Trucks are significantly larger and heavier than regular automobiles, making collisions with them much more dangerous for the average driver. However, one of the most dangerous types of truck accidents is a truck rollover accident. If you have been severely injured in a truck rollover accident, it is a good idea to have an attorney look over your case before you accept an insurance settlement. The attorneys at Slappey & Sadd handle all types of truck accidents claims, including those involving rollovers. We have the experience needed to represent the interests of those who have been injured, so you can be confident that you will have a formidable force in your corner when you go up against the trucker's insurance company.What Causes Trucks to Rollover
Trucks roll over due to the simple rules of gravity. Every object has a "center of gravity," which is the average location of the weight of the object. The taller an object is, the higher its center of gravity and the easier it is to knock over. Large trucks have much higher centers of gravity than passenger vehicles and are naturally more susceptible to rollovers. Additionally, the loads a truck is carrying in its trailer can shift around, which can create an additional force that pulls on the truck's center stability and center of gravity.
While trucks are susceptible to rollovers due to the physics of their shape and size, there are other conditions that can contribute to a rollover accident such as driver error, maintenance, and road conditions.
- Driver error: Truck drivers are professionals who are generally much safer drivers than the average motorist, but that doesn't mean they are always perfect. Truck drivers still commit many mistakes, such as driving while distracted, speeding, driving while they are drowsy, and violating federal hours-of-service rules.
- Truck maintenance: Due to their large size, weight, and the tendency of their loads to shift around, there's a lot that can go wrong with a truck that can lead to a rollover accident. For example, if the truck's tires are not in good shape, one could blow and cause the truck to roll over.
- Road conditions: Heavy traffic, road surfacing, pedestrian traffic, ramps, and roadway narrowing can all contribute to an accident. Truck rollover accidents are also more likely to occur on curvy roads, especially if the trucker is speeding while taking the curve. If he is going too fast, the force of the turn can overpower the truck's center of gravity and cause it to roll over.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are over 1,300 tanker rollover accidents and 500 large truck accidents that occur each year throughout the United States. Over 60% of those rollover accidents result in fatalities. And it's not just rookie drivers who make the kinds of mistakes that lead to rollovers; veteran drivers (those with over ten years of experience) were responsible for over two-thirds of all rollover accidents.
Even in cases in which no one dies in a rollover accident, the truck driver and the occupants of vehicles that are hit can still suffer serious injuries. If you were involved in a truck rollover accident, some of the injuries you might have sustained include:
- Neck Injuries
- Head injuries/TBI
- Broken bones
- Injuries to internal organs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Rib and torso injuries
Some of these injuries, if they are severe enough, can have life-altering consequences for the victim. Because it often takes months or even years to recover from the injuries of a truck accident, the victim's quality of life can be greatly diminished. After a truck rollover accident, you should seek medical attention immediately, not only for your own health but also because an initial medical examination will be critical for the success of your personal injury claim, should you choose to pursue one.How an Attorney can Help After a Truck Rollover Accident
Once you've decided that you wish to pursue a personal injury claim against the trucking company that caused your accident, a personal injury attorney will begin an investigation into the exact details and circumstances underlying your accident. One of the most important things your attorney will do is attempt to identify the party or parties that were responsible for the accident.
While it might seem like it was only the trucker who caused the accident, there could be many other parties who could be legally liable as well. For example, the trucking company itself could face liability for the accident if it is discovered that they violated federal hours of service rules by requiring the driver to work for longer than he or she was legally allowed. Other potentially liable parties include any repair and maintenance companies responsible for keeping the truck in good shape and any company that loaded the cargo onto the truck. If the truck rollover was caused by a blown tire, you might also be able to hold the tire manufacturer responsible under a products liability theory, if it can be determined that the tire failed due to a manufacturing or design defect.
One important thing to keep in mind when considering a personal injury claim is that time is of the essence. The statute of limitations in the state of Georgia for personal injury claims is two years after the right of action accrues. This means that you have up to two years after your accident to file suit or you forfeit your right to do so. The best course of action, then, would be to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident so that your attorney can set the wheels of your case into motion.Contact an Atlanta Truck Rollover Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in a truck rollover accident that you suspect was the result of negligence, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver and trucking company to recover for your damages. Contact the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation to discuss your case by calling 404.255.6677. We serve the entire state of Georgia, including the following locations: Roswell, Sandy Springs, and Decatur.