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A Look at Liability When Your Vehicle Rolls Over

Dec 31, 2018 - Car Accidents, Tuscaloosa by

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Rollover accidents can be devastating to all involved.  When a vehicle rolls over, the driver loses all control — this is in stark contrast to other motor vehicle accident scenarios, where the driver may be able to steer the vehicle to relative safety.  Such accidents are common in Alabama (and elsewhere), especially in the truck and SUV accident context.  Trucks and SUVs sit “higher” and are therefore more prone to rolling over due to a loss of balance.

What happens if you are involved in an accident in which your own vehicle rolls over?  Let’s take a closer look at the liability issues that may impact your injury claim under such circumstances.

Road Hazards

Road hazards often contribute to rollover accidents.  For example, a large enough pothole on a sharp turn could lift one side of the vehicle and force a rollover.  If you were involved in a rollover accident where there were road hazards that contributed to the accident, then you could ostensibly sue and recover damages from the entity that controls the roadway (i.e., the City, or perhaps even a private entity).

Vehicular Defects

If your vehicle “rolls over” during operation, then it’s possible that the auto manufacturer designed a defective vehicle.  There have been numerous product recalls and lawsuits over the decades relating to vehicles that are prone to rolling over during operation and therefore pose an unreasonable risk of harm to users.

In Alabama, it’s worth noting that you need not prove that the manufacturer negligently designed the vehicle.  All that is necessary is to prove that the vehicle is defective (from a design or manufacturing standpoint).

Improper Cargo Loading and Contributory Fault

Improper cargo loading is a significant contributor to rollover accidents.  In the personal vehicle context, however, if your vehicle was improperly loaded with cargo (thus increasing the risk of a rollover accident), much of the responsibility falls on you — the driver — to evaluate whether the vehicle is safe to operate.

Improper cargo loading is therefore not only likely to implicate whoever loaded the cargo (for example, a retail store that loaded the back of your vehicle), but also you — the plaintiff.  If you are found partially at-fault for your injuries in a rollover accident, Alabama law will completely bar you from suing and recovering damages.  The key, then, to overcome this barrier is to show that you were not responsible for evaluating the cargo load (perhaps you hired a third-party company to load your vehicle, and they were meant to handle it fully), or that the rollover accident would have occurred regardless of the improper loading.

Request a Free and Confidential Consultation With an Experienced Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney

Here at Cross & Smith, our attorneys have substantial experience representing Alabama plaintiffs in a range of personal injury disputes, including those that arise out of a motor vehicle rollover accident.  The difficulty and complication of litigation can vary significantly depending on the circumstances of the case.  Fortunately, we are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of litigation — our attorneys have spent decades handling diverse and challenging lawsuits.

If you’d like to learn more about our services and how we can help you obtain the damages you deserve, call 205-391-9557 today or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Tuscaloosa injury attorney here at Cross & Smith.

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