Archive for the ‘SUV Rollover Accidents’ Category

Mississippi Rollover Accident Grim Reminder of Dangers of Defective SUVs

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

A teenager who suffered serious injuries when a Toyota 4Runner rolled over was recently awarded $6.9 million dollars by a jury in federal court in Jones County.  The case serves as a tragic reminder of the danger of defective SUVs that are prone to rollover.  The teenager suffered spinal cord injuries that left him paralyzed from the waist down after the rollover crash.

An expert for the plaintiff in the rollover over accident lawsuit testified that the tires of the vehicle dropped off the edge of the road.  When the teenager steered back hard to the left to get the tires of the vehicle back on the roadway, the pavement “tripped” the SUV causing it to rollover multiple times.  Evidence was provided in the case that the models of 4Runners produced between1990-95 were top heavy, which combined with a narrow wheel base made them prone to rollover.

The jury award was based on the fact that the teenager is confined to a wheelchair and cannot use his arms.  This tragic rollover accident serves as an example of the danger posed by defective SUVs that are susceptible to rollover accidents.  The steering maneuver that the teenager used is routinely executed without incident in other types of passenger vehicles that do not possess the narrow wheel base and high center of gravity of a defective SUV.  This simple evasive maneuver can lead to traumatic permanent injuries or even wrongful death when executed in an SUV.

This tragedy also provides further evidence of the extreme danger involved in rollover accidents.  When a vehicle rolls over there is an extremely high risk that vehicle occupants will be ejected from the vehicle.  The safest place during most collisions is inside the vehicle where you have the protection of the body and frame of the vehicle.  This is a reason it is extremely important to wear a seatbelt when riding in an SUV because it will help keep you in the vehicle in the event of a rollover collision.  Many times when the vehicle rolls over it causes the door frames to become malformed causing the door to swing open and further increasing the possibility of a vehicle ejection.

Even when a vehicle occupant manages to remain in the vehicle in an SUV rollover accident, there may be a substantial risk of roof crush injuries.  Most SUVs lack roll bars and do not have adequate roof strength to prevent the roof from collapsing on SUV occupants in a rollover accident.  If you or someone you or someone you love is injured or a family member dies in an SUV rollover accident, you may be able to seek damages for your injuries and loss.  At the Barrett Law Offices PLLC, our experienced Mississippi SUV rollover accident lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

SUV Rollover Accidents Pose Serious Risk to Mississippi Drivers

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Despite rising gas prices and the grow popularity of fuel-efficient vehicles, SUVs remain the family car of choice for many Mississippi families.  They provide a convenient way to transport the entire family, your daughter’s Girl Scout troop or your son’s high school basketball team along with all their gear.  Unfortunately, this convenience comes at an extremely high cost.  SUV rollover accidents are amongst the most deadly of all motor vehicle accidents.  Their top-heavy design and relatively narrow wheelbase make SUVs particularly susceptible to being involved in a rollover accident.

What makes matters worse is that a “minor rollover” accident does not exist.  Almost invariably SUV rollover accidents result in catastrophic injuries including spinal cords injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones or fractures and even death.  If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has suffered a wrongful death in an SUV rollover accident, you may have a right to financial compensation for your loss.

Our experienced Mississippi SUV rollover accident lawyers have many years of experienced handling these potentially fatal motor vehicle crashes.  We carefully investigate SUV rollover accidents and work with leading SUV rollover accident reconstruction experts to identify all potential defendants and contributing causes to your SUV rollover collision.  Our knowledgeable SUV accident lawyers investigate a number of contributing causes and factors including:

  • Defective vehicle design or components
  • Violations of vehicle safety laws by other drivers (i.e. speeding or running red lights)
  • Poorly designed, constructed or maintained roadways
  • Other unsafe driving practices (i.e. fatigued, distracted or drowsy driving)

SUV manufacturers were aware for years that their design meant a higher risk of rollover accidents but continued to manufacture them with little regard for this serious accident risk.  With a high center of gravity and a comparatively narrow track SUVs are unavoidably unstable.  They frequently are involved in rollover accidents where a tire hits the curb or soft dirt off the edge of the roadway.  SUVs also are prone to rollover when a tire blows out, or a driver must steer hard in one direction to avoid an obstacle then oversteers in the opposite direction to maintain control of the SUV.  This is a basic evasive maneuver in other vehicles but can be fatal in an SUV.

Rollover accidents typically result in catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.  The reason that SUV rollovers often result in such serious injuries is related to design defects in SUVs.  Many SUVs lack sufficient roof reinforcement, which results in roof crush injuries in a rollover accident.  The other common cause of serious injuries in SUV rollover accidents is vehicle ejections.  Ejections account for 63 percent of all fatalities in rollover crashes and often result in costly and debilitating head injuries according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one in a Mississippi SUV rollover accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  Our experienced SUV rollover accident lawyers in Mississippi diligently pursue the best interest of our clients.  We zealously fight for those who suffer injury or wrongful death caused by the negligence of others.

Importance of Excluding Evidence in Mississippi Personal Injury Lawsuits

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Many things can happen during the course of a personal injury trial in Mississippi.  If you are injured in a Mississippi car accident, such as an SUV rollover accident, and file a personal injury lawsuit, then you may hear a legal term used called a “motion in limine.” A motion in limine is a motion that can be brought by either side in the case to keep evidence from being presented to the jury. If the judge agrees that certain evidence be excluded from the jury, then that kind of evidence cannot be talked about in front of the jury or even read by the jury for that matter. The case of Ash v. Ford Motor Co., (N.D. Miss., May 30, 2009) 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102327 is an example of a situation where the exclusion of damaging evidence can significantly affect an SUV roll-over case.

In this case, the injury victim asked the court to exclude the defendant’s expert witness testimony regarding rollover accident statistics, which compromised the SUV rollover victim’s case.  The court of appeals ruled that the defense attorney or his expert witness could not use statistics because this type of evidence could mislead or confuse the jury as offered by the defendant.

Another defense trick in the Ash case was to use an expert witness who relied upon an undisclosed investigator’s evidence, including photographs.  The problem for the defense was that they did not identify the identity or background of the investigator so the court for the most part agreed that such evidence should not be relied upon by a defense expert because the injury victim’s attorneys were not given the opportunity to cross-examine the undisclosed investigator.

The trial of a personal injury case, like an SUV rollover accident lawsuit, can be extremely complicated including the application of sophisticated court procedures and complex evidentiary rules.  An experienced Mississippi SUV rollover accident attorney understands the importance of particular evidence and when it is important to seek exclusion of such evidence because it will give the attorneys for the insurance company an unfair advantage.

The two basic principles of excluding evidence in a Mississippi personal injury trial illustrated in the Ash case are that evidence cannot confuse or mislead the jury and that you cannot use an undisclosed “mystery” witness at trial. This also would violate the Constitutional right to cross-examine the witness, which is why the Ash case ruling makes sense from a legal standpoint.

Our Mississippi SUV rollover accident attorneys at the Barrett Law, PLLC will help demystify the legal process and seek the compensation that you need to rebuild your life. If you have been involved in a serious SUV rollover accident, you should contact the Mississippi SUV rollover accident attorneys at Barrett Law, PLLC so that we can evaluate your case and advise you of your rights and options.  Our firm has been helping motor vehicle accident victims in Mississippi for over 75 years so call us today at (662) 834-2376.  No Recovery No Fee!