SUV rollover accidents often result in harm that changes a victim’s life forever. If you or a loved one has been involved in a rollover, you should contact a motor vehicle collision attorney who is experienced in these cases.
Dedicated Car Crash Lawyers Serving the Stuart Area
Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have been around for decades. Unfortunately, the increasing popularity of SUVs in South Florida and elsewhere has led to many serious accidents, including devastating rollovers. A number of permanently disabling injuries have resulted, as have a number of tragic fatalities. If you are dealing with the aftermath of a crash, the Stuart SUV rollover accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston are here to address your questions and concerns. The process of seeking compensation for your injuries may be complex, and it is important to explore the full scope of your rights and options with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer serving Stuart and the surrounding area.
Seeking Compensation After an SUV Rollover Accident
A true SUV – as opposed to a crossover vehicle – is built on a truck frame and may have options such as four-wheel drive and higher ground clearance. Although there are still some enthusiasts who use SUVs for off-roading and other driving more compatible with their original purpose, the vast majority of modern SUVs, such as Ford Explorers, Nissan Pathfinders, Chevrolet Tahoes, Honda Pilots, Land Rover Range Rovers, Toyota Sequoias, and GMC Yukons, seem much more at home in the pickup line after soccer practice or circling the mall garage looking for a place to park. Their mainstream usage means that SUV accidents are all too mainstream as well.
A plaintiff seeking to recover damages following a rollover crash must prove each of the four elements of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. These elements are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Each element of negligence must be present in order for the plaintiff to prevail. The defendant in an SUV rollover case may vary. Other motorists may be held liable in some situations, while in other cases the manufacturer of the SUV or a governmental entity whose action or inaction led to a flaw in the roadway may have caused or contributed to the accident. The defendant may respond that the plaintiff was also at fault, in which case the jury may be required to allocate each party’s comparative negligence and reduce any damages award proportionally. Fortunately, the pure comparative fault rule in Florida allows victims to receive at least some compensation from any defendant that is determined to be at least partly at fault.
In some accident cases, it may be helpful to introduce expert testimony, such as a doctor who can explain the plaintiff’s injuries and future prognosis to the jury or an accident reconstructionist who can render an opinion as to the exact cause of a crash. Damages that may be available to an injured person who is able to make out a case of negligence following an SUV rollover accident include pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, loss of consortium, and loss of future earning capacity due to vocational disability. In cases involving recklessness, a heightened level of negligence that consists of willful or wanton conduct, punitive damages may also be a possibility, although these are reserved for extreme situations.