West Palm Beach SUV Accident Lawyer
SUVs are more susceptible to rollover accidents than most other types of vehicles. SUVs have a higher center of gravity, so when drivers underestimate weather conditions or swerve to avoid debris on the road, the vehicles are much more likely to flip over. When rollover accidents do occur, the roofs of SUV are rarely able to provide protection to vehicle inhabitants. If these design issues have resulted in injuries, victims may be due compensation.
SUV Accident Causes
The high center of gravity coupled with the narrow build of the vehicles make SUVs less stable than other types of vehicles. SUVs are generally narrow between the left and right wheels and have raised roofs to accommodate four wheel drive. When weight such as passengers or heavy belongings is added to the SUV, stability is further decreased.
False Sense of Security
The height of SUVs puts drivers in a raised position that may present a false sense of security. SUVs are also known to provide more support in front end collisions, which adds to the false sense of security. This feeling of security can be dangerous, as many drivers do not take reasonable precautions when adverse weather conditions occur.a
Tripped Rollover Accidents in Florida
Tripped rollover accidents account for 95 percent of rollover accidents and may occur as a result of:
- Cornering too sharply
- Travelling at high speeds and hitting debris
- Travelling on uneven pavement
- Bumping into a snow bank
- Hitting a guardrail
- Moving onto softer roadway, especially on dirt roads
- Travelling down a steep hill that destabilizes the vehicle’s balance
Untripped Rollover Accidents
Untripped rollover accidents are much less common. Typically untripped rollover accidents occur when an SUV driver swerves quickly. In most untripped rollover accidents, alcohol is a factor.
Rollover Accident Dangers
Rollover accidents pose a much greater risk of death or serious injury than other types of vehicle accidents. Over 90 percent of rollover accidents involve a single vehicle. Rollover accidents account for more than half of all single-vehicle accident fatalities. There are about 11,000 fatal rollover accidents in the United States every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Rollover Accident Injuries
Rollover accidents are much more likely to cause head injuries than other types of vehicle accidents. The roofs of most SUVs do not provide adequate protection, and may even cave inward and cause further injuries during a rollover accident. Equipping SUVs with rollover bars will help to increase protection for vehicle occupants.
Injuries caused by rollover accidents may include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck fractures
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Lacerations of varying severity
Many SUVs have been recalled due to the failure to meet roof safety standards. SUVs have also been recalled because of the increased likelihood of rollovers based on the specific designs. In many cases, these recalls did not occur until after many SUV accidents had happened.
SUV Accident Attorneys in Florida
SUV accident lawyers can help victims to understand legal rights. SUV manufacturers may be liable for accidents that were caused or worsened by design or manufacturing errors and flaws. SUV distributors may be held liable for injuries if there was a known defect in specific SUVs that increased the propensity for rollover accidents. SUV accident attorneys may be able to help victims to locate qualified expert to testify as to design errors that may have contributed to SUV accidents.
SUV accident victims may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from the accident. If an SUV accident caused fatality, a wrongful death lawsuit may provide the victim’s family members with compensation for funeral costs and lost wages. The family may also be entitled to compensation for the lost companionship and pain and suffering. Parties eligible to file wrongful death suits on behalf of victims are called “real parties of interest” and may vary from state to state. An experienced SUV accident lawyer will be able to provide advice about who may file a wrongful death suit.
"Car Accident Responsibilities." DMV Florida. DMV Florida.org. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www.dmvflorida.org/car-accident.shtml>
"Characteristics of Fatal Rollover Crashes." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation, 1 Apr. 2002. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/809438.pdf>
"SUVs Are Safer Than Cars in Front Crashes, but There Is More to the Story." Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports, 15 May 2013. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/05/suvs-are-safer-than-cars-in-front-crashes-but-there-is-more-to-the-story/index.htm>