Rollover SUV Accident
SUVs have become the preferred vehicle for many people in Seattle and Bellevue, especially for those who have children and engage in sports in the Pacific Northwest, such as skiing and hiking. Unfortunately, these vehicles often pose a serious danger when they are not driven properly. SUV rollovers are all too common and can result in very serious injuries to those who are riding in them.
A compounding factor for many SUV rollover accidents comes from the fact that many times SUVs are overloaded with too many materials people are storing or transporting, such as luggage, equipment, etc. In addition, in many SUV rollover accidents, the driver is ejected from the vehicle, which can lead to very serious, if not life-threatening, injuries, especially if the passenger or driver is not wearing a seatbelt.Washington State Rollover SUV Laws
The reason SUVs rollover is because of the stability in an SUV’s turning. This in turn is related to the connection between the center of gravity and the distance between the left and rights wheels on an SUV. An SUV becomes unstable when turning fast or when there are sharp changes of direction if there is a high center of gravity coupled with a narrow track. Some SUVs now have sophisticated rollover systems that make it hard for an SUV to turn over.
Beginning in 2001, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated a rollover rating system. This is based on a five-star rating system. Five stars means there is a 10% or less rollover risk, whereas one star means there is greater than a 40% change of a rollover.
SUVs also have a rollover resistance rating system. It is based on the SSF, which stands for the Static Stability Factor that calculates how “top-heavy” an SUV is, which in turn tests how easily an SUV will turn over at high speeds while making a turn. There is also a roof-crush rule based on a similar study. This is also very important since NHTSA statistics show that between 600 and 900 people are killed every year because of a roof that collapses, and this is even with a passenger wearing a seatbelt. The newest roof-crush rules that that vehicles that weigh 6,000 pounds or less have to be able to take up to three times their weight—so 18,000 pounds if the car weighs 6,000 pounds—to all parts of the roof.
Therefore, if you have been injured in an SUV accident because the SUV rolls over and the roof of the car crushes you, you may have what is called a product liability claim. A product liability claim is different than a car accident claim. In a product liability claim, the lawsuit or claim is made against the car you are riding in. The claim normally involves alleging that the manufacturer of the product, in this case the SUV, was not made or designed properly and thus the manufacturer was negligent. If you are involved in an SUV accident, you may have two claims then—one claim against the driver who hit you and another claim against the SUV you purchased for not designing or manufacturing a safe vehicle meant to design a certain weighted impact.
The most common reasons SUV rollover accidents occur are:
- The driver was driving too fast for conditions
- The driver too the wheel too sharply while going too fast for conditions
- Weather conditions
- Road conditions
- Bald tires
- Poorly designed vehicle
- A multi-vehicle accident
All of these reasons are leading contributing factors to a SUV rolling over, but they are not complete. If your SUV turned over as a result of an accident, you may have a claim that is worth pursuing.Common SUV Rollover Injuries
Any time someone is in a car accident, there is a chance for significant injuries. However, SUV rollovers tends to be the most serious in terms of the injuries inflicted upon the occupants. The most common SUV rollover injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Herniated discs
- Bulging discs
Any kind of SUV rollover accident requires, in most cases, immediate medical care. Seek out a doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist to address your injuries as soon as possible.How The Jackman Law Firm can Help
If you have been in a SUV rollover accident, chances are very high that you are dealing with a lot. Insurance companies are likely calling. Medical bills are likely coming in. You are probably in pain and discomfort from your injuries. The Jackman Law Firm can help with all of this. In particular, The Jackman Law Firm can help you with the following:
- Recover money for medical bills
- Recover lost wages
- Obtain money for pain and suffering
- Obtain money for out of pocket expenses
There may be an argument by the at-fault driver’s insurance company that you were at fault, or partly at fault for the accident. If this is the case, the Jackman Law Firm can help you prove your case by interviewing witnesses, sending subpoenas for relevant documents and information, and interviewing police officers who may have important information regarding your case.
If you need help with your claim, feel free to call The Jackman Law Firm for a free consultation.