Rollover Crashes Often Result In Severe or Fatal Injuries

Posted by Stevenson Whelton LLP
July 04, 2016

On April 27, 2016, Halton police and Oakville firefighters responded to a rollover crash on Burnhamthorpe Road and Ninth Line. First responders needed to extricate a person from a vehicle, which had rolled over, and the injured person was subsequently airlifted to a local hospital.

In another incident, a 22-year-old Grimsby man suffered fatal injuries after being the victim of a single-vehicle rollover accident in Niagara-on-the-Lake. A 29-year-old passenger who was in the car at the time, suffered critical injuries but was reported to be in stable condition. The accident occurred when the driver was unable to handle a sharp curve, causing him to break through a guardrail and finally end up in a vineyard.

While not as common as rear-end collisions and other types of car accidents, rollover accidents tend to have a particularly high fatality rate. According to a 2012 report from Consumer Reports, although rollover accidents only account for about three percent of crashes in the U.S., they account for 30 percent of fatalities for people riding in passenger vehicles.

A rollover accident basically refers to a type of accident where the vehicle flips either onto its side or the roof. There are two specific types of rollover accidents – tripped and untripped. Tripped rollover accidents are caused by some type of external force, such as a collision with another car or unforeseen circumstance, such as a large animal appearing on the road. Untripped rollover accidents are the result of internal issues, such as the speed or friction of the vehicle.

There are many causes of rollover accidents, some of which are fairly common to most vehicular accidents. This includes:

  • Speeding – One of, if not the leading cause of rollover accidents, is speeding. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) safercar.gov program, an average of 40 percent of fatal rollover accidents is caused by excessive speeding.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – As is unfortunately often the case, rollover accidents, like many road accidents, frequently result when the driver is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Fatigue – Another common cause of rollover accidents is when a driver is tired and not alert, which makes it easy to miss turns and accidentally go off road.
  • Inexperience – Being a novice and/or inexperienced driver is also a significant contributing factor in road accidents, including rollover accidents. As a new, possibly very nervous driver, it is much easier to take sharp turns badly, which is a very frequent factor in rollover accidents.

Along with these common factors, rollover accidents are also often caused by other factors that may not play as significant a role in other types of collisions. This includes:

  • Location – According to safercar.gov, rural roads, which tend to have fewer barriers, are more common sites for rollover accidents.
  • Type of Vehicle – While all vehicles can be involved in rollover accidents, SUV’s and pickup trucks are more susceptible to this type of collision, owing to the fact that they have a higher center of gravity.

Although research shows that most rollover accidents are the result of single-vehicle accidents, collisions with other vehicles can cause a vehicle to rollover and crash.  Whether injured as a passenger in a single-car crash or due to a collision with another vehicle, the victim of the rollover accident needs to understand their legal rights.  In any circumstance where someone is injured due to a driver’s careless or negligent actions, the accident victim is entitled to seek compensation for expenses or losses arising from their injury.

Rollover accidents are very dangerous and often result in death. However, even when there are no fatalities, injuries from these types of accidents can be very severe or even catastrophic. Victims are likely to suffer fractures and soft-tissue injuries, including bruises, contusions, and concussion. More serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, major organ damage, spinal injury and paralysis are also not uncommon when vehicle occupants are crushed or thrown from an automobile.

Serious injuries often have a significant effect on the injured person’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. There can be considerable losses, in terms of lost income, medical expenses and other miscellaneous expenses for the accident victim and their families during the recovery process.  In the case of permanent injury, the injured person frequently experiences a loss of enjoyment in many of the activities they were once able to do, and in such cases, are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. 

A monetary award clearly cannot make everything right for families who have suffered a severe loss or devastating injury due to an accident, but it can help ease financial pressures and provide the ability to get needed treatment and help for the accident victims.  

The experienced team of personal injury lawyers at Stevenson Whelton MacDonald & Swan LLP can help. Our lawyers are well versed in negligence law and accident disability claims. We work zealously to ensure that  our clients receive the compensation they deserve and are owed. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a rollover or another motor vehicle accident due to someone else’s negligence, call to schedule a no-obligation consultation. If you are unable to visit us in our office, we can arrange to meet with you in your home or in the hospital.

Disclaimer: Our blog is intended to inform our existing and prospective clients about topics pertinent to their lives. While our goal is to provide accurate and factual information, this in no way should be taken as legal advice or applied to specific cases. It is in your best interest to contact a licenced and practising lawyer for legal representation, as matters of the law are often complicated and cannot be fully assessed without knowing all of the details of a case.