Auto Injury Lawyer: SUV Rollover Accidents
Columbus, Dublin, New Albany and all of Ohio
Sports utility vehicle (SUV) rollover accidents are occurring more frequently as these vehicles grow in popularity. In 2000, 36 percent of all fatal car crashes involved SUV rollovers. Today, 25 percent of the motor vehicles purchased in the U.S. are SUVs. Rollovers are not as common as other types of accidents, but when they occur, they are much more likely to cause catastrophic injury and death.
SUVs Roll by Design
The design of SUVs make them more likely to rollover than other vehicles. SUVs were designed originally for off-road driving, not for everyday highway driving. Some of the unique design features that give SUVs an off-road advantage also make them more likely to roll on the highway:
- High ground clearance creating a high center of gravity
- Tall and narrow
- Increasingly top heavy as passengers are added
Safety Equipment is now Optional
Design features such as high ground clearance are integral to the SUV concept; however, as the primary use of SUVs has changed from off-roading to highway driving, many safety features that were once standard equipment on SUVs have become optional. For instance, roll bars are standard equipment for off-roading because of the high likelihood of rollovers. However, since only 5 percent of SUVs are now used off-road, roll bars are no longer standard equipment, but are among optional features that consumers must actively request and purchase. The logic in offering optional roll bars on SUVs fails when you consider the numbers: Well over half of all SUV-related deaths are caused by rollover accidents.
How Rollovers Happen
Design flaws in SUVs make them more prone to rollover in situations in which other vehicles usually remain upright:
- Tripping - when a tire hits a curb, bump, or soft shoulder, causing the vehicle to pitch forward
- Defective tires
- High-speed instability
What to Do After an SUV Rollover Accident
If you live in Ohio or a rollover accident occurs in Ohio, you should contact an experienced SUV rollover attorney like Robert Kerpsack right away. While the same basic do's and don'ts of any auto accident still apply, it is important to remember that SUV rollover claims are more complicated than typical accident claims. There is a great likelihood that you will need to file a product liability lawsuit against the vehicle manufacturer to receive the compensation that you need and deserve. In order to determine if a SUV rollover was caused by design flaws or vehicle defects, an expert will need to examine the vehicle. There may also be a quiet history of elevated rollover rates for the particular make, model, and year of SUV.
Compensation for SUV Rollovers
Rollover accidents often mean catastrophic injuries or death of a loved one. In addition to the physical and emotional pain and suffering, the short and long-term financial impact of this type of accident can be devastating. Compensation which you may be entitled to includes:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Current and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Long-term care
- Property damage
- Burial expenses
- Loss of companionship
If you have been injured in an SUV rollover accident, or if you have lost a loved one in such an accident, we may be able to help you obtain full and fair compensation. The first step would be to contact our Columbus, Ohio law office for a free consultation.