Driver error is the main reason trucks roll over, per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). According to the federal agency, driver error causes more than 78 percent of rollover truck accidents in the U.S.
Driving behaviors that fall into this category include speeding, particularly around curved roads, turning incorrectly at an intersection, tired or distracted driving, and drifting onto the road’s soft shoulder. As the FMCSA notes, “rollovers can happen at any time, so drivers can never be too comfortable behind the wheel.” If you were injured in a rollover accident that another party caused, our truck accident lawyer can explain your legal options.
What Is a Rollover Truck Accident?
A rollover truck accident occurs when a large truck, typically a tractor-trailer or another large commercial vehicle, loses its balance before overturning and rolling multiple times. The truck usually comes to a complete stop on its side or upside down.
People involved in these crashes can suffer catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries (SCIs), burns, broken bones, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, amputations, soft tissue injuries, and more.
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Other Reasons Rollover Truck Crashes Occur
Besides driver error, other factors that can contribute to a truck rollover accident include:
A Truck’s Load Size
Truck drivers must be aware of their truck’s high center of gravity, where its total weight is most concentrated. When trucks transport unevenly distributed or unsecured cargo, this can cause imbalances that can cause a truck to tip over, especially if a driver attempts to take a turn too quickly or underestimates the turn’s sharpness.
Per the FMCSA, about 63% of rollover truck crashes involving cargo tanks occurred when trucks carried partial loads. A large commercial truck can legally carry up to 80,000 pounds of cargo. With such a heavy load, drivers must know how to operate their vehicles properly.
The Condition of a Truck and/or Its Parts
Brakes and tires play important roles in preventing a truck from turning over. If a truck’s brakes fail due to poor maintenance or its tires blow out due to improper inflation, the driver may be unable to stop in time to prevent a rollover accident. Maintenance crews and truck drivers are responsible for checking a vehicle to prevent these issues.
Truck drivers must also remain alert when driving along the roads they travel because some can curve or bend. If they realize this too late, they could end up in a rollover accident. A truck’s high center of gravity can make it more likely to roll over if it goes around a curve and veers off the road, hitting the road’s soft shoulder, guardrail, or another object.
Commercial truck drivers should account for adverse weather when traveling. Unfavorable conditions can make it hard to see what’s ahead and maneuver a vehicle to avoid a rollover crash. If a truck is top-heavy, high winds could make it vulnerable to turning over. If the truck operator is driving too fast for road conditions and it is raining, the roads can become slick, making it difficult to stop.
Who Is At Fault When Rollover Truck Accidents Happen?
Determining who is liable for damages from a rollover truck accident depends on several factors, including how many vehicles were involved and how the accident occurred. In a single-vehicle rollover, an attorney from our firm can review the crash’s details to see if any issues with the vehicle or the roadway caused or contributed to the accident.
An attorney can help the driver file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the truck’s manufacturer or the company that made its parts. Other liable parties could include the crews responsible for loading and securing the truck’s cargo or a repair shop that serviced the truck.
If you suffered injuries in a rollover crash with a commercial truck, an attorney can review the accident’s cause to determine if dangerous driving behavior led to the crash. If so, you could seek legal action against the truck driver, their employer, or another liable party. Truck accident cases often involve multiple liable parties, making them difficult to handle on your own. Fortunately, personal injury attorneys can represent accident victims and seek the compensation they deserve.
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Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Represents Truck Rollover Accident Victims
Truck rollover accidents can be prevented with driver training and proper caution on the road. Still, crashes happen, and no matter the reasons, injured parties should receive compensation for the losses they endured as a result of large, heavy trucks overturning on the roads.
Our lawyers can represent you and fight for compensation if you are recovering from a crash. Call us today to tell us more about the accident. We can advise you on your legal options. If we take your case, we can start on it promptly and begin seeking justice on your behalf.