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An SUV rolled over on Highway 2 injuring two of its occupants Sunday night, January 13, 2019. Police say that a Lincoln Navigator pulled out of a parking lot in front of the SUV which was heading westbound and struck the Navigator. The impact caused the SUV to roll over and it came to rest on its roof in the middle of the highway.

Both occupants of the SUV were hospitalized and are expected to live. The road had to be closed for a couple of hours while the vehicles removed and police investigated that accident.

Rollover Crashes

A rollover collision is an accident where one car rolls over on its roof during an accident. These can happen when the vehicle collides with another car or object or when flipping over without colliding. In some rollovers, the car might roll over several times while in others, it flips over on its roof and comes to a rest.

According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when someone is involved in a rollover collision, they are more likely to die or be seriously injured than a non-rollover traffic. Out of the nine million auto accidents in a year, two percent, or 18,000 involve rollover accidents, yet they make up 35 percent of the total fatalities.

The primary reason for this is the lack of the use of a seatbelt. Out of all rollover fatalities, 69 percent were not wearing their seatbelt, and rollovers are involved in 14,000 serious injuries and 9,000 deaths every year.

Causes of Rollover Accidents

The NHTSA cites several primary causes for rollover accidents. These are:
Speed 10 or more over: 40% of Rollovers involve excessive speed, and 75 percent happened when posted speed was 55 or above

  • Alcohol: As in other types of crashes, alcohol plays a key roll in rollovers accidents. Half of all rollover fatalities involve at least one driver being impaired.
  • Rural Roads: Nearly 75% of rollover fatalities occur on rural, undivided highways.
  • Vehicle type: Vehicles that are taller and narrower such as SUV’s, some pick-ups and vans, are more likely to be involved in a rollover. Out of all rollovers, 90% of the time the driver was involved in “routine driving” meaning going straight or negotiating a turn.
  • Single-Vehicle Crashes: 85% of all rollover fatalities are from single vehicle accidents.

Injuries Common to Rollovers

Wearing a seatbelt is a critical factor in surviving or avoiding a serious injury in a rollover accident. When a seatbelt is worm. The injuries are typically bone fractures, airbag burns, contusions and deep bruises. However, if a seatbelt is not worn, the chance of serious injury or death rises significantly. Also, in all rollovers, ejections accounted for over half of the deaths. These injuries are commonly:
Head Trauma

  • Compression Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Compound Fractures
  • Multiple organ trauma/failure
  • Spinal injuries/paralysis

What if I’m Involved in a Rollover Injury?

If you are involved in a rollover injury, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver who caused the rollover. Also, if you were a passenger who was in a rollover where your driver was at-fault, you may be able to get compensation from him or her.

Many ask if they need an attorney in a rollover accident especially if there really is no question who was at fault. The answer is almost always yes. For example, the insurance company my try to tell you that if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt, then you are at fault for the severity of your injuries and then offer a smaller amount for compensation. Under Washington law, proof of guilt of a traffic violation—including failure to wear a seatbelt—is not an indication of civil liability. This means the insurance company has to prove that the fault of the injury was somehow yours and not their insured before they can legally deny compensation.

Talk to An Attorney Today

You need talk to an attorney that knows the laws regarding rollover accidents and can advise you and evaluate your case.  The attorneys at  Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., serve clients in Spokane, Washington, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and surrounding communities. They can go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and their lawyers to get you fair compensation for your injuries. Call them at (509) 926-4900, or send them a message by clicking here.

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