Des Moines Rollover Accident Lawyers
Were you injured or did you lose a loved one in a rollover accident caused by an 18-wheeler or another large commercial vehicle? If so, you have the right to seek fair compensation for your injuries, financial losses, and more. The Des Moines truck accident lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. stand ready to help you get answers and justice, so call us right away for help.
Rollovers rank among the deadliest types of accidents on U.S. roadways. More than half of all deaths of drivers and their occupants result from rollover crashes, according to data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and compiled by medical scholars. This is startling data considering that rollover crashes only account for about 3.3 percent of all large truck crashes.
A rollover crash can cause life-altering, and unfortunately, frequently fatal injuries. The gravity of these injuries may require extensive hospital stays, surgeries, prescriptions, and physical therapy. This medical intervention may last months, even years. Can you afford to pay for these types of medical expenses for the foreseeable future? At LaMarca Law Group, P.C. we don’t think victims should be at risk of losing their financial stability because of a serious truck accident like a rollover. Victims of truck accidents have legal rights, and we want to make sure those rights are protected.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a rollover truck accident, contact LaMarca Law Group, P.C. for help. We can provide you with information on your legal options and advise you on the best course of action to recover the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (515) 225-2600 for more information.
How Is A Rollover Crash Defined?
“Rollover” is a common term used to describe a particular type of crash. It’s defined by an accident that involves a vehicle tipping over onto its side and then rolling, sometimes repeatedly. A large truck may only roll once, or it may roll several times before it finally comes to rest. Large trucks are particularly prone to rollover accidents because they have a higher center of gravity.
What Can Cause A Large Truck to Rollover?
This higher center of gravity means that any sudden shift in weight or balance can send the truck into a rollover.
When a vehicle in excess of 80,000 pounds suddenly experiences balance issues, there is ultimately not much that can be done to prevent the vehicle from rolling over. Once the weight begins to shift, it will continue to carry the vehicle into a rollover, even as the driver struggles to regain control.
While no two rollover accidents are exactly alike, there are some common elements present in many rollover accident situations. Some of the most common causes of rollover accidents involving large vehicles include:
- Distracted driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Sudden braking
- Sudden or unsafe lane changes
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Inexperienced drivers
- Improperly trained drivers
- Inclement weather conditions
- Defective parts
- Malfunctioning brake or steering systems
Injuries Associated with Rollover Accidents
Rollover accidents can pose significant risks to everyone. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association found that in 2017, 4,761 people were killed as a result of a large truck collision. About 72 percent of those killed were the occupants of the other vehicle.
A large truck caught in a roll can crush smaller vehicles in its path. It can also sweep them up and send them flying or pull them along with the truck itself. When large trucks rollover, the accident poses significant safety risks for those immediately involved in the accident, but it can also pose risks for other drivers even after the initial crash.
In addition to causing harm in the initial rollover accident, trucks that roll can lose their cargo, spilling materials onto the roadway. The initial flying debris can act like dangerous projectiles, injuring motorists too close to the crash. The subsequent debris that scatters onto the road can also pose a safety hazard for drivers who have not yet come upon the accident and don’t realize there is cargo in the middle of the road. Suddenly having to maneuver away from this debris can cause secondary accidents. Depending on the type of cargo involved, victims may also be at risk of suffering chemical exposure and burns.
Rollover accidents are to blame for some of the most catastrophic types of accident injuries. Some of the most common examples of rollover accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head, neck, and spinal injuries
- Fractured bones
- Crushed bones
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Disfiguring injuries
- Wrongful death
Injuries this serious can mean a lifetime of medical intervention, doctor’s appointments, treatments, rehabilitation, and even drastic changes to the way a victim lives their life. Significant injuries can mean significant medical bills, bills that may put a financial strain on the victim not just today, but for a long time to come.
Who is Responsible for Compensation After a Rollover Accident?
When it comes to liability following vehicle accidents, the state of Iowa follows what is known as a “fault-based” system. A fault-based regulation stipulates that the party responsible for causing the accident is also the party responsible for compensating victims of the accident. Under a fault-based system, a victim involved in an accident may pursue recovering compensation in the following ways:
- Filing a claim with the truck driver’s insurance
- Filing a claim with your own insurance
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit in court
In many cases, a claim is filed with the trucking company’s insurance provider. Filing the claim is only the beginning of the often complicated and stressful process of trying to recover compensation in the event of a rollover accident. Trucking companies have insurance adjusters and high-powered attorneys ready to protect their business interests. From the moment an accident happens, these teams of people are working to protect the company and mitigate the circumstances of the accident, which means paying victims as little as possible. In some cases, it may even mean manipulating victims into giving statements that make it appear they were at fault somehow.
Establishing liability takes investigation. This is one of the most important reasons that victims need to get in contact with an attorney immediately after a rollover accident. An attorney has the power to independently investigate the circumstances of the crash and call for the legal preservation of critical evidence before it is lost or destroyed. This evidence may include the truck’s Electronic Control Module (a truck’s black box), video surveillance, dashboard camera footage, or GPS and cell phone data. An attorney will also be able to secure the company’s safety record, the driver’s driving record, inspection records, cargo loading information, and more.
Why is all of this information important for a claim? It’s because this information helps build a solid case on behalf of the victim to help recover the maximum amount of compensation.
It also helps establish liability. Trucking accidents aren’t always a clear case of “the driver is at fault – now the insurance should pay”. Multiple parties may be responsible for causing the accident, from the trucking company to the cargo loading company to a manufacturer that installed a defective part. It’s an attorney’s job to follow the facts and hold all those responsible for their actions, especially if negligence played a part in the rollover.
While there are no solid numbers for what a victim may be due, typically those involved in serious accidents can recover compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of future income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You
In addition to investigating and helping to establish liability in a trucking accident claim, an experienced attorney will be able to negotiate with the trucking company or their insurance providers on your behalf. Not only will a company try to dodge blame, but they will also try to get away with paying victims as little as possible – that way profit margins stay intact. Once liability is established, an attorney can aggressively negotiate with the insurance provider to make sure that the victim is getting the money they deserve. If it becomes clear that a company does not wish to negotiate in good faith, a skilled attorney will have the experience and resources to take that company to court.
Contact an Experienced Des Moines Truck Accident Attorney
Filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against a major trucking company for a rollover accident is a daunting and complicated process. These companies, their insurers, and their attorneys are counting on the fact that you start the process alone, making it easier for them to take advantage of you, the victim. At LaMarca Law Group, P.C. we fight to protect your rights and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Put our extensive legal experience to work for you. Contact a skilled Des Moines truck accident attorney at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. if you or a loved one have been injured in a rollover accident with a large or commercial truck. The consultation is free. Call (515) 225-2600 to schedule yours today.