News reports constantly air terrifying footage of the result of severe roll over accidents. We watch this type of footage all the time, never anticipating that that type of accident could happen to our own family. However, roll over accidents are a common sight along most highways of the state and often lead to severe injuries. If you or a loved one have been involved in a roll over accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
What Are Roll Over Accidents? What Causes Roll Overs?
Roll over accidents are among the most dangerous types of accidents and often lead to life-threatening injuries. During a roll over accident, a vehicle essentially completely rolls onto the roof of the vehicle, often after a severe collision.
Certain vehicles are more susceptible to roll over accidents. Sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and vans have a higher center of gravity and therefore are more likely to flip over in an accident, leading to a roll over. However, the most common cause of roll over accidents is human error. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 40% of all fatal roll over accidents were caused by excessive speed, while nearly half of all roll-over accidents involved alcohol intoxication.
Roll over accidents can also be caused by roadway defects. A pothole in the road, for example, could “trip” a vehicle or blow out a tire, causing the vehicle to flip or roll over. If a vehicle contains a defect that results in the loss of control of a car, this could also cause a roll over accident. In Nebraska, the party at fault for a car accident is financially responsible (liable). Based on the cause of a roll over crash, the liable party could be a motor vehicle driver, the government in charge of road maintenance, a vehicle manufacturer, or a combination of parties.
Nebraska Roll Over Accidents
In 2020, Nebraska recorded 9,847 total injury crashes, 1,052 serious injury crashes, and 217 fatal crashes. Many of these collisions were roll overs. According to the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety, Nebraska teenage drivers are involved in 22% of all single-vehicle roll over accidents. The lack of experience contributes to these accidents, as well as the “top-heavy” center of gravity for many vehicles. Teenagers often believe they can take a turn faster than they should be able (and often faster than the speed limit sign), which frequently results in a roll over accident. Roll over accidents not only impact the driver and passenger in the negligent vehicle but can lead to a chain of events on the roadway with lasting injuries to everyone involved.
The Dangers of Roll Over Collisions
The physical injuries associated with a roll over accident are often significant. The dangerous nature of a roll over crash can inflict life-changing injuries on survivors. As a car rolls, a vehicle occupant can get flung around the car or ejected if he or she is not wearing a seat belt. Some roll over accidents involve multiple rotations, tossing the vehicle’s occupants around inside of the cab and causing serious injuries.
Depending on the number of times the vehicle rolls and the integrity of the roof system, a roll over accident could also result in the roof collapsing inward and crushing occupants (cabin intrusion). When a roll over involves a large commercial truck, the vehicle could also crush smaller cars beneath it.
Roll over accidents often do not just happen to one vehicle (aside from extreme situations where a car travels at a high rate of speed), but often stem from a severe impact with another vehicle. The impact alone is often enough to cause severe injuries, but the eventual roll over accident can lead to life-threatening injuries, such as:
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis. Damage to any part of the spine can have lifelong effects on a victim, including loss of function and feeling from the waist down (paraplegia) or in the entire body (quadriplegia).
- Traumatic brain injuries. If the head or skull suffers an impact in a roll over accident, it could cause a brain injury, such as a concussion. Severe brain injuries can cause long-lasting or permanent brain damage.
- Broken bones. Any bone in the body could break in a roll over accident, resulting in pain and temporary or permanent disability. These are “hard tissue” injuries. Soft-tissue injuries can also arise, such as muscle, tendon or ligament damage. Whiplash is a common soft-tissue injury in a roll over crash.
- Burns. Many roll over accidents result in vehicle fires and burn injuries. This is especially true if the roof of the vehicle collapses inward and traps victims inside of a burning car.
- Amputations. Loss-of-limb injuries can take place due to the trauma of a roll over accident, such as a limb getting crushed or pinned, or amputation may be medically necessary later if the body part is too damaged to repair.
Although motor vehicles are built with safety features to help protect occupants in a roll over accident, this type of catastrophic crash can still have a major impact on the human body. Many of these injuries require weeks and even months of ongoing medical and rehabilitative care just to get the injured party to a point where they can care for themselves (or with the assistance of family). Many of these injuries will require life-long care. Still, other roll over accidents result in fatal injuries and wrongful death.
Roll Over Accident Recovery
If you have been injured in a roll over accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries from the negligent car driver who caused the accident. The negligent party should be held responsible for the accident and cover the following expenses:
- Medical care
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
A personal injury attorney will be able to better evaluate the resulting liability and the amount of damages you should be entitled to receive after your accident.
The Knowles Law Firm | Omaha, Nebraska
If you or a loved one have been involved in a roll over accident, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of the Knowles Law Firm. Our attorneys are experienced in car accident claims, especially in the devastating roll over accidents. Contact our Omaha, Nebraska offices today for your initial free consultation.