California Truck Rollover Accident Lawyer
While proper safety measures can prevent loss of life from a rollover accident, nothing but cautious driving and a safely operating vehicle can prevent a rollover completely. Responsible for thousands of deaths each year, rollover accidents can occur in both personal and commercial vehicles. The skilled California truck rollover accident lawyers at Panish, Shea and Boyle specialize in helping victims recover damages from this life-changing event.
Why Choose Us?
- We have immense experience specifically handling commercial truck accidents.
- We do not fear any defendant, including powerful trucking companies and their insurers.
- We understand federal and state trucking laws inside and out.
- We have won tens of millions of dollars for our past clients.
- We represent clients during California truck rollover accident claims on a contingency fee basis.
Why Do Rollover Accidents Occur?
With a higher than average fatality rate, rollover accidents are responsible for nearly 300,000 auto accidents per year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As more than 15% of car accidents involve rollovers, the number of lives affected increases daily. In our years of experience working with car and truck accident victims, the following factors have been found to significantly contribute to rollover rate:
- Type of vehicle. Most rollover accidents are associated with trucks, bus accidents, vans and SUVs, though the most dangerous rollovers can occur with tractor-trailers. All four vehicle types have a higher center of gravity than standard cars, which results in a higher rollover rate.
- Weather conditions. Changing weather conditions can seriously impact a driver’s ability to adjust without risking an accident. At the start of a rain storm, water combines with oil and residue found on pavement, resulting in a slick surface on which it’s easy to lose control.
- Speed during turns. Trucks speeding and negligence, and failing to slow down in time to turn is one of the primary causes of SUV and large truck rollovers. Once a vehicle’s stability is compromised, life-threatening rollovers compromise the safety of life and property.
With the exception of an uncommon vehicle malfunction, truck rollover accidents are generally preventable. Unfortunately, the effects can be irreversible. To get started on your case as soon as possible, seek legal representation from a California truck accident attorney once medical treatment is received.
What Makes Them So Dangerous?
Rollovers are not like most other car accidents. The severity of injuries to victims depends largely on the integrity of the roof system or roll cage rather than the front, rear or sides of the vehicle. Unfortunately, many vehicles have weak roof systems that collapse inward in rollover accidents, crushing or pinning the passengers inside. Rollover accidents are so dangerous because they can cause catastrophic passenger injuries due to roof cave-ins. Some victims survive rollovers only for other vehicles to strike and kill them immediately. Unfortunately, the nature of a rollover accident comes with a high risk of death.
- Broken bones and compound fractures
- Crush injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Torn muscles
- Head and skull injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic limb amputations
- Organ damage or internal bleeding
- Severe lacerations
- Wrongful death
Catastrophic injuries from rollover accidents can cause long-term disabilities to survivors. Victims may suffer permanent scarring and disfigurement, as well as issues such as the loss of bodily functions. If you or a loved one has catastrophic injuries from a truck rollover accident in California, work with our attorneys to help you secure maximum compensation for your life-changing losses. Our rollover accident attorneys understand the elements of rollover accidents and how to obtain fair recoveries for victims or surviving loved ones.
Truck Rollover Accident Statistics
Statistically, rollover accidents are behind thousands of deaths and even more serious injuries each year. At Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, we understand the importance of keeping up with how many large truck accidents happen each year and why. Research and statistics can help cities, street planners, trucking companies and others prevent future collisions. We hope to push for change on an institutional level through our services to injured clients, ultimately reducing the number of large truck accidents that happen in California.
- Truck rollovers are one of the most common types of fatal trucking accidents. In 2017, 4% of all fatal truck accidents and 3% of all nonfatal truck accidents were rollovers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- Rollovers are also one of the most common causes of truck driver deaths. In 2018, 45% of large truck occupant fatalities occurred in rollover accidents (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). The same year, 304 large truck occupant deaths occurred in rollovers.
- Rollovers were also accountable for the deaths of 1,734 pickup truck occupants, 2,095 SUV occupants and 2,649 car occupants. They took a total of about 7,200 lives in the US total in 2018.
- An analysis of 239 large truck rollover crashes showed almost 50% arose from speeding, unsafe loads, poor brake conditions, defective road surfaces and dangerous intersections. The second largest cause was driver inattention and the third was steering mistakes.
- Additional data from the FMCSA found that most fatal big rig accidents occurred on weekdays and on rural roads. The most common victims killed in large truck accidents are the occupants of cars and passenger vehicles.
These types of accidents are a significant cause of serious injuries and deaths in traffic accidents annually. If you have serious injuries from a truck rollover accident in California, you are not alone. Sadly, this type of motor vehicle collision occurs daily. The attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP have helped other victims with rollover accident claims in the past. We may be able to help you understand what caused your accident and who to hold liable for your damages. Then, we may be able to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Most Common Types of Cars Involved in Rollover Accidents
Although any type of vehicle can get into a rollover accident, certain types are more prone to rollovers due to their designs and structures. Large 18-wheelers, for example, roll over more easily than other vehicles due to the cab-and-trailer structure of the vehicle. If the cab turns too sharply or the driver uses the incorrect braking technique, for example, the trailer could swing out (a jackknife accident) and the truck could roll over.
Large trucks may also be more prone to rollovers due to their cargo loads. An overloaded, underloaded or unevenly loaded trailer could cause a dangerous imbalance that ultimately leads to the driver losing control and the truck rolling over while in transit. The size, weight and design of commercial trucks make them more likely to be involved in these accidents.
Other vehicles more likely to rollover are those with high centers of gravity. These include many types of sport utility vehicles (SUVs). A center of gravity positioned higher than the midpoint of the vehicle could make it easier for a driver to topple or roll the car. These vehicles may also tip over and roll more easily when other cars crash into them. Pickup trucks also have a history of these accidents. Midsized pickups are more likely than passenger cars to tip over when encountering road obstructions.
Smaller cars that are lower to the ground generally have better stability than SUVs and trucks. Even smaller vehicles, however, could flip or turnover in a serious car accident. Some vehicles are more likely to be in rollover accidents than others due to vehicle defects. A defect is an issue with the vehicle that makes it unreasonably dangerous for consumers. It may refer to a problem with the vehicle’s design, manufacture or marketing. A defect could cause a rollover accident through dangerous brake issues, electrical malfunctions, steering column defects or an unsafe design. If an investigation of the crash shows that a vehicle defect caused the accident, the automaker or distributor could be liable for damages.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Truck Accident?
Under California’s traditional tort-based insurance system, the person who caused your truck rollover accident will be liable for damages. In a truck rollover, this could be several different parties. Liability may go to the driver of the truck for a negligent or dangerous maneuver that caused the rig to overturn. An in-depth Large Truck Crash Causation Study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) showed almost half of the rollover crashes it studied came from a driver’s failure to take curves at a safe and reasonable speed.
It is a truck driver’s responsibility to safely control a big rig. A driver must obey safety regulations, obtain the correct type of driver’s license and follow truck driving best practices behind the wheel. Any type of negligence could lead to a deadly rollover accident: texting while driving, taking a turn too fast, oversteering, not steering enough, overcorrecting, etc. In most cases, the negligence of a truck driver will lead to the liability of the trucking company in California. Truck companies have vicarious responsibility for their employees and drivers, even if their drivers are independent contractors.
A trucking company could also be liable for an accident if it contributed directly to the wreck. If the company negligently failed to maintain the brakes on its trucks, for example, brake failure could lead to a rollover accident. Overloading trucks or loading cargo at a dangerous imbalance could also increase the risk of the truck turning over. Another common cause of truck accidents and rollovers is breaking inspection and regulation safety laws. This could lead to a truck that is unfit for the road. Finally, hiring incompetent drivers or failing to instruct them in rollover prevention could also lead to the company’s direct liability for a related truck accident.
After a truck accident, you might also be able to hold a product manufacturer liable if a defective or dangerous vehicle part contributed to your crash. A defective tire could have a blowout, for example, causing the truck to lose control and turn over. Manufacturers and distributors are often strictly liable for accidents their defective auto parts cause, meaning victims do not have to prove negligence to be eligible for compensation. A California truck rollover accident lawyer from Panish Shea & Boyle LLP could help you identify the liable party for your truck accident. Then, we can go up against that party on your behalf.
Steps to Take After a Rollover Accident
Recovering from a trucking accident is a confusing time. Between physical pain from serious injuries, emotional turmoil and financial difficulty, your quality of life and ability to function can change drastically. Instead of struggling with debt and suffering silently, let your voice be heard by contacting an experienced California rollover accident attorney. Take the following steps to get started:
- Gather information. Acquire all available information, including medical records, police reports and eye witness contact information, prior to meeting with an attorney. Providing details about the case will expedite the process.
- Complete your consultation. After a traumatic experience, many questions and concerns begin to cloud your thoughts. Create a list of questions to review during your consultation to receive ideal recommendations from your lawyer.
- Move forward with your case. While compensation will not restore your life to its pre-accident state, financial stability, closure and peace of mind work together to enhance the quality of your future.
Help From California Truck Rollover Accident Attorneys
At Panish, Shea and Boyle, we work with both individuals and families to recover losses sustained after a rollover accident. To expedite the receipt of compensation after an accident, seek the help of an experienced truck rollover accident attorney in California as soon as possible. With years of experience winning cases involving rollover accidents, our personal injury lawyers provide legal support and counsel from your initial consultation to the final ruling. Contact us today at 877-800-1700 to schedule your no-cost consultation.