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SUV Rollover Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles

Rollover accidents, in which a vehicle turns on its side or its roof, may be the most serious type of auto accident. When a car, SUV, or truck of any kind rolls over, the people inside are thrown sideways and upside down violently, putting them at risk of serious head and neck injuries or even death. In cases where someone is thrown from the vehicle, the resulting impact is likely to be fatal. In vehicles with weak roofs, these roofs can also be crushed in a rollover, leading to more head injuries as well as serious puncture wounds from broken, jagged metal and glass. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that rollover accidents represented just 2.6 percent of all crashes in 2006, but 21.6 percent of fatal crashes.

Rollover and roof crush accidents can happen to any vehicle. But studies and years of litigation have shown that some vehicles have an unreasonably high tendency to roll over, even under normal driving conditions, including:

  • Sport-utility vehicles (SUVs)
  • Fifteen-passenger vans
  • Pickup trucks
  • Large commercial trucks
  • Any vehicle with defective tires

The trouble is these vehicles’ high center of gravity combined with their high weight. Many people buy SUVs, pickups and other large vehicles as a family car, believing their height and weight will protect their families in an accident. Unfortunately, that height shifts the vehicles’ heavy engines and other parts higher and farther to the rear, making them easier to tip over after an accident, a bump in the road or even a normal maneuver. A minor annoyance for drivers of small cars, such as dodging an animal in the road, can lead to a serious accident for drivers of these larger vehicles. These defective designs lead to thousands of preventable deaths every year, but manufacturers continue to make and sell vehicles that use them.

Designs with weak roofs can make rollover accidents considerably worse. The roofs of passenger cars and other vehicles of 6,000 pounds or less are federally required to be able to withstand 1.5 times their weight. There’s no such requirement for heavier light trucks or commercial big rigs, 18-wheelers or tractor-trailers. These vehicles’ heavy weight makes safety measures like roll bars and roof reinforcements vital — but adding them drives up manufacturers’ prices. Because there’s no federal law requiring these roof reinforcements, many manufacturers still don’t include them. As a result, Americans sustain more than 1,000 preventable deaths every year.

The Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle are nationally recognized as leaders in automotive safety law. All three of our partners have won record verdicts or settlements for clients who were seriously injured or lost a loved one in accidents caused by product defects. The firm has won more than 150 verdicts or settlements of more than $1 million each, and partners regularly speak and write on trial procedure, accidents, product defects and other aspects of consumer law. All partners have been honored with nominations or awards as Trial Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America and other professional honors.

To speak with one of our knowledgeable roof crush and SUV rollover attorneys, call us at 877.800.1700.

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