What Happens to Your Body in a Rollover Accident?

What is a rollover accident? A rollover accident occurs when a vehicle rolls over one or more times onto its side or roof during a crash. Car crashes involving rollovers are extremely dangerous. These types of traffic accidents account for about one-third of the traffic deaths each year in the United States. 

Why Are Rollover Accidents so Dangerous for Vehicle Occupants?

What happens to your body during a rollover accident depends on numerous factors. Seat belt use and airbags are two factors. The type of vehicle and how many times the vehicle rolls over are other factors.

Common injuries that occur in rollover crashes include:

  • Crushing injuries to the limbs, chest, and skull
  • Traumatic brain injuries and penetrating skull fractures
  • Loss of limbs and amputations
  • Multiple fractures and broken bones
  • Paralysis and spinal cord injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Internal organ failure or damage
  • Lacerations and puncture wounds
  • Wrongful death

Traffic crashes that result in rollovers cause catastrophic injuries and life-threatening conditions. Many people who survive a rollover crash have disabilities, permanent impairments, and severe disfigurement. 

Factors that impact the severity and type of your injuries include, but are not limited to:

Being Thrown From the Vehicle

As the vehicle rolls over, you can be thrown through the windshield or the window. If the door opens, you can also be ejected through the open door. The vehicle may roll over and crush you, or you could be thrown into another object.

Even though you might have your seat belt fastened, you could still be ejected from the vehicle during a rollover crash. The seat belt may malfunction or rip apart during the collision.

Projectiles Inside of the Vehicle 

During the rollover accident, objects within the vehicle can become dangerous projectiles. Bits of glass and metal that are torn from the vehicle can also fly through the air.

You could suffer blunt force trauma from being hit by any number of objects flying around inside the vehicle. A projectile could penetrate your body, causing severe trauma and injury to one or more organs and soft tissues. The projective could sever an artery or blood vessel, causing massive bleeding.

Cabin Intrusion 

As the vehicle rolls over, cabin intrusion becomes a problem. In cabin intrusion, the metal frame of the vehicle bends into the occupant area of the vehicle. The result is the occupants are crushed between their seats and the metal frame of the vehicle. The driver and front passenger may be pinned and crushed under the steering wheel and dashboard.

Cabin intrusion can cause extensive internal injuries, bleeding, broken bones, and crushing injuries. 

How Do Rollover Accidents Happen?

Speed is often a factor in many rollover crashes. Vehicles traveling at high rates of speed can roll over more easily around curves or during a collision with another vehicle. 

Tripping events are another common cause of rollover accidents. Here, a vehicle’s tires encounter an object, such as a curb or median. A sudden stop can result in the vehicle rolling or flipping over. 

Top-heavy vehicles are also at a high risk for rolling over in an accident. SUVs, commercial trucks, and pickup trucks have a high chance of rolling over if they hit an object or another vehicle hits them.

Damages Caused by Rollover Accidents

Because the injuries caused by rollover crashes tend to be severe, the damages for a personal injury claim are greater. Treating catastrophic injuries is costly. The victim may also miss months of work, resulting in a high value for lost wages.

The damages in a rollover accident claim may include:

  • Past and future cost of medical care and treatment
  • Psychological injuries, such as PTSD and depression
  • Past and future cost of personal care and long-term care for permanent disabilities
  • Past and future loss of income, including decreases in earning potential
  • Pain and suffering damages, including physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress
  • Disfigurement, disabilities, scarring, and impairments
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and decrease in quality of life

The value of your personal injury claim depends on the severity of your injuries, your financial losses, liability, and other factors. Before you can recover any money for your claim, you must prove that the other driver or another party caused the wreck. 

In some cases, a defective car part or system could have contributed to the rollover crash. In those cases, you may have a claim against multiple parties, including the vehicle’s manufacturer.

It can help to consult with a San Diego car accident attorney about your case. An attorney will explain your legal rights and your options for seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. Having a trusted legal advocate on your side can help ensure you are not taken advantage of by large corporations and insurance providers.