Massachusetts Rollover Accident Attorneys
Rollover accidents are among the most dangerous and devastating auto accidents that can occur on a Massachusetts’s roadway. Most vehicles are designed to handle the impact of a rear-end or head-on collision, but the roof of a vehicle has limited protections for passengers. When a rollover occurs, passengers can easily strike their head against the roof, even if they are wearing a seatbelt, leading to broken bones, spinal cord damage, brain trauma, and death. These accidents are especially common for top-heavy vehicles such as buses, SUV’s, pickup trucks, and passenger vans, but they can also occur in smaller passenger vehicles if enough force is applied to them.
Rollover accidents are almost impossible to walk away from without a serious injury and victims often suffer repercussions for years to come. If you or a loved one were injured in a rollover accident caused by someone else’s careless behavior, you may be eligible for financial compensation in an auto accident claim. But to ensure you receive a fair shot at proper and fair compensation, you will need the legal services of a knowledgeable Massachusetts rollover accident attorney. To learn what options are available to you, contact the DiBella Law Offices, P.C. at (978) 327-5140.
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Not all vehicles are created equally and, while most passenger vehicles are rarely ever involved in rollover accidents, top-heavy vehicles have a higher chance of flipping in an accident. This is because the engines of these vehicles are often much higher off the ground, shifting the vehicles overall center of gravity. When these vehicles are involved in a collision, the weight of the engine can shift it onto its side or all the way onto the roof. This can also occur when the contents of the vehicle are unevenly distributed, causing a weight imbalance.
Vehicles that are prone to rollovers include:
- Large trucks, including overloaded semi-truck trailers and tanker trucks
- Passenger vans and mini-vans
- Pickup trucks
- Mobile homes and RV’s
During a vehicle collision, the force of the impact and design of the vehicle can cause the entire frame to shift on its side or all the way onto the roof. This can occur either due to the weight of the vehicle being uneven, the speed of both vehicles involved in the collision, and the road conditions.
Several factors can contribute to a rollover, including:
- Reckless driving
- Being struck by another vehicle
- Striking a “trip” such as a guardrail, pothole, or curb
- Design defects and manufacturing errors
- Tire blowouts
- Poor road conditions, such as rain, ice, and snow
Rollover accidents are both a danger to the occupants involved and other drivers. With large semi-trucks, rollovers can quickly turn into multi-car accidents and create a major road hazard for oncoming traffic. In turn, most SUV’s and other large passenger vehicles are designed to prevent occupants from becoming injured in a rollover accident through safety bars. If these safety features are defective, the occupants can easily become severely injured, disabled, or killed during the accident.
Despite the term accident, many rollovers are often the result of negligence. It is common knowledge in the automotive and insurance industry that rollovers can occur when a large vehicle is involved in an accident, which is why these vehicles are so thoroughly tested. However, design errors do slip through the cracks and manufacturers may be slow to issue a recall. In addition, drivers of these vehicles should be fully trained to operate them safely and be made aware of the risks of rollovers.
When reviewing a rollover accident, your attorney may determine that negligence occurred on the part of the:
Driver: As mentioned earlier, reckless driving can contribute to a rollover accident. If the driver was found to be drinking and driving, talking on their phone, speeding into a sharp turn, or otherwise impaired at the time of the accident, you may be able to file a claim against their insurance policy.
Delivery Companies: For large commercial vehicles, such as Amazon delivery vans or industrial big-rigs, the weight of the cargo can directly impact the probability of a rollover. Some companies may overload the vehicle beyond federal regulations in order to fulfill more orders and increase their profits, despite the risks.
Manufacturers: Because larger vehicles are more prone to rollovers, manufacturers are expected to minimize the risk of such accidents. If they produce a defective tire, poorly design the suspension, or fail to add safety bars to the vehicle’s roof, occupants can easily be injured in a rollover. In addition, other vehicles can be struck in the rollover, leading to further injuries.
Rollovers accounted for 29% of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths in the most recent year for which statistics are available, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The force and impact of rollovers can cause severe trauma to the occupants, and these injuries can kill them upon impact or after the accident, even if they receive medical treatment. Often times this is because the roof has collapsed, which is common in older pickups and SUV’s that do not have safety bars.
The loss of a loved one can be devastating and may seem impossible to move on afterward. To add further weight to your losses, you may still be dealing with medical bills and have suffered a sudden drop in household income, which can drastically change the course of your life. However, if the accident was the fault of another driver or a design defect, you may be able to pursue compensation in a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims are slightly different than personal injury claims but do follow the same principles. You may pursue economic and non-economic losses on behalf the deceased and these claims can be filed by the executor of the deceased estate. The executor can pursue compensation for the deceased spouse, children, or any other dependents, including siblings and parents, depending on who the deceased left behind.
If you lost a loved one in a rollover accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be able to pursue damages in the form of:
- Expected net income
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses
- Loss of consortium, or care, love, support, and companionship
- Pain and suffering of the deceased, if they were conscious after the accident
The devastation of a rollover accident can be difficult to move on from, especially if you are left disabled or lose a loved one afterward. Despite knowing about the risks of rollovers, insurance companies are still hard-pressed to provide fair settlements to accident victims and their families. That is why it is imperative to contact an attorney after a rollover accident to ensure you receive a fair shot at proper compensation.
If you or a loved one were injured in a rollover accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact the Burlington car accident attorney at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. We can review your case to determine if you have a right to compensation and can relentlessly pursue damages in the form of a settlement or jury verdict. Call us at (978) 327-5140 to schedule a free consultation.