According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), rollover accidents accounted for approximately 8% of truck crashes resulting in injuries and for nearly 7% of fatal truck crashes in 2017. While some rollovers are caused by road debris, dead animals, or uneven surfaces, most result from negligence:
- Speeding, especially around curves
- Driving too fast for weather conditions
- Unbalanced cargo
- Worn tires
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Drug/alcohol impairment
Because a loaded commercial tractor-trailer can weigh 20 times as much as an average passenger car, the damage in a rollover crash to nearby vehicles, as well as injuries to their occupants, can be catastrophic. If you’re the victim in a truck rollover crash, you may file a claim against the negligent driver’s insurance company for your damages:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
What You Should Do
If you’re physically able to do so, you can take specific steps at the scene of a rollover crash to support and strengthen your claim for damages:
- Move to a safe area.
- Call 911 to report the accident.
- Take photos of damaged vehicles, the scene, your injuries, and any other evidence.
- Get contact info from any witnesses.
- Exchange contact info with the at-fault driver if possible.
- Seek medical attention right away, regardless of how you feel.
- Don’t admit any fault to anyone.
- Contact your insurance company.
- Consult a truck accident attorney.
The Role of Your Lawyer
A claim for damages in a commercial truck rollover accident is much more complicated than other car crash claims because more than one party might be liable for your accident:
- Truck driver
- Truck driver’s employer
- A truck leasing/rental company
- Cargo loading personnel
- A truck manufacturer
- A truck repair service
Determining the percentage of fault in your accident for multiple defendants and filing claims against multiple insurance companies requires the services of an attorney. Your lawyer can increase your chances for fair compensation by:
- Obtaining footage from nearby security or red-light cameras
- Retaining an accident reconstruction specialist/expert witnesses
- Obtaining information from the truck’s data recorder or “black box”
- Determining the percentage of fault for each defendant
- Organizing and presenting your medical evidence convincingly
- Putting a dollar value on your pain and suffering
- Negotiating with all insurance companies
- Fighting for you in court if your case goes to trial
Have You Been Injured in a Truck Rollover Accident in South Dakota?