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What is a SUV Rollover Accident?

SUV rollover accident is when a SUV rolls over onto its side or roof while on the road or when involved in an accident with another car. Rollover accidents are more common in sport utility vehicles (SUVs) because of its top heavy design.

Manufacturers of SUVs also know that their vehicles are prone to roll over, but sometimes do not design or manufacture it safe enough. SUV rollovers are common because SUVs have a higher center of gravity, poorly designed suspension system, poor stability design, or faulty brakes.

What are the Dangers with SUV Rollovers?

Rollover accidents are more likely to result in fatalities than other accidents, especially if the passengers are not wearing seatbelts. In a rollover, you can be thrown from the SUV that can result in severe injuries and death. More fatalities occur when a passenger is thrown from a car.

Another danger of SUV rollover accidents is that the roof of the vehicle will crush upon impact with the road.  This will happen if the roof or roll bar is not strong enough or is defective in some other way. Roof crushes can lead to severe or fatal injuries, especially to the head and neck.

What Common Causes for SUV Rollovers?

Besides certain SUVs being more prone to rollovers, there are some situations that are more likely to cause rollovers. These include the following:

  • Double lane change maneuvers: This is a maneuver where you switch lanes to avoid something in front of you and then switch back into your original lane after avoiding the obstacle. This is usually a sudden maneuver. SUVs have been found to rollover when the driver attempts to perform this maneuver, even when driving at the speed limit. These rollover accidents have even resulted in fatalities.
  • Low speed SUV rollovers: A low speed side impact accident does not usually result in a rollover for a car.  But, SUVs can easily rollover upon a low speed side impact.
  • Defective tire-tread separation: When tread separation occurs on a tire, there is often the feeling of a tire blowing out and the driver will lose control of the car. Tread separation are especially dangerous in SUVs because of their high center of gravity.

What Types of Injuries are Common With SUV Rollover Accidents?

SUV rollover accidents often lead to serious injuries, which include:

  • Broken Bones
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Head and Brain Injuries
  • Death

What Claims Do I Have for SUV Rollover Injury?

If you have suffered injuries because of a poorly designed SUV after a car accident, you can bring a automotive products liability claim against the manufacturer who designed the SUV or components of the SUV claiming that it was manufactured and designed poorly.

When you bring a products liability against a manufacturer, you do not need to prove that the manufacturer was negligence when designing the SUV, but rather that the SUV was designed in a defective way that caused the SUV to easily rollover

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What Do I Need to Prove in a SUV Rollover Claim?

The plaintiff does not have to prove negligence for a poorly designed SUV that rolled over, but rather defective design. If a plaintiff wants to prove that there was a defect in design of the SUV, which caused it to rollover, the plaintiff has the burden to show:

  1. The manufacturer designed the SUV as intended
  2. The design of the SUV or components is dangerous for its intended use
  3. There was an alternative design that would have made the SUV safer
  4. The cost of making a safer design for SUV would not cost too much
  5. With the safer modification, the SUV would have performed in the same manner for which it was intended to perform.
  6. The plaintiff was injured or suffered loss because the poorly designed SUV rolled over

The plaintiff may also claim negligence theory against the manufacturer and any other companies that designed, manufactured, and sold the SUV.

Under this negligence theory, the plaintiff must show that these companies failed to use due care when designing and manufacturing the SUV, or when providing warnings and instructions in how to ride the SUV in a safe way. Many motor vehicle product liability lawsuits end up being filed as class action lawsuits if the same type of car injured many people.

What Damages Can I Recover in a SUV Rollover Accident?

If you were injured in a SUV rollover accident and you were successful in your claim, you may recover the following damages:

Economic damages compensate the plaintiff for measurable, real losses. These losses, also called actual losses, often include:

  • Lost Past and Future Wages
  • Lost business opportunities because of the injuries suffered
  • Cost associated with repairing or replacing property
  • Past and Future Medical Bills

Non-economic damages are damages that are unquantifiable, as they cannot be calculated by simply adding up medical bills or invoices. They include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Severe pain
  • Physical suffering
  • Physical impairment
  • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • Loss of plaintiff’s enjoyment of life

Automobile manufacturers don't want to pay compensation in wrongful death, personal injury, or automotive products liability cases and aggressively defend against rollover cases. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced lawyer who can advise you of whether you have a case against the manufacturer of the SUV.

Should I Consult a Lawyer?

Design defect lawsuits for poorly designed SUVs that have caused SUV rollovers can often be complicated and typically require the expert opinion of a lawyer. You may wish to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer in your area if you need assistance in filing a design defect lawsuit. Your attorney can provide you with the legal advice necessary to help you obtain the appropriate legal remedy, such as a damages award for your losses.

Photo of page author Ki Akhbari

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 07-02-2018 07:25 PM PDT

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