances, certain models may contain major design flaws that make them more prone to rollover.
Tire grip can affect rollover likelihood since grippier tires can build up lateral forces compared to ones that might skid.
Driver error also affects a large portion of rollover incidents. The NHTSA states that 40% of rollovers involved speeding. ½ of fatal overturned vehicle crashes involved alcohol use by the driver.
Nearly 75% of fatal rollovers took place in rural areas where the speed limit was over 55 mph.
How to Know If You Have a Rollover Car Accident Case
Nearly any auto accident injury is eligible for a PIP insurance claim under normal circumstances.
If you were a passenger in a vehicle where the driver overturned the car, you can likely use their PIP policy to repay most of your damages.
Liability for other types of accidents often comes down to whether you had a serious injury or whether any negligence was involved. Potential parties you could seek a third-party liability claim from include:
- The driver of your vehicle, especially if they were under the influence
- The driver of other vehicles involved if they were negligent
- Car manufacturers who created a vehicle with an unsafe design
- Manufacturers or retailers of defective tires
- Those responsible for maintaining the roadway if a dangerous condition led to a “trip”
- Other possible parties, such as a rideshare company if you were receiving a ride at the time
Talking with an experienced car accident lawyer in Florida can help you evaluate all of your legal options for seeking the maximum amount of available compensation. You may have to act quickly to file your claim, especially if it involves filing against a public agency responsible for road design and maintenance.
Be wary of dealing with insurers; saying the wrong thing could hurt your ability to seek the full amount of compensation available. Accepting an early offer can also make it impossible to seek a claim for additional damages.
Speak to a Florida car accident attorney during a free, no-obligation consultation to explore the full scope of your legal options and find out which ones might work best for your case.
Schedule your free case review with the law offices of Steinger, Greene & Feiner today when you call 800-560-5059 or contact us online.