An automobile rollover accident is known as one of the most dangerous types of accidents that vehicle occupants can experience. When the rollover accident is not fatal, the resulting injuries are serious and disabling, with paralysis and traumatic brain injury commonly reported. Vehicle rollover litigation is very complex, even when the rollover involved a single car. A rollover accident is often the result of interactions among a driver's action or non-action, the vehicle's components, the roadway, and weather conditions. Many defective design actions have been litigated involving vehicle rollover accidents.
Tort law is the branch of the legal system that deals with cases in which an individual or other legally recognized entity, such as a corporation or governmental unit, seeks to recover damages from another person for a private injury or wrong not arising out of a contractual relationship. Tort actions are often based on the concept of negligence, which the law generally defines in such a context as the failure to meet the standard of care required to avoid subjecting another to unreasonable risk of injury. Under traditional tort law principles, if the plaintiff in such a case was found to have been guilty of what is called contributory negligence, which is generally defined as a failure to use due care that contributes to the plaintiff's own injury, the plaintiff would be barred from recovering any damages from the defendant. More recently, many courts have adopted a doctrine called comparative fault or comparative negligence in deciding such cases.
When a person, who is injured in an automobile accident, needs an attorney to file a lawsuit against those who caused the person's injuries, the attorney's fees could prevent the injured person from proceeding. Most injured persons cannot afford to pay an attorney's hourly fee to bring a lawsuit to recover damages that could include medical expenses, lost wages, pain, future medical needs, and other expenses. To make litigation affordable for an injured person, attorneys in automobile accident cases do not charge an hourly rate or a fixed amount for legal fees. Instead, the attorney and injured person agree that the attorney's fee will be determined by the amount of the settlement awarded to the client. This is called a contingency fee arrangement.
The basic elements of proof that a plaintiff in a products liability action against the manufacturer or seller of a car or truck has to establish are that the vehicle as sold contained a defect that created an unreasonable risk of death, personal injury, or property damage when the vehicle was used for its intended purpose and that the defect caused an accident or similar incident, such as a vehicle fire, that resulted in the loss for which the plaintiff is seeking to recover damages. Allegations of product defect in automotive products liability cases include inadequacies in vehicle design, errors in the manufacture of vehicle parts and their assembly into a completed car or truck, and failure to warn users of a vehicle about dangers inherent in its use.
Insurance companies do not defend their insureds in criminal proceedings based on automobile collisions. However, nearly all automobile collisions result from infractions of traffic regulations. The fact that an insured was violating a law at the time a covered accident occurred does not relieve an insurance company's duty to defend that insured in a civil action or its duty to pay for the injuries or damages caused by the insured.