Vehicle Rollovers in New York
While relatively rare compared to other types of motor vehicle accidents, vehicle rollovers have a higher fatality rate than any other type of crash. In fact, approximately 8000 people die in rollover crashes every year, a figure that represents around 35% of all crash-related fatalities. Individuals who survive rollovers often sustain injuries such as:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Severed limbs
- Crush-related injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
- Spinal cord and back injuries
Common Causes of Vehicle Rollovers
Vehicle rollovers can occur due to a number of factors, including:
- Road Conditions – Hazardous road conditions such as uneven pavement and potholes are a common cause of vehicle rollovers.
- Speed – Approximately 75% of rollover deaths occur at speeds of 55 MPH and higher. In addition, as discussed below, certain vehicles are particularly susceptible to flipping at higher speeds.
- Type of Vehicle – Some vehicles are more susceptible to rollovers than others. For example, SUVs are involved in more rollover crashes than other types of vehicles.
- Driver Negligence – While rollovers often occur due to reasons beyond a driver’s control, driver negligence sometimes contributes to these types of accidents.
- Defective Parts – Defective vehicle parts are often a contributing factor to vehicle rollovers. Defective parts are sometimes unintentionally installed during production of the vehicle, during routine maintenance, and during repairs. Individuals injured in a vehicle rollover due to any type of defect, whether due to manufacturer, maintenance, or repair errors, may be entitled to legal compensation.
When rollover injuries occur due to a defective product, the injured person may have a claim against the vehicle manufacturer. In order for a legal claim to be valid, the defect that caused or contributed to the rollover must have occurred during the design, manufacturing, handling, or shipping of the vehicle. In addition, a manufacturer can be held liable if adequate warnings regarding vehicle hazards were not given to consumers. For an injured party to make a valid civil claim against a vehicle or part manufacturer, the following elements must be:
- The vehicle or part that caused the rollover-related injury was unreasonably dangerous.
- The vehicle was operated by the injured party in a manner consistent with the manufacturer’s intent when the rollover-related injury occurred.
- The vehicle was not altered substantially since its initial production by the manufacturer.
If you have been injured in a vehicle rollover, please contact an attorney to discuss your situation as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury and product liability attorney will keep you apprised of your legal rights while guiding you towards the best course of action based on your unique circumstances. Please contact us for a free initial consultation at (518) 462-5601.
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