Victims of rollover accidents are often left with serious injuries ranging from broken bones, traumatic brain and spinal injuries to death. In this article, we discuss the causes of rollover accidents, provide statistics and information on the laws specific to Florida, and highlight how a Tampa car accident lawyer can help you if you or a loved one were injured in a vehicle accident.
At Apex Law, we know from years of experience helping accident victims this is always a difficult time.
We are here to make the experience less painful for you by handling your insurance claim and making sure you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. Putting your case in capable legal hands will give you peace of mind to focus on recovering from your injuries.
Seek legal assistance as soon as possible to investigate and preserve evidence that may disappear over time.
Causes of Rollover Accidents
A rollover accident occurs when a vehicle flips onto its side or roof, often resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities.
Some common causes include:
Tripping: This occurs when a vehicle’s tires strike an object like a curb or uneven road, causing it to lose balance and rollover. Unmaintained roads and potholes can contribute to tripping accidents.
Speed: Driving at high speeds greatly increases the likelihood of a rollover accident. The higher the vehicle’s speed, the harder it becomes to maintain control during sudden maneuvers. Rollovers are particularly common when speeding around curves or corners.
Vehicle design: Certain vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, are more prone to rollovers than others because of their higher centers of gravity. The design and weight distribution of these vehicles can make them more susceptible to rolling over, especially in emergency situations.
Understanding the specific characteristics of your vehicle can help determine if there are any design defects that may have contributed to the accident.
Driver behavior: Reckless or negligent driving greatly increases the risk of a rollover accident. For example, distracted driving, drunk driving, aggressive maneuvers, or disregarding traffic laws can all lead to loss of control and subsequent rollovers.
Who’s Responsible for Rollover Accident
Florida law requires drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, sometimes referred to as no-fault insurance because it covers loss or damage regardless of who caused the accident.
PIP insurance covers their own medical expenses, lost income, and other related costs if they are in an accident, regardless of fault for the accident.
Florida requires residents to carry $10,000 worth of PIP and $10,000 of Property Damage Liability (PDL). PDL pays out damages if a driver damages someone’s vehicle or property.
Under PIP, each injured person files a claim with their own PIP coverage to take care of medical bills. It covers members of the PIP policyholder’s household, vehicle passengers who don’t own a vehicle, and pedestrians.
A PIP insurance policy only covers 80 percent of your medical bills and 60 percent of your lost income.
Exceptions to No-Fault Insurance
Having PIP does not mean that a reckless driver who causes an accident that causes significant injuries or death gets away scot-free.
Florida’s serious injury threshold allows people with certain injuries to seek compensation outside the no-fault system.
An accident meets the serious injury threshold if the accident results in permanent injury or significant and permanent scarring/disfigurement. An accident victim who suffers such an injury may file a personal injury lawsuit.
Statistics and Law of Florida on Rollover Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover accidents account for nearly one-third of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States.
In Florida, the Department of Transportation reported that at least 600 rollover accidents occur every year. Out of this 600, about 450 rollovers result in serious injury while more than 50 result in one or more fatalities. This means that at least one person is injured in a rollover accident every day and nearly one is killed every week of the year.
Accident victims need to understand their rights and the legal frameworks in place to protect them. A skilled attorney can navigate Florida’s laws and ensure the best possible outcome in seeking compensation.
What a Lawyer Can Do for Accident Victims
When you find yourself in a rollover accident, an experienced lawyer can make a world of difference, even when dealing with your own insurance company to get your PIP benefits.
Here are some ways a lawyer can assist accident victims:
- Legal counseling and representation: A knowledgeable attorney can provide advice and guide you through the legal process. They will assess your case, gather evidence, and build a strong strategy to maximize your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
- Investigation and evidence collection: Lawyers have the resources to thoroughly investigate the accident. They will gather key evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, and expert opinions, to build a compelling case on your behalf.
- Negotiation and settlement: As a skilled negotiator, your lawyer will engage with insurance companies and other parties involved to protect your rights. Many accident victims decide to negotiate with their insurance companies without the help of an experienced lawyer. This is almost always a mistake because insurance companies have trained professionals whose job is to pay as little as possible on any claim, if at all. On the other hand, having an experienced personal injury lawyer means the lawyer will strive to reach a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries.
- Litigation and courtroom representation: If necessary, your lawyer will fully prepare to take your case to court. They will present your case articulately and persuasively, fighting for your rights and advocating for the compensation you deserve.
Compensation for Rollover Accident
The first thing most rollover accident victims want to know is how much compensation they can recover for their injuries. At Apex Law, we get that question all the time, and you are probably asking the same question.
A complete answer is not possible unless we know all the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident.
We provide a free consultation so we can gather the necessary information and documents to more fully answer your question.
Generally, however, you may recover compensation for the injuries you suffered and expenses you incurred in the accident.
Your compensation may include:
- Medical costs. If your injuries require seeking and obtaining medical care, you may recover those expenses either under your PIP limit or outside of the limit if you meet the serious injury threshold. If the injuries meet this threshold, an experienced personal injury lawyer will fight for you to make sure you obtain maximum compensation. Fighting for you starts with determining whether your injuries meet the threshold to obtain compensation outside the PIP system.
- Lost income. If you cannot work because you are receiving medical care or are in recovery, you can receive compensation to make you whole—the same amount of income you would have received but for the accident. If your injuries are so severe that you cannot return to work, you could obtain compensation for lost future income.
- Physical property damage. If the accident damaged or rendered your vehicle unusable, you can obtain compensation to repair or replace it.
- Pain and suffering. Accident victims may undergo a disruption of their lives that is not easy to document but is nonetheless compensable under personal injury law. These damages pay an accident victim for the emotional pain they suffered because of the accident. It is not easy to prove pain and suffering but an experienced personal injury lawyer can do so.
- Punitive damages. If the individual or entity that caused the accident did something the law deems callous or malicious, the person who caused the rollover accident may need to pay punitive damages to punish them and deter similar actions.
Contact Us Today!
If you or a loved one was in a rollover car accident, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance. The aftermath of such incidents can emotionally and financially overwhelm you.
A skilled lawyer can protect your rights and increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. Reach out to a reputable attorney today to discuss your case and embark on the path to recovery.
Remember, you don’t have to face the consequences of a rollover accident alone. Let a dedicated personal injury attorney in Tampa guide you through the legal complexities, providing the support and advocacy you need during this challenging time.