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Florida Vehicle Rollovers

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A vehicle rollover is among the most terrifying of car accident experiences, often ending in serious or catastrophic injuries. The popularity of SUVs in recent decades caused a rise in vehicle rollover accidents, including in Florida. When a vehicle’s center of gravity is heightened and the wheelbase width remains the same to be compatible with lane sizes, the result is a top-heavy vehicle with an increased likelihood of rolling over in an accident. Crash data shows that about half of all rollover accidents end in death.

Accident victims often face challenges navigating an insurance claim after a vehicle rollover in Florida due to the state’s no-fault insurance laws. Understanding the physical and legal consequences of a vehicle rollover accident in Florida is important if you or a loved one suffered injuries in this type of crash.

How Does a Vehicle Rollover Accident Occur?

In a rollover accident, a vehicle rolls over one or more times during a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 12% of rollover accidents result from a collision with another vehicle, particularly from sideswipes and angle collisions. About 10% of rollovers are “trip accidents” occurring when a vehicle encounters an obstacle in the roadway or fails to safely navigate a sharp curve. The most common causes of rollover accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Overcorrecting or swerving (high-speed avoidance maneuvers)
  • Vehicle overloading
  • Tire blowouts

Data shows that 39% of fatal rollover accidents in 2019 occurred to motorists in SUVs, 38% in pickup trucks, and 16% in standard passenger vehicles.

How Does Liability Work After a Rollover Accident In Florida?

Unlike the more common, fault-based insurance states, Florida has no-fault insurance laws requiring accident victims to file claims only against their own personal injury protection insurance coverage regardless of who caused the accident. However, there are exceptions to this law which is extremely limiting to drivers who carry only the state’s minimum required coverage of $10,000. In some circumstances, victims injured in rollover accidents in Florida may file insurance claims or lawsuits against at-fault drivers; for instance, if they suffered catastrophic injuries, the loss of a limb or body part, or sustained serious scarring or disfigurement. In these cases, the injury victim bears the burden of proving liability for the accident which means demonstrating the following to be true through a preponderance of evidence:

  • The at-fault party owed a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent injury
  • They breached this duty through negligence or recklessness
  • The breach of duty directly caused the accident and injuries
  • The injury victim suffered both economic and non-economic damages due to the injury

Most defendants in rollover vehicle accident lawsuits are negligent drivers, but in less common cases, the at-fault party could be a negligent road maintenance agency, the manufacturer of a defective car part, or a vehicle manufacturer that produced an unsafe vehicle.

What Compensation Is Available After a Florida Vehicle Rollover Accident?

Car accident injuries are expensive as well as painful. A rollover accident often results in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and burns. Common damages listed in Florida car accident claims include compensation amounts for the following:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Diminished future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other non-economic damages like traumatic limb loss, disfigurement, or disability
  • Wrongful death compensation

It’s particularly distressing for victims of rollover accidents in Florida when someone else’s actions caused their injury and damages.

Should I Hire a Lawyer After A Rollover Car Accident in Florida?

Many Florida accident victims fail to recover the full amount of compensation available to them after a car accident because they believe they are always limited to the amount of compensation available only under their own insurance policy coverage. By hiring an experienced Florida car accident lawyer, the victim of a rollover accident, or any car accident in Florida, receives the legal counsel and representation they need for the best possible outcome in their car accident case. At Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann, our Sarasota car accident lawyers and Bradenton car accident lawyers are here to get the justice you deserve. Contact us today online or call (941) 954-4000.