Large commercial trucks are BIG.
The legal weight for an 18-wheeler in the United States is 80,000 pounds, and that’s without an oversize permit. With an oversize permit, 18-wheelers can be much heavier. To put this in perspective, the average automobile on the road is only about 3,000 pounds.
What’s more, 18-wheelers are often 70-80 feet long and almost always more than 13 feet tall.
So what can happen when 1 of these large trucks takes a turn too fast?
A rollover—and that’s bad news for both the truck driver and anyone else on the road.
This article examines rollover accidents in Texas, including how they happen and what to do if you’re involved in one.
A “truck rollover accident” simply refers to an accident where a truck tips over onto its side or roof. Rollover accidents are separated into 2 categories based on how they occurred:
Not all rollover accidents fall into these categories. Some rollover accidents are caused by a defective truck part, such as a tire blowout that causes the truck to rollover. When a defective product is involved, the appropriate lawsuit is a product liability lawsuit (which is a type of personal injury lawsuit).
Other factors that may contribute to a rollover accident include:
As you might imagine, rollover accidents are an especially dangerous type of accident. Although rollovers account for only 2.1% of all motor vehicle accidents, they are responsible for nearly 35% of all vehicle fatalities.
Let’s look at some other rollover-accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
A rollover accident has occurred and you’ve been injured.
As with other types of truck accidents, there are several parties that can be held liable for a truck rollover accident. They include:
Once you've established who the negligent party is, you can make an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit in order to receive compensation for your damages.
If a loved one is killed in a truck accident, there’s still a legal option to receive compensation. A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim, except that it’s filed by certain members of the loved one’s family.
Rollover accidents, like other types of truck accidents, can cause a host of serious injuries, including:
In Texas, you can receive both economic and non-economic damages for a rollover accident. Economic damages include damages that you can easily quantify (such as medical expenses and lost wages). Non-economic damages include things that can’t be easily quantified (such as pain and suffering).
In some cases, you may be partially responsible for the accident. Texas follows the modified comparative fault theory. This means that your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if the judge or jury finds that you were 40% at fault for the accident, you’re only entitled to 60% of your damages. What’s more, if you’re more than 50% at fault, you’re prohibited from recovering any damages.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve is to keep a detailed account of your injuries following a truck accident. Use our damages worksheet and post-accident journal to help keep track.