Rollover Accident Attorneys

Tulsa Rollover Accident Attorneys

Rollover crashes are a major and growing cause of road fatalities in the United States. A rollover car wreck can be a very serious and violent accident leading to severe injuries that requires medical treatment and will result in costly medical bills. Unrestrained occupants of a rolling vehicle are exposed to a variety of forces and impacts, which can cause serious injury or death.

In comparison to passenger cars, the fleet of vehicles on America’s highways is changing, with a growing number of SUVs and other light trucks like box trucks and pick-ups. While passenger cars have seen a decrease in rollover accidents, light trucks in general, and SUVs in particular, are becoming a larger and larger part of the total number of fatal rollover collisions.

The Tulsa rollover accident attorneys at the law firm of Graves McLain PLLC have the experience and understanding to handle these types of accident cases and get the compensation needed.

What is a Rollover Vehicle Accident?

A rollover occurs when a vehicle rolls over onto its side or roof during a collision. The death rate of rollovers is much greater than that of other forms of vehicle accidents. Generally, there are two types of rollover accidents: tripped and untripped.

Tripped rollover accidents can happen from forces of an external object, such as a curb or a collision with another car. Steering input, speed, and friction with the ground cause will likely cause untripped rollovers. Trailers are more prone to rolling since they lack the tractor unit or primary mover for added stability.

To varying degrees, all vehicles are vulnerable to rollovers. The height of the center of mass, the narrowness of the axle, steering responsiveness, and greater speed all increase the likelihood of a rollover.

For passenger cars, the rollover threshold is more than 1 g of lateral acceleration. Because to its low center of mass, the Tesla Model S has an extraordinarily low rollover risk of 5.7 percent, one of the lowest out of any passenger car. Vehicles classified as light trucks will rollover at lateral accelerations of 0.8 to 1.2 g. Large commercial trucks can roll with as little as 0.2g lateral acceleration. Because trucks have larger bodywork and higher ground clearance than passenger cars, they are more likely to flip over.

SUVs, especially those with extended travel off-road suspensions, are the most common car on the road that is prone to rolling over.

How Does a Rollover Accident Occur?

Rollover collisions frequently result in a partial or complete ejection of the passengers, increasing the risk of serious and deadly injuries. Only 1% of all traffic accidents in the United States are caused by vehicle rollovers. Though, they account for around one-third of all passenger deaths in vehicle accidents—making them the most deadly type of car accident.

When a driver loses control of their car, and it begins to slide sideways, rollover collisions commonly occur. When this happens, an obstacle such as a curb, guardrail, or uneven ground may force the car to roll over. When a motorist tries to turn the car at a high rate of speed, a rollover may also occur. The tension between the pavement and the tires could force the vehicle to flip and roll over in such situations.

Finding Liability in a Rollover Accident

Rollover accidents are very serious, and the driver of the vehicle is not always responsible for the accident. Typically, in such accidents, there will be four possible choices for who can be liable under personal injury law for the motor vehicle accident:

  • The driver of the vehicle that rolled over
  • Another motorist on the roadway, either someone that came into contact with the vehicle or caused the accident by reckless, negligent, or dangerous driving
  • A manufacturer of the vehicle
  • The dealership or seller of the vehicle

Rollover incidents are frequently the result of a driver’s bad judgment. If a driver performs a quick turn without decelerating beforehand, a car can flip onto its side—or perhaps upside-down totally.

Overloading a roof rack, as well as hitting with a low concrete barrier, might cause a rollover. Whatever the cause, if the accident was caused by the driver’s poor judgment, he or she is most certainly responsible for the losses.

A motorist may be held liable if they cause another driver to perform a hazardous maneuver that results in a rollover. It might be possible to hold the other driver accountable if the driver of the rolled-over car had to veer because someone changed lanes without monitoring their blind spots and ended up flipping over the neighboring barrier.

Manufacturing flaws are responsible for a small percentage of rollover incidents. If none of the drivers involved in the collision were driving recklessly before the collision, experienced legal teams will begin looking into the vehicles’ schematics.

If a manufacturer is found to be at fault, all persons who were injured in the accident may pursue a product liability lawsuit against the company.

Dealerships may deliberately offer cars that are defective in some way. Depending on the underlying reason for the rollover, the entity that sold the car may be to responsible for the accident if it was a salvage title vehicle that was not restored to safe operating standards.

After an accident, when liability is not clear contact a personal injury attorney and they will be able to identify who is liable for the accident, even if the police report says otherwise.

Comparative Negligence in Oklahoma

When more than one motorist is at fault in a car collision, several states, including Oklahoma, apply the concept of comparative negligence.

Each driver found at fault for a crash is allocated a percentage of blame under comparative negligence legislation. Damages could be awarded to each individual according to the extent of liability of the other drivers.

The “50-percent rule” is included in Oklahoma’s comparative negligence statute.

When a crash victim is 49 percent or less at fault for the accident, the right to collect damages under comparative negligence applies in Oklahoma. A crash victim cannot seek compensation from other at-fault parties if he or she is at least 50% responsible for the accident.

Put plainly, this means that if a driver is injured in an accident but is more than 50% at fault for the accident, they will not be able to collect an amount of damages. Only those with fault less than 50% can collect damages in Oklahoma. However, after an accident, regardless of fault, always contact a car accident attorney.

At-Fault vs. No-Fault State

When two drivers collide, an insurance company may apply the driver’s automobile insurance to safeguard the driver’s finances. Insurance claims, on the other hand, are handled differently based on the state’s fault laws. Oklahoma is a state that is responsible for its own actions, meaning it is an at-fault state.

Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance under an insurance company’s policy covers a driver’s own medical fees in a no-fault state, whereas bodily injury liability coverage pays for the other driver’s medical expenses and all related medical bills in an at-fault state. Drivers can feel more at ease with the claims procedure after an accident if they understand how claims are settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and throughout Oklahoma.

A driver who causes an auto accident in an at-fault state, often known as a tort state, is accountable for compensating the opposing party or parties for their losses. This can be done through an insurance injury claim under the insurance company or by the at-fault driver personally paying the other party. If a driver is uninsured at the time of the accident, insurance companies usually have coverage to ensure the cost of damages are covered in car accident cases.

If a motorist causes an auto accident and pays for the damages with their own insurance, the property damage liability element of the policy pays for the other driver’s car losses, while bodily injury liability insurance pays for the other driver’s and passengers’ medical expenditures if they are harmed.

Rollover Accident Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a technical report regarding the characteristics of fatal rollover crashes, and in that data, they found the following:

  • Nearly three-quarters of those killed in rollover accidents were not wearing seatbelts, and slightly less than two-thirds were ejected fully from the vehicle.
  • The majority of deadly rollover accidents involve only one car.
  • Rollover collisions are more common than other forms of collisions to result in fatalities.
  • Since 1991, the number of fatal SUV rollovers has more than doubled, outpacing all other light truck classes.
  • Investigating officers observed that somewhat less than half of single-vehicle rollovers were preceded by an attempt to prevent the disaster with a steering maneuver, compared to one-third of multi-vehicle rollovers.

The rollover driver-death rate among newer (1 to 3-year-old) passenger vehicles fell from 27 in 2000 to 6 in 2012, according to the IIHS. The rates for the most recent SUVs are lower than those for the most recent vehicles. During the same time period, the number of SUVs on the road expanded considerably, which explains why, despite improving survival rates, the actual number of deaths has remained relatively constant.

Contact the Car Accident Attorneys at Graves McLain PLLC Law Firm

When you contact one of our knowledgeable Tulsa, Oklahoma rollover accident lawyers, we will provide you with a free case evaluation to identify the best course of action for your accident case. We can also help file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one who died in a rollover car crash.

Contact our firm by calling 918-359-6600 or by filling out the free evaluation online. We will fight to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.

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    OKSubmitted December 22nd, 2021
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