SUV rollovers may result in catastrophic injuries or death. Sadly, in many cases, better vehicle design and enhanced safety systems might have reduced the risk of death and catastrophic injuries. Rollovers account for a significant percentage of the people who are killed while driving or riding in a car. If you were injured in this type of crash, you may be able to recover damages under any of several different theories of liability with the assistance of a Folsom car accident lawyer who understands this area of the law. At The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC, our California personal injury lawyers can investigate the cause of the rollover and determine a strategy for you to seek compensation for your losses and injuries.
Take Legal Action After an SUV Rollover Accident
SUVs are more susceptible to rollovers than many other cars, due to their higher center of gravity. When an SUV rounds a curve or hits a pothole, these events may dramatically affect the SUV’s balance. Sometimes, a driver’s decision to make a sharp turn or overcorrect may result in a loss of control and a rollover. At other times, a poorly designed or maintained road may result in the SUV tipping and rolling over.
If you are trying to recover compensation from another driver who collided with your SUV and caused it to roll over, you most likely will need to establish the other driver’s negligence. You will need to show that the other driver owed you a duty of care and breached the duty, causing the rollover. However, the other driver may claim that you or a manufacturer was partially to blame for the rollover.
Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, the other driver may be able to get your damages reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault, if any. However, you still will be able to hold the defendant accountable for at least some damages if they were at fault to any extent. If the jury finds that the other driver was 80% responsible, for example, and the damages are $600,000, you would be able to recover up to $480,000 from the other driver. An SUV rollover accident lawyer in California can help you challenge any allegations of comparative fault.
Sometimes, injuries are more severe because an SUV is not crashworthy. Crashworthiness has to do with how a vehicle responds to a collision, and it encompasses safety issues such as restraint systems, anti-ejection measures, and crush control. For example, designers of SUVs may design a roof to avoid or minimize roof crush so that the occupants have a greater chance of survival. Similarly, they may install anti-ejection measures to keep occupants from being flung out of the vehicle and suffering greater injuries when there is a collision or rollover.
When the design of a vehicle contributes to injuries or fatalities, the manufacturer may be held responsible under a design defect theory. You may be able to recover damages by proving that there was an alternative design that would have been safer in a rollover, but it was not made part of the vehicle design by the manufacturer.