A rollover accident can include many different scenarios. For example, the vehicle occupants may remain in their seats during a rollover crash if they are wearing seatbelts. Alternatively, the vehicle occupants may be ejected or thrown around the vehicle’s interior or ejected if unbuckled.

Each rollover accident is unique. What happens to your body during a rollover accident depends on many different factors. However, there is one characteristic that all rollover accidents have in common: a high risk of catastrophic injury and death.

What Causes a Rollover Accident?

A rollover accident can occur because of speed, loss of friction with the driving surface, or steering input. These types of rollover crashes are referred to as “non-tripped accidents.” 

Non-tripped rollover accidents are not as common as “tripped” rollover accidents. They mainly occur because of crash avoidance maneuvers, distracted driving, and other driving errors. Top-heavy vehicles have a higher risk of non-tripped rollover accidents because momentum can cause the top-heavy body to roll over.

Tripped rollover accidents are more common. In these accidents, a vehicle’s tires contact an object that triggers a rollover, such as a curb or deep pothole. Tripping accidents may also occur if the vehicle leaves the road and rolls down an embankment.

Traveling too fast around curves or down a steep slope can cause a vehicle to tip over. Also, striking another vehicle or hitting a guardrail with a great deal of force could cause a vehicle to roll over end-to-end.

What Happens to the Vehicle’s Occupants During a Rollover Accident?

Rollover crashes account for a small number of car accidents each year. However, these types of accidents are often deadly when they occur.

Rollover accidents cause about one-third of highway traffic fatalities. During 2019, there were 8,635 overturn or rollover accidents reported in Florida. There were 164 fatal rollover crashes and thousands of crashes that caused serious injuries.

The vehicle occupants may be thrown around the vehicle’s interior during the collision, causing numerous blunt force trauma injuries. Even if a person remains in their seat, they could sustain blunt force trauma after striking the steering wheel, door, or dashboard.

There is also a risk for cabin intrusion in a rollover accident. Cabin intrusion occurs when the frame of the vehicle bends into the interior of the vehicle. The occupants may be pinned or crushed between the metal frame or objects in the vehicle cabin.

Being ejected is another possibility during a rollover accident. A person could be partially ejected or fully ejected. The vehicle may roll over the person, or the person could be thrown into another object or hit by another vehicle. 

The possibility of severe injuries, life-threatening conditions, and permanent disabilities are high when a person is involved in a rollover crash.

What Injuries Are Common in Rollover Accidents?

A person can sustain traumatic injuries, even if they are not thrown from the vehicle and the vehicle only rolls over once or tips over on its side.

Potential rollover accident injuries include:

Rollover accident victims generally require Immediate medical treatment. Many victims sustain permanent impairments and disabilities because of their injuries. The cost of treatment and the future damages caused by a rollover crash can total hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars over a lifetime.

Who is Responsible for Damages Caused by a Rollover Accident?

The party responsible for causing the rollover accident can be held liable for damages such as:

  • Past and future cost of medical care and treatment
  • Past and future cost of personal care and assistance with activities of daily living 
  • The loss of income and benefits, including future lost wages and reductions in future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering damages, including disfigurement, physical pain, scarring, emotional distress, and mental anguish
  • Disabilities and permanent impairments
  • Reduced quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium damages
  • Wrongful death

The driver might be responsible for damages in a single-vehicle rollover accident if the driver were negligent in causing the crash. In addition, other drivers, government entities, tire manufacturers, road construction companies, and other parties could be liable for damages if their actions contributed to the cause of the rollover crash.

Identifying the cause of the rollover accident is the first step in recovering compensation for damages. Each factor that contributed to the cause must be directly tied to the actions of another party for that party to be liable for your damages. Without proving causation, you will be unable to recover money for your injuries and damages.