The National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that over 10,000 people in the U.S. died in rollover accidents in 2007. While rollover accidents only account for 10 percent of all traffic accidents in the nation, such crashes result in a high number of fatalities. Those who survive rollover accidents are likely to suffer severe injuries.
A single-vehicle rollover crash that occurred around 5:40 p.m. on Aug. 29 in the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area in West Palm Beach left a man and a woman injured. Emergency crews had difficulty finding the exact location of the crash. Multiple rescue crews responded to the north and south entrances of the park, while a Trauma Hawk helicopter was searching from above.
Emergency crews finally located the crash and found a heavily damaged vehicle and one occupant lying on the ground. A second person was found inside the vehicle. Both patients were evaluated as trauma alerts. They were transported by two trauma hawk helicopters to St. Mary’s Trauma Center.
Single-vehicle rollover accidents commonly occur when a driver loses control of the vehicle, and the vehicle swerves and impacts an obstruction that causes the vehicle to overturn. Some vehicles are known to be more prone to overturning than others, such as vehicles with a high center of gravity like sport utility vehicles.
The injuries people may sustain in a rollover accident can range from minor to serious, although they are severe in most cases. Common injuries include spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and head injuries. Such injuries often cause the injured individuals to require long periods of hospital stays, expensive surgeries, and ongoing medical treatment to obtain full recovery.
In motor vehicle accidents that don’t involve other vehicles, it is generally presumed that the driver of the vehicle that overturned is at fault for the crash. However, it should also be carefully investigated if factors other than the negligence of the driver caused or contributed to the crash. These factors can be a defective road design, an improperly maintained roadway, defective vehicle design, and mechanical failure.
While nothing can undo a tragic, serious accident, the injured vehicle occupants may seek legal advice from a good West Palm Beach accident lawyer to determine if they can pursue a personal injury claim.