Everyone knows about the risks of fatalities and injuries due to auto accidents. But did you know that an estimated 22 percent of all car accident deaths are due to vehicle rollovers? These serious car accidents affect cars, trucks, and especially sport utility vehicles (SUVs) – in fact, between 62 and 79 percent of all SUV deaths occur in rollover accidents.
Standard passenger vehicles carry an approximate 16 percent rollover risk. SUVs have a 30 percent rollover risk, a number that is of grave concern given the nationwide SUV trend over the past decade. Vehicle rollovers are serious accidents that occur when a car, truck or SUV rolls due to a sudden wheel motion or braking, which usually occurs when a driver tries to avoid colliding with another vehicle or an object obstructing the roadway. Rollover accidents can cause serious injuries and fatalities – an estimated 10,000 plus deaths every year.
What Cars Have Rollover Hazards?
While there are many factors that lead to a rollover accident, including vehicle design and external conditions such as weather and driver fatigue, it is commonly conceded that certain makes and models of car and SUV carry more risk for a vehicle rollover. Common offenders include the Honda Passport, Ford Explorer, Toyota 4 Runner, Isuzu Rodeo and Trooper, Ford Bronco II, Suzuki Samurai, and Jeep CJ-7. In fact, a recently-released statistic suggests that a Ford Explorer – commonly marketed as a family car – is 16 times as likely to cause crash fatalities than other family vehicles. Click here for information about recent vehicle recalls, provided by the Office of Defects Investigation, or ODI, which is part of the U.S. DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Because of the many factors that can affect a vehicle rollover, the first order of business after treating vehicle rollover injuries is to determine the cause of the crash. Vehicle rollovers generally fall under state and federal product liability laws because of defective car design. In order to prove negligence under a product liability case, an extensive investigation is required to prove the circumstances of the accident, the design flaws or lack of crashworthiness that lead to the vehicle rollover, the extent of the injuries, and the reasonableness or avoidability of such an accident. It is imperative that after the accident the vehicle be left in its damaged state and stored, thereby allowing an expert to analyze it and determine the cause of the accident. Any alteration can potentially destroy the case.
Finding Success in Your Case
Due to the short period of time in which to file a personal injury lawsuit and the potential complexity of vehicle rollover cases, it’s a good idea to seek a skilled, aggressive vehicle rollover attorney to file and litigate your case. Your vehicle rollover lawyer will help investigate your accident and seek the compensation you deserve for your vehicle rollover injuries. The law offices of Steven H. Heisler focus solely on personal injury cases, including those injuries sustained in vehicle rollover cases. Interested in a free case consultation on your vehicle rollover case? Contact Steven H. Heisler today for more information.
$5,500,000.00 - Steve represented a 33-year-old single mother of one whose vehicle was struck head-on by a construction truck in 2002. The client suffered life threatening injuries and was in a coma for six weeks. She required two months of brain injury rehabilitation. The client currently has serious permanent disabilities as a result of the accident including short term memory loss, impaired speech, double vision, and right side paralysis.
She is unable to return to her occupation as a dental hygienist or any other occupation. Steve Heisler and his associate Keith Kauffman negotiated a $5.5 million structured settlement at mediation. Should the client reach her life expectancy the payout increases to $9.5 million.
$250,000 - Steve represented the family of a 15 year old Anne Arundel County boy who was killed when the vehicle he was a passenger in failed to negotiate a curve and struck a tree. The defendant driver was also killed. Another passenger survived the crash. The defendant driver had a $300,000.00 liability policy. Steve negotiated a $250,000.00 settlement for the family. The remaining $50,000.00 was tendered to the surviving passenger.
$800,000 - Steve represented the estate and family of a 45 year old man who was killed when the motorcycle he was riding struck a guardrail and he was catapulted down an embankment. The estate and family alleged that a vehicle in the lane to the immediate left of the man swerved into his lane and caused a collision. The defendant strongly denied any wrong doing. The case was settled at a settlement conference for $800,000.00.
$325,000 - Steve’s client, a 45 year old Sr. Program Manager, was struck by a work vehicle that failed to yield the right of way while turning left in front of the victim in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Steve’s client was thrown from his Harley Davidson and suffered multiple injuries resulting in two surgeries. Suit was filed and the case settled for $325,000.00.
$200,000 - Steve’s client, an elderly lady from West Virginia, was seriously injured when the car she was traveling in was struck by a negligent driver in Garrett County, Maryland. The lady suffered a broken back and detached retina. Steve negotiated a $100,000.00 settlement with the defendant driver’s insurance company and was successful in getting his client’s West Virginia insurance company to “stack” an additional $100,000.00 for a total settlement of $200,000.00.
$100,000 - Steve represented a five year old Eastern Shore boy who was struck by a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road while the boy was riding his bike. Steve's client suffered a traumatic brain injury and serious fractures which required him to spend an extended period of time in a rehabilitation center. The boy now has permanent brain damage. The case settled for the driver's policy limits of $100,000.00.
$95,000 - Steve represented a 36-year-old Cecil County man who was rear ended while stopped at a red light. The force of the impact was severe and his client’s vehicle was totaled. Steve’s client suffered a cerebral concussion, a C5-6 disc herniation, and a L2-3 disc protrusion. He received a 30% whole-body permanent disability rating. Steve settled the case with the insurance company for $95,000.00.