A passenger car left the road and rolled over ejecting one passenger and sending another passenger and the driver to the hospital. The crash happened around 9:50 p.m., Monday July 6, 2019, on Lapwai Road east of Lewiston.
According the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office, the Ford Taurus was speeding when it veered and hit some equipment on the side of the road causing the car to flip over. It eventually landed on some pipes at a rock pit. EMS had to extricate the 22-year-old male driver from the car.
A 16-year-old female passenger was ejected form the car, and a 19-year-old female was injured but remained in the vehicle but was able to get out on her own. All three were taken to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. The 19-year-old victim was taken by air from St. Joseph to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.
Neither alcohol nor drugs were suspected and the investigation is ongoing.
Speeding and Rollover Accidents
Each year, from 25 to 30 percent of all fatalities have speed as a significant factor in the crash, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The report also said that speed was one of the factors in over 33 percent of fatalities every year.
Why is Speeding Dangerous?
Simple physics shows why speeding is dangerous. A typical passenger car weighing 3,500 lbs takes around 175 feet to stop at 50 mph. The same car takes 315 feet to stop at 70 mph. This alone shows that the driver of a car can’t have the same control over the vehicle when going at higher speeds.
Another problem is the reaction time of the average person when they detect danger. A typical driver reacts in about .67 of a second, and this simply means at faster speeds, there is less time to react to avoid a crash.
An NHTSA study says that the primary contributors of a rollover accident have to do with the interaction of the driver, the road, the vehicle and environmental factors. This means that rollovers are usually caused by the driver not being able to control the car given any number of factors such as the speed of the car, the road conditions, visibility, and impairment.
The same study says that 40 percent of fatality rollovers have speed as the primary factor in the crash and 75 percent of rollovers happen when the driver was going 55 mph or over. This shows the close relationship between speed and the rollover crash.
Rollovers are the number one cause of an ejection, and when an ejection happen, it ends in death 90 percent of the time.
Liability in Speeding and Rollover Crashes
Each year, two-thirds of all rollover fatalities are single-vehicle accidents, according to a NHTSA study. Many victims of a rollover wonder if they are going to be compensated for their injuries, and this is compounded when the crash involves only one vehicle.
In a typical two-car crash, the at-fault driver pays for the injuries to the victims in the other car. However, if the injured person was a passenger in a single-car crash, the injured person has to look to the driver of the car they were riding in for compensation.
The law makes no distinction on whether the injured victims were in the same or different car than the at-fault driver. So in many cases, the victim will be covered by the insurance policy of the driver of the car they were in. One exception to this is if the driver and victim are married and on the same insurance policy.
Can a Child Sue their Parent for a Auto Injury?
What if the injured victim is the child of the at-fault driver? Though it may be uncomfortable to think about, it is possible for a child to make a claim for compensation against their parent’s auto insurance policy. In Idaho and Washington states, the law will allow such a suit and usually the money is put in trust for the child until he or she turns 18.
So, the family has to make a decision if they want to have the child make a claim against the parent’s insurance policy. It’s a sensitive topic, but in most cases, the representatives for the child and the insurance company will settle the case.
What do I do if I’m Injured in a Rollover Crash?
If you’ve been injured in a rollover accident including a single-car rollover, and you want to know what your options and rights are, then you should talk to an attorney at Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. We offer a free consultation where you can discuss your options including the pros and cons of making a claim on behalf of a minor.
We have experience in such matters and can handle them with sensitivity and understanding. Don’t speak to the insurance agent at least until you talk with one of our attorneys. We serve clients in Spokane, WA, Coeur d’Alene, ID, and surrounding communities and can go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and their lawyers to get you fair compensation for your injuries. Call us at (509) 926 4900, or send us a message by clicking here.