Rollovers are some of the deadliest car accidents. Although the number of fatalities caused by rollovers has declined recently, many people are still critically injured when their vehicle rolls onto its side or roof. According to the federal government, rollovers only make up around 2% of all crashes. However, over a third of all deaths were caused by rollover accidents, which shows how dangerous this type of accident can be.
If you have been involved in a rollover accident, you should meet with a Grand Junction car accident attorney for help. You might qualify for compensation for your injuries.
Types of Rollovers
As categorized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are two types of rollover accidents:
- Tripped. Tripped rollovers involve cars going off the road and spinning tires in soft soil or hitting the guardrail. The tripping action causes the vehicle to roll onto its side or hood. About 95% of rollovers are of the tripped variety.
- Untripped. These make up only 5% of rollover accidents and usually occur when a vehicle rolls over because of a sudden defensive motion when moving at high speeds.
Both tripped and untripped rollovers are dangerous and can leave passengers and drivers with serious injuries. Although careful drivers can minimize the risk of either type of accident, rollovers are not entirely avoidable.
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Causes of Rollover Accidents
Rollovers are complex car accidents. There are many causes, including:
- Speed. A vehicle going too fast is at a greater risk of rolling over. This is particularly true when the vehicle is going down a hill and tries to make a left- or right-hand turn.
- Alcohol. Alcohol use is associated with around half of all fatal rollover accidents. A drunk driver can go off the road or take some other action that increases the risk of a rollover.
- Center of gravity. A vehicle with a high center of gravity is at risk of rolling over. Tractor trailers in particular have a high center of gravity, as do SUVs. However, the SUV industry has taken great pains to make them safer recently, which has reduced fatalities.
Interesting, according to NHTSA, about 85% of all rollover fatalities occurred in single-vehicle accidents. This means that most fatalities are not caused by another driver who collides with another vehicle.
Why Rollovers are Dangerous
Flipping upside down can cause serious injuries to occupants. If you aren’t wearing a seatbelt, you could be thrown from the vehicle or land on your neck. The violent motion can also traumatize the body, leading to:
- Traumatic brain injuries; and
- Spinal cord injuries
If a vehicle rolls over, then the vehicle could collapse, crushing those inside.
What to Do after a Rollover Accident
- The first step is to make sure that everyone is okay. If someone needs an ambulance, then call emergency services. Don’t try to move someone who is in considerable pain. You could end up making the problem worse.
- Next, you should call the police to come out and write up a police report. A police report is useful if you are making a claim for compensation. If you were involved in a collision with someone else, then the police officer will also want to talk to them to understand what happened.
- Also identify any witnesses to the incident. These could include passengers in any vehicle that saw the crash or bystanders who witnessed it. Anyone who saw the accident could provide important information that helps determine fault.
- If you didn’t call an ambulance, you should go to the hospital after meeting with the police officer. Point out any pain you are feeling and tell the doctor what happened. Sometimes, back or head injuries take a day or two to develop, so closely monitor how you are feeling.
- Finally, you should meet with an attorney. People who handle their own claims often make critical errors that leave money on the table or result in an insurer outright denying an otherwise valid claim. With the right attorney, you can collect evidence that establishes who is at fault for the rollover and fully document your losses.
Contact a Grand Junction Rollover Accident Attorney Today
Rollovers leave many injured victims in need of expensive medical care and often unable to return to work. Fortunately, financial compensation is often available, but you will need to act quickly. Colorado law does not give injured accident victims a lot of time to vindicate their rights.
Contact Cimarron Ridge Legal Group today. One of our Grand Junction car accident lawyers can meet with you to go over what happened and whether you have a valid claim. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, please call 970-230-7662.