What Is a Rollover Car Accident?


Any car accident is frightening, but there is something especially terrifying about a rollover car accident. If you were involved in a rollover car accident caused by someone else, a personal injury attorney can help you seek the financial recovery you need and deserve.

But what is a rollover car accident? Learn everything you need to know below.

Rollover Car Accidents 101

You may have heard the term "rollover car accident" and been unsure what that included. Does a car crashing onto its side or tilting upwards in a ditch count as a rollover? Or does it have to fully roll? Let's discuss what exactly a rollover car accident is as well as what can cause one.

Defining Rollover Accidents and Their Characteristics

A rollover car accident is defined as a car accident in which the car is tipped onto its side or flipped onto its roof. Often, the car only rolls once, but it may roll further before stopping. In a rollover car accident, passengers can find themselves positioned upside down or at problematic angle and may require extraction by first responders. Sometimes the doors or roof to the vehicle are crushed, making extraction even more challenging and sometimes traumatizing. The property damage is often extensive.

Factors Contributing to Rollover Car Crashes

Rollover car accidents may involve multiple cars, such as a collision with another vehicle. However, often these accidents occur involving one car. Common contributing factors for rollover car crashes include:

  • Distracted driving: If your phone, your passengers, your food, or other distractions cause you to take your eyes off the road, you might accidentally collide with another vehicle or an object that can cause a rollover.
  • Speeding or taking turns too quickly: Going above the speed limit can make it difficult to control the vehicle, especially when it comes to taking turns. Excessive speed can also make it more difficult to stop yourself from a collision that could lead to a rollover crash. Uneven loads can often contribute to this type of crash.  
  • Other driver error instances: Driving under the influence, falling asleep while driving, hitting the accelerator instead of the brake, and other mistakes can all be factors that contribute to rollover crashes. 
  • Tripping: If your car trips over a pothole, uneven pavement, or a curb, it can lead to a rollover accident.
  • Collision with another vehicle: Multi-vehicle collisions can result in one or both cars rolling over. One common type of collision that leads to rollovers is when a larger or faster vehicle collides with your vehicle from the side. 

Common Types of Vehicles Prone to Rollovers

There are also certain vehicle types more prone to rollovers than others. Although sometimes rollover accidents can happen with sedans, rollover risk is greater with vehicles that have a high center of gravity. That means commercial trucks, SUVs, vans, and pick-up trucks tend to be the most prone to rollover crashes. 

The Impact and Consequences of Rollover Accidents

Rollovers are often the most dreaded of car accidents, and the consequences can be severe, from the potential injuries and trauma to financial considerations and more. 

Serious Injuries and Risk of Fatality

Rollover crashes are credited with roughly one third of the fatalities in car crashes in a given year. Rollover accident victims are often left with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, permanent disabilities, and other catastrophic injuries. A fatal rollover crash can leave you without the companionship of a loved one. 

Even if you are not permanently disabled due to a rollover accident, you may still sustain devastating injuries that leave you unable to work for weeks or months, leading to significant lost wages and a loss of routine.

Comparing Rollover vs Other Types of Accidents

In 2021, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released statistics on passenger vehicle occupant fatalities. Part of this study was to compare different types of car accidents. Head-on collisions accounted for the most passenger vehicle fatalities with 15,742. Rollover collisions and "other" accidents caused 3,596 fatalities. Rear accidents accounted for 1,423 accidents. 

When it came to single-vehicle crashes, rollover and "other" accidents equaled nearly half the amount of fatalities that front-car accidents did: 3,257 fatal crashes compared to 6,702 in front-car accidents. These statistics do not account for motor vehicle accidents involving commercial vehicles or utility vehicles, such as semi trucks or commercial vans.

Financial Impact and Emotional Distress

The damage that you may face after a rollover collision goes beyond physical injury. Medical bills can leave you drowning in debt, as well as the cost to repair your vehicle or possibly purchase a new one. Your injuries could leave you unable to work, leaving you to deal with lost wages. If the primary source of income in your household was killed or rendered unable to work in a rollover crash, this will have a tremendous impact on your standard of living.

In addition, there is often emotional trauma. Rollover crashes are terrifying, and when they permanently change your life — such as through the loss of a loved one or a permanent disability — it can be easy to fall into anxiety or depression afterwards. You may need significant therapy or may find yourself living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In personal injury cases, you can be compensated for emotional distress such as: 

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium, companionship, or society

Seek Legal Assistance After a Rollover Car Accident

The stress of a rollover car accident lasts much longer than the accident itself. But there is hope for financial recovery when the accident was not your fault. Seek out legal assistance from Moore Law Firm. We have a strong track record of success in car accident cases. We will handle settlement negotiations with the insurance companies and the liable party and pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a consultation.

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If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of another person's negligence, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. The simple fact is that you should not be forced to pay the price for another person's careless or reckless actions.