Roughly 10,000 people are killed each year in rollover accidents and many more suffer catastrophic injuries, including brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
A significant number of these rollovers are caused by the vehicles themselves. In particular, sport utility vehicles, or SUVs, are more susceptible to rollover accidents because they are top heavy – they have a higher center of gravity. Ford Motor Co. in November 2007 agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit by some one million people claiming that its Explorer SUV was prone to rollovers. (See story)
Rollovers are extremely dangerous and have a greater fatality rate than other types of car and truck crashes. While only a small number of all accidents involve rollovers – a mere 3 percent – rollovers account for fully one-third of all deaths involving passenger vehicles.
Many of the fatalities involve roof crush, rollovers in which the roof-strength of a vehicle cannot withstand the force of the crash. In one case, in October 2005, a jury awarded $30.4 million in the death of a teenager whose family claimed the roof of their pickup truck failed to provide ample protection in a rollover accident.
If you or someone you know was seriously injured or killed in a rollover or roof crush accident in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware, you may want to call 800-243-1100 to speak with an experienced rollover accident attorney for a free evaluation of your case. Kline & Specter, PC is a Philadelphia law firm that represents victims with serious personal injury claims nationwide.
SUVs are more prone to roof crushes, which occur in many rollovers. An SUV roof is more likely to crush because the vehicles are higher and the roofs often impact the ground with more force than passenger cars.
While organizations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have proposed more stringent standards for vehicle roofs, the government has yet to mandate such requirements and many cars are manufactured with roof standards that have not been changed or improved in more than three decades.
In the meantime, autos prone to rollovers, such as the SUV, continue to increase in popularity – and rollover injuries and deaths with them. Rollovers account for more than 200,000 injuries annually in the United States, including 10,000 fatalities.
For more information, the NHTSA provides rollover safety ratings for various makes and models of vehicles at www.safercar.gov.
And it isn’t only cars, vans and trucks that are involved in rollovers. People, sometimes children, have also suffered severe injuries while riding all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, that have rolled over.
Kline & Specter, PC, with more than 40 experienced attorneys, five of whom are also highly regarded doctors, is one of the nation's leading law firms with the ability to litigate rollover accident lawsuits. We have successfully litigated auto and ATV rollover lawsuits for catastrophically injured clients.
Seat Belt Safety Improvements
In one case, attorney Shanin Specter represented the family of an American woman who was killed in Morocco when the SUV in which she was a back seat passenger rolled over and she was ejected and crushed. The vehicle was manufactured and sold without seatbelts in the rear seating positions. Specter not only obtained a substantial settlement for the family, he also negotiated a provision that prohibited the automaker from ever manufacturing or selling a vehicle anywhere in the world without safety belts for all of the seats. Click here to see safety improvements obtained by Kline & Specter attorneys in other cases.
Call us at 800-243-1100 to speak with a rollover accident lawyer today.