All truck accidents are dangerous for the truck driver and other vehicle drivers involved, but rollovers can cause some of the most extensive damage. While these accidents can be devastating, taking the appropriate steps in the aftermath can help improve your chances of receiving your rightful compensation.
If you were involved in a rollover accident and believe that you deserve compensation, schedule a consultation with a Houston truck crash lawyer today.
What is a Rollover Accident?
A rollover occurs when a vehicle rolls over onto one side, usually in the middle of a roadway. Rollover accidents present sudden danger to oncoming cars who do not have time to stop. In 2016, a rollover was the precipitating event in 5 percent of all fatal crashes and 2 percent of all nonfatal crashes involving large trucks.
What Causes a Rollover?
Rollovers occur for many reasons. A driver can lose control of the truck, and a curb or guardrail can “trip” the truck and cause it to roll over. Speeding around a curve can cause the frictional force between the tires and the road to tip the truck over on its side. Many refer to these incidents as “frictional” rollovers. Even when a driver is not turning, speeding can cause a rollover in wet conditions. Poor driver behavior such as texting while driving, drowsiness and reckless actions also cause rollover accidents.
Cargo shifts are another reason for rollovers. Drivers should ensure their cargo is secure in the trailer. If it’s not, the cargo can shift while driving, causing the center of gravity to change and tip the vehicle. Liquid cargo presents even more of a problem because the center of gravity is higher in a truck which decreases stability. The force of liquids shifting side-to-side is powerful enough to cause a rollover. Poor truck maintenance is another cause of rollover accidents. Damaged brakes or low tire pressure can also contribute to this type of crash.
How Can Drivers Reduce Risk of Rollover?
To ensure maximum prevention of rollovers occurring, adhere to proper safety regulations. Trucking companies are responsible for properly inspecting their vehicles. They must provide training for drivers and keep track of their hours to prevent driver drowsiness. While most drivers don’t pack their own trucks, drivers should inspect the cargo for any loose items. Trucks should only transport limited amounts of liquid cargo, combining liquids with more stable cargo. Adherence to proper road safety is effective in preventing rollovers from speeding, reckless driving, or tripping over an object like a curb.
What Do I Do After a Rollover?
Knowing how to respond after a rollover accident will help you to manage the situation and respond appropriately. Here is what to do:
- Seek medical attention. Whether you think you suffered an injury or not, you should get to a doctor and be checked out. Often, adrenaline will mask any pain. Even if you have no visible injuries, you should receive medical attention so that you can have an accurate report of your injuries.
- Gather the other party’s information. You’ll want to talk with the trucker and get his or her contact information, as well as details about the trucking company. If any other drivers were part of the accident, you should gather their information as well.
- Take photos or video of the scene. If possible, you should try to take pictures of any damages and the surrounding area. This includes your car, the truck, any tire markings on the road, and your injuries.
- Collect witness information. Aside from the involved drivers, gather the contact information of anyone else who may have seen the accident occur.
- File a police report. Notifying the police is always a good idea. They will gather information about the accident and attempt to determine fault. The police report is the first document the insurance companies will want to see and will be the most reliable account of the accident. If you had to go to a hospital, be sure to visit the police station later to get a copy of the police report.
- Consult a personal injury attorney. If you suffered an injury in a rollover accident, it’s vital to consult an attorney before talking with the other party’s insurance adjusters.
Rollover accidents are dangerous and often fatal. When someone suffers injury because of one of these accidents, victims have the right to recover compensation. Taking the appropriate steps following an incident can help increase your chances of a successful claim.