A single-vehicle rollover accident on the Long Island Expressway last week left a Patchogue man injured. On Wednesday evening at about 8 p.m., police arrived at the Exit 73 off ramp in Calverton and found a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer in the median. The Mountaineer, which had been driven by a 26-year-old man, had crashed into the shoulder before rolling over several times. He was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Rollovers more common in SUVs
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics, nearly one in three traffic fatalities is the result of a rollover accident, and more than nine out of ten single vehicle rollovers are caused by the tires “tripping” across bumps or obstacles in the road surface. Another contributing factor is sideways motion – the vehicle needs to have some lateral motion for the rollover to start.
Compared to cars, SUVs like the Mercury Mountaineer and other tall vehicles like vans and trucks are more likely to roll over because of their higher center of gravity. As a result, the NHTSA has found that these types of vehicles are involved in 127% as many rollovers as passenger cars.
Rollover accidents can have many causes
Known factors like overloaded roofs and improperly inflated tires further increase the chances of a rollover.
Other contributing factors to rollover accidents include:
- Sudden jerking movements on the wheel
- Distracted driving
- Uneven road surface or the presence of snow or ice
Complicating the question of causation is the role of design or manufacturing defects. Some defects that cause or increase the severity of rollover accidents include:
- Airbags that do not deploy
- Defective seatbelts
- Lack of reinforcements to body or failure to install a roll cage in an SUV
- Defective tires
- Mechanical failure
Rollover accidents can cause substantial injury
In a personal injury lawsuit, it is not enough to show that another party was negligent. A plaintiff also must show that the negligence directly caused the injuries. Because the causes can be complex, personal injury lawyers specializing in this type of accident work with experts to investigate each of these avenues in order to hold responsible parties accountable. The legal team may include engineers who can show the jury why the rollover occurred, doctors who can explain why the injuries were related to the crash, and financial experts to break down the numbers related to the economic loss.
New York is a no-fault insurance state. However, since the injuries in rollover accidents tend to be serious or fatal, they can surpass the injury threshold under the no-fault law. This means that the driver or passenger may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party in addition to recovering the no-fault limit from his own insurance policy.
Damages for rollover injuries can include:
- Any unpaid medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Loss of consortium or marital relations
Speak with Long Island personal injury attorneys you can trust
If you or a loved one have been injured in a rollover accident, put your trust in seasoned New York car accident injury lawyers. For a free evaluation of your case, call Edelman, Krasin & Jaye at 1-800-469-7429.