Rollover Accidents Can be Dangerous and Often Result in Serious Injuries or Fatalities in Monmouth County, Ocean County, and throughout New Jersey
Being in a car accident is always frightening. Your adrenaline skyrockets, and you feel out of control at the moment. Some accidents are worse than others, and rollovers are especially serious.
Rollover crashes are a type of motor vehicle accident in which a vehicle overturns onto its roof or side. According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s 2019 Crash Facts and Statistics Report, there were a total of 522 fatal crashes in the state, resulting in 563 fatalities. Of these fatal crashes, 31 were attributed to rollovers, resulting in 34 fatalities. Regarding non-fatal crashes, the same report indicated 63,383 crashes resulting in injury or property damage. Of these, 874 were rollover crashes, resulting in 1,062 injuries.
Most Frequent Causes of Vehicle Rollovers in New Jersey
There are several potential causes for a rollover accident. Speeding not only lowers available response time to other cars on the road, but also makes accurate driving and controlling the vehicle much more challenging. If your tire hits an object, such as a curb or pothole, that causes it to lose traction and tip over that is tripping. It is the most common cause of rollover crashes. Large debris in the road such as rocks or tree branches can affect your ability to maneuver your vehicle safely, causing you to roll over.
Overcorrecting is another cause. It occurs when a driver tries to steer away from or back onto the road too aggressively after veering off course. It is usually a mistake made by less experienced drivers. It can cause the vehicle to tip over if the driver loses control. Some vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, are more prone to rollovers than others due to their higher center of gravity. This is especially true when these vehicles are loaded unevenly or are loaded beyond their acceptable weight capacity. Distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drowsy driving, texting, eating, or checking your GPS while you drive are considered and reckless and can all increase the risk of a rollover accident.
Potential Injuries in Rollover Accidents
Rollover accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to severe, life-threatening injuries. Some of the most common injuries in rollover accidents include:
- In a rollover accident, the head can strike the vehicle’s roof or other objects, resulting in traumatic brain injuries (TBI) such as concussions, brain swelling, and bleeding, leading to lost physical or cognitive health.
- The spinal cord can be injured if the neck or back is twisted or bent unnaturally during a rollover accident. This can cause spinal cord damage, leading to paralysis, loss of sensation, and other long-term health consequences.
- The force of a rollover accident can cause bones to fracture or break, including the arms, legs, ribs, and pelvis. Another frequent injury is a fractured clavicle.
- Soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be damaged in a rollover accident, resulting in sprains, strains, ruptures, and other painful injuries that could result in a lifelong disability.
- The force of a rollover accident can also cause damage to internal organs, such as the lungs, liver, and spleen, which can result in internal bleeding and other serious health problems. Also, collapsed or perforated lungs are injuries frequently seen in rollover accidents.
- Rollover accidents can cause cuts, lacerations, and bruises, which may require medical attention, particularly if they are deep or extensive.
The severity and type of injuries sustained in a rollover accident can vary depending on several factors, including the speed and force of the impact, the type of vehicle involved, and whether the occupant was wearing a seatbelt.
Who is at Fault for a Rollover Accident in NJ?
Liability in a rollover accident is typically determined based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. Generally, liability is determined based on the legal concept of negligence, which involves proving that one or more parties acted carelessly or recklessly that caused the accident.
Suppose the driver of a vehicle acted negligently or recklessly, such as by speeding, driving under the influence, or failing to maintain control of the vehicle. In that case, they may be found liable for any resulting damages.
Suppose a vehicle’s design or parts are defective or malfunctioning, contributing to the rollover accident. In that case, liability may be attributed to the vehicle manufacturer or another party responsible for designing or manufacturing the vehicle or its parts.
If the accident is caused by poor road conditions, such as potholes, uneven pavement, or inadequate signage, liability may be attributed to the entity responsible for maintaining the road, such as a government agency or construction company.
When a vehicle lacks maintenance, such as worn-out tires, faulty brakes, or other mechanical issues, liability may be attributed to the vehicle owner or maintenance provider responsible for ensuring the vehicle is safe to operate.
Determining liability in a rollover accident can be complex and requires the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer and sometimes, an accident reconstruction specialist as well. The specific circumstances of the accident will need to be investigated, and evidence such as witness statements, police reports, and physical evidence from the accident scene will need to be analyzed to determine who was at fault.
Who Can be Sued for Injuries from a Vehicle Rollover Accident?
In a rollover accident, there are several potentially liable parties, depending on the specific circumstances of the crash. Suppose the vehicle driver was negligent, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, or engaging in other reckless behavior. In that case, they may be held responsible for the accident. The manufacturer may be held accountable if a defect caused the rollover in the vehicle’s design or manufacturing. Some defects that may cause a rollover include faulty suspension systems or tires that blow out.
If the rollover was caused by a lack of maintenance, such as worn-out tires or defective brakes, the vehicle owner or maintenance provider might be held responsible. If the accident was caused by poor road conditions, such as potholes or uneven pavement, the government agency responsible for maintaining the road might be held accountable.
If the rollover was caused by the actions of another driver, such as a driver who swerved into the vehicle’s lane, that driver might be held responsible. In addition, if the accident was caused by a third party’s negligence, such as a construction company that left debris in the road, that party may be held responsible.
Recoverable Damages Following a Rollover Accident in New Jersey
After a rollover accident, the damages that may be recoverable will depend on how the accident occurred, who was at fault, and the extent of the injuries and losses suffered by the victim. Victims of rollover accidents may be able to recover damages for medical expenses related to their injuries, such as hospital bills, doctor’s visits, surgery, medication, and physical therapy.
When the victim is unable to work due to their injuries, they may be able to recover damages for lost wages or lost earning capacity. Victims of rollover accidents may be able to recover damages for physical pain and emotional suffering caused by the accident and their injuries.
If the victim’s vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident, they might be able to recover damages for the cost of repairs or replacement. When the victim’s injuries significantly impact their relationship with their spouse, they may be able to recover damages for loss of consortium.
In cases where the responsible party acted with extreme recklessness or intentional misconduct, the victim may be able to recover punitive damages, which are intended to punish the responsible party and deter similar conduct in the future.
Our Vehicle Rollover Accident Lawyers Can Assist with Your Claim for Injury Compensation in New Jersey
An excellent personal injury lawyer is of the utmost importance when you have been in a car accident, including a vehicle rollover. We understand how hard it is to recover physically and financially from a rollover accident. Determining liability in a rollover accident can be complex, and multiple parties may share responsibility for the accident. We will investigate the circumstances of the accident and determine who may be held responsible.
We will assess your damages, including medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering in Asbury Park, Freehold, Toms River, Holmdel, Neptune, Hazlet, Howell, Tinton Falls, Manasquan, Point Pleasant, and across the state of NJ. We will investigate every aspect of your case and won’t give up if the insurance company obdurately offers a settlement that is too low.
You can call us at (732) 303-7857 or contact us online for a cost-free consultation. You don’t have to go through this alone. We look forward to helping you seek the highest possible compensation amount if you have been injured in a rollover crash anywhere in New Jersey.