Rollover Accidents in New Jersey
Rollover accidents can occur with any type of vehicle, though some present a higher risk than others. The centers of gravity on tall, narrow vehicles, such as vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs make them more prone to these types of accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that rollovers made up only 2.1 percent of vehicle accidents in 2010, but caused more than one-third of all vehicle accident-related fatalities. A lack of seatbelt use was present in nearly 70 percent of rollover-related deaths.
Driver behavior, attention, response and skill are important factors in rollover accidents. However, sometimes factors outside the driver’s control can cause or contribute to these accidents, such as:
- Defective Roadways – certain roadways lack proper safety features and are otherwise defectively designed. This can cause a vehicle rollover under wet, slick and/or high speed road conditions.
- Negligently Maintained Roadways – sometimes towns, municipalities, construction companies and others fail to properly maintain roads. Lack of signage, insufficient lighting, objects on the roadway, and other conditions may cause an accident.
- Vehicle Design Flaw – defective vehicles and vehicle component parts can contribute to rollover accidents. For example, defective tires can cause a vehicle to lose grip and/or leave the roadway and cause injury.
- Negligent Vehicle Maintenance – when mechanics or maintenance companies fail to properly maintain a vehicle, it can malfunction and cause injury. For example, defectively installed brakes can cause a driver to lose control of a vehicle and experience a rollover accident.
First, always wear your seat belt. Seat belt use during a rollover incident can greatly reduce injury by keeping vehicle occupants secure and not tossed about or ejected from the vehicle. Second, always be aware of your vehicle’s speed and the posted speed limit, especially on dark or winding roadways. Third, do not operate your handheld device or cell phone while driving as it can distract you from the roadway and lead to an accident.
Seeking Compensation for Victims of Rollover Accidents
No two rollover accidents are alike. If you are seriously injured in a rollover accident or have lost a loved one in a rollover crash, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. A lawyer can review the facts of the case and explain your rights and options. A lawyer can pursue compensation for damages from all parties responsible for causing the accident.
In particular, where municipalities are involved, such as in the case of a defectively designed or maintained roadway, the injured person may be required to serve tort claim notice upon the municipality within 90 days of the accident. Failure to do so can result in loss of the ability to pursue compensation. Various other rules and laws apply to these cases, thus a consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer can help.