You thought you were making the responsible choice in buying that SUV, but you were tragically wrong. Vehicle rollover accidents, which commonly involve SUV’s without a crucial safety function known as the roll bar, don’t just turn your car upside down; they can turn your whole world upside down. Ford Explorers, Toyota 4 Runners and Honda Passports are especially prone to rolling over in an accident, because they are known to carry this manufacturing defect.
If you have experienced serious personal injuries or the death of a loved one because of a rollover accident, you need the counsel of a seasoned lawyer and a whole team of experts committed to being your advocates. The Portland, Maine-based law office of Hardy, Wolf & Downing is the place to come. Our personal injury attorneys can recover the compensation you deserve.
Maine vehicle rollover accidents
Here are some eye-opening facts about vehicle rollovers, taken from a PBS feature:
- An estimated 70,000 SUV rollovers take place each year, resulting in some 2,000 deaths.
- In the 10-year period during which Ford-Firestone related rollovers caused some 300 deaths, more than 12,000 people — 40 times as many — died in SUV rollover crashes unrelated to tire failure.
- A Ford Explorer is 16 times as likely as the typical family car to kill occupants of another vehicle in a crash.
- 1 out of 4 new vehicles sold in the U.S. is an SUV, making it the most popular type of vehicle in America. The Ford Explorer is the most popular SUV in the world.
- Historically, SUVs have had the highest rollover involvement rate of any vehicle type in fatal crashes.
- Vehicle rollover accidents are the second deadliest type of car accident (second only to head-on collisions, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.”
- More than half of all single vehicle accident fatalities are the result of a rollover.
Our state of Maine is in no way immune to these disturbing national statistics. Here are just a few of the headlines from recent years relating to SUV rollovers in Maine and the serious injuries—and, in many cases, fatalities— that they inflict on our local population:
- “Maine man seriously hurt in SUV rollover”
- “Maine woman killed in early morning SUV rollover”
- “Bangor Area Woman Killed in SUV Rollover”
- “SUV rollover in Athens sends three boys to hospitals”
Common rollover scenarios and causes
Rollover accidents can occur for different reasons.
Here are a few examples of how a vehicle rollover crash can occur:
- A driver overcorrects his vehicle. If, for example, a driver tries to avoid an obstruction in the road or oncoming traffic by jerking the steering wheel too forcefully, he/she can send their vehicle dramatically sideways, causing the jeep, van or SUV to flip.
- A driver veers off the road. This kind of thing can happen when a driver falls asleep at the wheel or becomes distracted.
- A driver’s tires fail.Tire tread defects, poor stability control, inadequate brakes or a poorly designed suspension system can be a contributing culprit here.
- A driver hits a “trip.”A “trip” is any obstruction, such as a tree, ditch, guardrail, median or any other type of uneven ground.
- A motorist is driving an SUV or other top-heavy vehicle.
- A driver’s vehicle is weighed down. A car with a lot of luggage on its roof is more susceptible to turning over.
- A driver is aggressively driving or subject to someone else’s aggressive driving. Reckless and/or high-speed driving can bring on a rollover accident.
Liability for vehicle rollover accidents in Maine
Determining if an automaker can be held liable for a vehicle rollover in Maine is a tricky and delicate matter, which is why only the best car accident lawyer will do. A number of factors require careful consideration in addition to the possibility that your vehicle may be defective.
Questions to ask in the aftermath of a vehicle rollover accident are:
- What were the weather and road conditions?
- Was driver error at play, and if so, how?
- What caused the vehicle to go sideways and turn over?
- What injuries occurred and were they the direct result of the rollover?
Answers to such questions will help determine whether you have a legitimate product liability claim to bring forward in the form of a vehicle rollover accident lawsuit.
Your car accident attorney at Hardy, Wolf & Downing
With convenient office locations in Portland, we work with clients throughout Southern and Central Maine including Lewiston, Bangor, and Auburn. Our team of car accident lawyers will sift through the facts of your case to determine whether you can in fact hold your vehicle’s manufacturer responsible for the serious injuries you incurred because of a vehicle rollover accident.
In doing so, we will want to be able to show that your vehicle’s design directly contributed to your rollover and to the harm you experienced in the accident. We will want to collect all evidence showing that your vehicle was known by its manufacturer to be prone to rollover. To learn more, contact our offices today for your no-charge legal consultation: 1-800-992-7333.
- Frontline, “Rollover: The Hidden History of the SUV,” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/rollover/
- Portland Press Herald, “Maine man seriously hurt in SUV rollover,” http://www.pressherald.com/2012/12/24/man-seriously-hurt-in-woodstock-rollover/
- Portland Press Herald, “Maine woman killed in early morning SUV rollover,” http://www.pressherald.com/2013/02/06/maine-woman-killed-in-vienna-car-crash/
- Q96.1, “Bangor Area Woman Killed in SUV Rollover,” http://q961.com/bangor-area-woman-killed-in-suv-rollover/
- The Bangor Daily News, “SUV rollover in Athens sends three boys to hospitals,” http://bangordailynews.com/2012/09/27/news/mid-maine/suv-rollover-in-athens-sends-three-boys-to-hospitals/