SUV Rollover Accidents
Rollovers happen when a car hits an obstacle in the road, tips to the side, and eventually rolls over and flips. Cars that have a higher center of gravity and a narrower wheel track, such as SUVs, are more easily thrown off balance and are more likely to roll over. Even though SUVs are often considered good cars for off-roading, where there are lots of obstacles, they tend to lack safety features to protect against a rollover and a devastating injury. Many fatal traffic accidents are single-car crashes that involve an SUV. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a Los Angeles rollover crash involving an SUV, the car accident attorneys at Sharifi Firm can guide you through the process of exploring your options and potentially seeking compensation.Pursuing Damages after an SUV Rollover Accident
Serious injuries involving the brain, head, neck, and spine are common when an SUV rolls over. Since overturned vehicles are more likely to catch fire, burn injuries are also common. If the rollover was caused by a design defect, an accident victim may be able to file a product liability case against the SUV manufacturer.
Manufacturers, wholesalers, and dealers must make sure that their SUVs are safe and do not present an unreasonable risk of harm to the public. A court may find a defendant liable under one or more of three possible product liability theories: strict liability, negligence, or breach of warranty. The types of defects that may be alleged include manufacturing defects, design defects, and failures to warn (marketing defects). It is usually necessary to retain experts and investigate what caused the rollover.
Vehicle components that should be assessed after a rollover include the structural integrity of the roof, the airbag, the tires, and all restraining systems. One common reason for an SUV rollover is tread separation at high speeds. When tread separation occurs, it is easy for someone to lose control of the SUV. If the tire was defectively manufactured or designed, the SUV and tire manufacturers can potentially be held strictly liable.
When a strict liability standard is used, it means that if a defect is proven, and the defect is the cause of a crash, it does not matter whether or not the manufacturer used reasonable care. Strict liability is generally advantageous for a plaintiff in a product liability case. In many cases, a manufacturer may argue that the driver or owner of the vehicle was negligent in failing to maintain control or keep the tires properly inflated.
Generally, driving at very high speeds increases the likelihood of a rollover accident. In California, however, the doctrine of comparative fault can apply even in a strict liability case. The defendant will have to prove that a plaintiff negligently used, misused, or modified the SUV or was otherwise negligent, and that the negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff's harm. The plaintiff's damages then would be reduced by the percentage of his or her responsibility as determined by the jury.Enlist a Los Angeles Attorney for Your Motor Vehicle Collision Case
If you suffer injuries in a motor vehicle collision, you should consult a Los Angeles lawyer who is familiar with both car accident and product liability lawsuits. Sharifi Firm represents SUV rollover victims throughout Southern California, including in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Temecula, and Riverside. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.