Rollover accidents are the most severe car accidents today. Although they are not as common as other accident types like head-on collisions and rear-end collisions, they result in more fatalities and catastrophic injuries. Most rollover accidents are avoidable through better vehicle designs, improved safety systems, and better government regulations. Even with all measures in place, Nevada still records high cases of rollover accidents.
Fortunately, Nevada has clear personal injury laws in place. It means that you are eligible for compensation if you sustained injuries in a rollover accident in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm could help you pursue compensation for your losses. Our team of competent personal injury attorneys will walk with you from the start to the end, protecting your rights and fighting alongside you to make your claim a success.
What is a Rollover Accident
A rollover accident is a type of vehicle crash in which the vehicle tips over onto its roof or side. It is a severe crash that leaves extensive destruction behind. Rollovers have higher rates of fatalities than other vehicle accidents in Nevada.
They mainly fall into two main categories: tripped and untripped. Tripped rollover accidents occur due to an external factor like another vehicle or an obstacle on the road. Untripped rollover accidents occur due to internal factors like speed, steering input, or friction on the road.
All vehicles are prone to rollover accidents. But, the tall and narrow ones like pickups and SUVs are at greater risk. Tall and slim cars have a higher center of gravity and are usually heavier at the top. When the vehicle hits a bend, its center of gravity shifts to one side, which can cause the vehicle to lose its balance and tip over. The risk of engaging in an accident increases with the vehicle’s speed or a rapid change of direction. For instance, if a driver makes a sharp turn to one side and then abruptly changes to another, a tall and narrow vehicle will quickly lose its balance.
A rollover accident can affect one or more vehicles, depending on their severity and the number of cars on the road at the time. A single-vehicle rollover accident will likely be due to an external factor like an obstacle along the road. Sometimes a driver loses control of the vehicle trying to avoid a pothole on the road. Tall and narrow vehicles are likely to trip if they lean, however slight.
Drivers must be careful while on the road, as that could help avoid some of the devastating accidents we experience every day. But, other factors could contribute to the accident, for instance, the vehicle's design. Vehicle manufacturers have guidelines to follow in manufacturing all vehicles, including pickups and SUVs. That helps deal with balance issues that significantly contribute to rollover accidents. Government agencies responsible for road maintenance have a role to play, too. If any of those parties fail in their legal duty and an accident occurs, they could be held responsible for the resulting damages.
Causes of Rollover Accidents
It is necessary to understand how rollover accidents occur, and what you can do to avoid them in the future. Most of these accidents happen when a driver loses control of the vehicle. It could be due to several reasons, including speed, obstacles on the road, or uneven ground. A rollover accident could also happen when a driver attempts to make an abrupt turn at high speed. The friction between the road and the vehicle tires can cause the vehicle to tip and rollover. Sometimes several cars roll over at the same time in one accident scene. When one vehicle crashes on another, other cars around them stop or turn abruptly to avoid the accident. Here are common reasons for rollover accidents in Nevada:
Some drivers enjoy the thrill of driving at high speed. Some are usually in a hurry, while others simply do it out of enjoyment. Speeding is a traffic infraction in Nevada. Unfortunately, it leads to an accident before the police stop and arrest the driver. Driving at high speed makes it impossible for a driver to stop and make the right decision if faced with an obstacle on the road. If the speeding driver encounters a pothole, or an object lying on the road, they will have to swerve the vehicle around the obstacle at high speed. If the car they are driving is tall and narrow, like an SUV, the driver can quickly lose balance and tip over.
Driving While Intoxicated
It is a crime to drive a vehicle while intoxicated in Nevada. Drunk driving attracts severe criminal penalties that could leave you serving time in jail, paying a hefty fine, and sometimes without a driver’s license. Sadly, Nevada still records increased cases of drunk driving on its roads.
An intoxicated driver cannot pay full attention to the road. They are likely to make irrational decisions when encountered with an issue while driving. Drunk drivers lack the skill and judgment to drive safely. That is why they are likely to cause accidents, including rollover accidents.
As previously mentioned, vehicle manufacturers must follow laid-down safety guidelines that ensure all vehicles on public roads are safe for use. Sadly, some manufacturers neglect some of these guidelines to save on production costs and maximize their profits. Others overlook some safety precautions that end up causing severe accidents. For instance, vehicles today must have electronic stability control. It is a feature that helps prevent rollover accidents. But, if the part is not working correctly, the vehicle could be at a higher risk of rolling over.
Vehicle designs also contribute to some of these accidents. Tall and narrow vehicles are more prone to rollover accidents. Manufacturers must distribute the vehicle’s weight evenly to prevent a situation where the weight concentration is at the top. That way, drivers will not quickly lose control of the car, especially when taking a bend.
Sometimes tire issues contribute to accidents like rollovers. It mainly happens to larger vehicles like vans and SUVs. For instance, when a vehicle experiences a tire failure or tire tread separation, the driver can quickly lose control and tip over.
Conditions on the Road
Some contributing factors to rollover accidents are beyond the driver’s control. For instance, if a driver comes across an obstacle on the road with no particular warning, they could lose control of the vehicle as they try to avoid the obstacle. Some road conditions like unevenness make it challenging to control a car, especially if unfamiliar with the road.
Possible Injuries in a Rollover Accident
Rollover accidents are devastating. A vehicle flips over onto its side or roof, sometimes crashing on other cars and objects. Its occupants could be ejected from the vehicle, while others are crushed inside, resulting in catastrophic injuries and sometimes death. Some of the common rollover injuries include:
The impact of a rollover accident will likely result in broken ribs and sometimes crushed bones. Some fractured bones can result in internal injuries and internal bleeding, which require immediate treatment to avoid a fatality. After your accident, proper diagnosis is necessary to determine the type and degree of injuries.
These could be due to sharp objects in the vehicle after the crash. A deep cut that goes through your skin and beneath, sometimes to the muscle layer, requires extensive treatment to heal. Deep lacerations on hands, fingers, and toes are quite common in vehicle accidents.
Neck, Head, and Brain Injuries
In a vehicle accident, your head and neck are more prone to injuries than any other part of your body. Sadly, the head is quite sensitive. A severe impact on your head could cause serious life-changing injuries. As your body is tossed and whipped around or outside the vehicle as it rolls over, your brain can suffer cerebral contusions or concussions, which can result in lasting damage. The neck could fracture, too, leaving you with minimal control of your head.
Spinal Cord Injury
Your spine is also prone to severe injuries if you are involved in an accident. A rollover injury puts you at a greater risk of suffering severe injuries to your spine. Severe spinal cord injuries could lead to paralysis. It causes you to lose part or full function of your upper and/or lower body. Spine injuries take a more extended period to heal and will cost more. Some victims do not recover completely and have to learn to live with a disability.
Rollover accidents can result in severe internal and external injuries. A person’s inner organs are susceptible such that they could become dysfunctional if injured, however slight the injury. Internal injuries could occur due to physical injuries that go deep through the skin to your inner organs. For instance, a sharp object could pierce you, and the piercing could go deep, affecting one or more internal organs. You need quick medical intervention to prevent your internal injuries from deteriorating.
Most rollover accidents are fatal. His/her immediate family feels the effect of losing a loved one in an accident. Fortunately, Nevada personal injury law allows the immediate family to seek compensation for the wrongful death of their close family member.
Some victims die on the spot, while others die in the course of treatment. It helps to know that you can seek compensation if the death was due to another person’s negligence.
Understanding Nevada Personal Injury Law
Nevada is among the states with the most transparent personal injury law. These laws advocate compensation for anyone who incurs damages due to another’s negligence. Victims of car accidents in the state are among those that can seek compensation for their injuries. But they must demonstrate in court that a particular person was negligent in causing their injuries. If you have suffered injuries in a rollover accident, you could begin the legal process to claim compensation following the accident.
The statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims in Nevada is two years. The statute of limitations is the period within which a plaintiff must file a lawsuit against the person responsible for their injuries. If you file your claim after two years, you lose your right to claim compensation.
Also, Nevada follows a strict comparative negligence law in ensuring a fair ruling during personal injury cases. The law advocates for fair compensation by the negligent party. Thus, if the plaintiff is partly to blame for the accident where they sustained injuries, the court will award payment based on the proportion of the responsible party’s fault. For instance, if a particular party was 60% to blame for the rollover accident, and you were 40% to blame for the accident, the judge will only award 60% of your damages.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will make the legal process smoother for you. They have the knowledge you lack regarding personal injury law and how it could benefit your situation. Your attorney will prepare and file the necessary documents in court, gather evidence, and present your case before a judge. They will start working on your case as you recover to avoid missing important details that could jeopardize your case.
Possible Responsible Parties in Rollover Accidents
Proving negligence is the most critical aspect of your personal injury claim. The law requires you to determine a responsible party, and prove in court how they were negligent in causing your accident. Without this information, you could lose your case. As previously mentioned, rollover accidents happen due to many factors. Thus, more than one possible liable party could be responsible for a rollover accident. You can use the details of your case to determine a liable party then file a claim in court against them.
Drivers owe a duty of care to their passengers and other road users to drive carefully for everyone’s safety. If a driver fails in that mandate due to driving while intoxicated, speeding, or distracted driving, he/she could be responsible for the resulting damages if the vehicle is involved in a rollover accident.
If you were a passenger and have sustained injuries in a rollover accident, your driver could be responsible for your injuries. An accident expert will help determine the cause of the rollover. If the driver were negligent, they would be required to compensate you for all your damages.
If the vehicle was faulty, and that fault was the reason it caused a rollover accident, its owner could be held responsible. Vehicle owners must ensure that only well-maintained vehicles are on the road. If a car is faulty, its owner must ensure it is correctly repaired before allowing it back on the road. If the vehicle owner ignored a fault that resulted in the accident in which you sustained injuries, the owner would be required to compensate you for all your damages.
A vehicle owner could also be responsible for a rollover accident if they allowed an unskilled driver to operate their vehicle.
Vehicle manufacturers are responsible for rollover accidents if the vehicle was in an accident due to a mechanical or design fault. If the vehicle had faulty tires or was not correctly balanced from the manufacturing or assembling point, its manufacturer will be held responsible for the resulting damages after a rollover accident.
Vehicle Maintenance Facility
Companies responsible for the maintenance and repair of vehicles can also be accountable if the cause of the accident was an issue they failed to rectify. For instance, if a car had faulty tires and the mechanic in charge was unable to repair it adequately, they could be responsible for the resulting damages if the tire issue were the cause of the rollover accident.
Another motorist could be responsible for a rollover accident if their actions on the road caused you or your driver to lose control of the vehicle, resulting in an accident. For instance, if another motorist abruptly stopped in the middle of the road, and your vehicle tripped as you tried to avoid crashing on that vehicle, the other motorist will be responsible for the resulting damages.
Road Maintenance Authorities
The fault could also fall on the government authority responsible for road maintenance. For instance, if the cause of the accident was an obstacle or construction on the road that did not bear adequate warning for motorists, the road maintenance authority will be responsible. This is also the body in charge of ensuring that our roads are well maintained, with minimal distractions and potholes that could cause vehicles to trip and roll over.
Compensatory Damages in a Rollover Accident
Nevada personal injury law offers adequate compensatory damages to victims of rollover accidents to help them cover their damages until their recovery. Plaintiffs are encouraged to include all their damages in the claim. Compensatory damages in a car accident are economic and non-economic damages. They are all the losses you have incurred because of the rollover.
They are the financial losses you have incurred directly due to the rollover accident. They will include all the monetary damages you incurred immediately after the rollover, what you have incurred so far and what you are expected to incur in the future. Examples of economic damages to include in your claim are:
Medical services are the essential services you will require after a rollover accident. Victims of rollovers incur severe physical injuries and require immediate medical attention for first aid and treatment. Thus, you will include all the medical expenses in your claim, including emergency and ambulance services, doctor’s consultation, hospitalization costs, cost of drugs, doctor’s visits, and the medical needs you will have in the future.
They will include all the earnings you will not make due to the injury, starting from the day of the accident. Calculations are according to the amount you earn in a day in your job. Take any future lost earnings into account, especially if you still need more time out of work to recover from your injuries.
Lost Earning Capacity
Severe physical injuries like those experienced after a rollover accident will leave you incapacitated for a while, or even permanently. Your earning ability could be affected. In that case, you will require compensation to help you cope with that loss and perhaps cover your retraining expenses.
If you have lost some property in the accident, like your car and other valuables, you will include them in your compensation claim.
Non-economic damages include other intangible costs you have incurred in the accident. Sometimes our damages are not just physical but mental and emotional. These must be considered in every personal injury case. Some of the non-economic damages you can include in your claim are:
- Emotional distress
- Lost consortium
- Loss of enjoyment in life
They are not included in compensatory damages, but judges sometimes grant them in car accident lawsuits at their discretion. The judge can decide to award you punitive damages based on the details of your case. For example, if the liable party was grossly negligent in causing the rollover, and you have adequate proof of the same, the judge could grant you punitive damages on top of compensatory damages to punish them. These damages also act as a caution to other people against acting similarly.
Find an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Have you or your loved one been in a rollover accident in Las Vegas and are seeking compensation?
Our Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm team could help you piece together a winning lawsuit against the responsible party. We start by studying the details of your case and advising you on the right course of action to take. We have handled similar cases in the past. Therefore, we have the experience and knowledge to know the evidence needed for a fair outcome of your case. Call us at 702-576-0010 for more information and legal guidance.