Rollover Accidents In Florida
Few car accidents are ever easy to shrug off, but if you are unfortunate enough to experience a rollover accident, you may be stuck dealing with its aftereffects for quite some time. Rollover accidents are disproportionately dangerous, causing many more injuries and deaths than would be expected given their small percentage of the country’s accident total. If you have been in a rollover accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file suit against them even if their vehicle did not overturn.
Causes & Statistics
There are many different factors that can lead to a rollover crash, some of which fall under driver error and some that do not. Examples include distracted or drowsy driving (which can lead to jerks of the wheel and ensuing swerves), hazardous or poorly-maintained roads, hitting a median or guardrail, and unstable or top-heavy vehicles (SUVs, which are notoriously top-heavy, are much more commonly involved in rollover crashes than any other type of vehicle).
Because so much weight is involved when a rollover crash happens, the type of injury sustained can be more severe than those in less serious accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in recent available data, only around 2 percent of all traffic accidents were rollovers, but 35 percent of all deaths in passenger vehicle crashes occurred in those rollover accidents. In addition, more long-term injuries are sustained in rollover accidents; conditions like traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and long-term spinal cord damage are more often seen when a rollover has occurred.
Can I File Suit?
One thing to keep in mind is that Florida is a no-fault state, which means that if you are injured in an auto accident, you would not file a suit under a theory of negligence; rather, you would submit your claims to your personal injury protection (PIP) insurer and have your medical bills covered that way. Florida law does allow for the filing of a lawsuit if you have sustained serious injuries – if you have sustained a “significant and permanent loss” of a bodily function, or another type of permanent disability, you may then file suit against the person you believe to have been responsible.
The prohibition on lawsuits under a no-fault system only applies to negligence suits; if you believe that there was, for example, a defect in your automobile, you may still be able to file suit against the manufacturer, or the part’s manufacturer. If, say, your vehicle was top-heavy and flipped over without any outside interference, a product liability claim might be appropriate, which is different than a case in negligence theory. Each case is different, but consulting with a legal professional can help shed light on what to do next.
Call A Tampa Rollover Accident Attorney
After an auto accident, your primary focus should be on recovery, but trying to seek compensation for the harm you have suffered may be a good idea as well. The Tampa car accident attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group can help you determine how best to pursue your claims, at the same time offering compassionate and dedicated representation for a vulnerable time in your life. Call our offices today for a free consultation.