Who is Liable For Your Rollover Accident in New York

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of lightweight trucks, vans, and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) on the roads in the United States. Although they have been growing more popular, it is vital to remember that such vehicles with a higher center of gravity are more likely to be involved in rollover accidents.

Of all types of road crashes, accidents that involve a rollover are the most likely to cause death. Although one is likely to assume that a rollover accident occurs only in extreme conditions, data from SaferCar.gov shows that more than 90 percent rollover accidents take place when a car is simply driving straight or turning a corner.

The nature of a rollover is so deadly that anyone who isn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash is very likely to meet a tragic end. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while head-on collisions are the most severe type of accident, rollover crashes come a close second.

Types of Rollover Accidents in New York

Rollovers involve the flipping over or rolling over of a vehicle. There are two types of rollover accidents – tripped and untripped.

  • Tripped rollovers are accidents in which some outside factor such as a guardrail or a steep slope causes the accident. In some cases, another automobile may also be responsible for the rollover.
  • Untripped rollovers do not involve an outside factor. They are primarily caused due to driving-related factors such as speeding or an error in steering.

Risk Factors for Rollover Accidents

The likelihood of a rollover accident in New York City depends on the presence of certain risk factors such as the following:

Vehicle Instability

A car’s stability is decided by how much space exists between its left and right tires and the vehicle’s center of gravity. A vehicle with a very high center of gravity or a narrow track width is more prone to rollover when making a quick turn. Vehicles that are narrow and tall – SUVs, vans and trucks – are therefore the most susceptible to rollovers.

High Speeds

A vehicle traveling at a high speed is more likely to rollover than one moving at a slower pace. Data shows that close to 75 percent of fatal rollovers occur when vehicles are moving at speeds of greater than 55 mph. The risk is even greater when a sharp turn is negotiated at these high speeds.

Road Conditions

Roads that have not been properly maintained and have uneven surfaces and potholes are more likely to cause an already susceptible vehicle to roll over. Sometimes, the presence of a median, curb or a guardrail may also cause a speeding vehicle to roll over.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

Data from SaferCar.gov shows that in close to 50% of rollover crashes, the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol interferes with the driver’s vision, judgment, and ability to execute driving maneuvers and so, it is not surprising that drunken driving is responsible for half of all rollover accidents.

Bad Weather

Rain, snow, and ice can make a vehicle more unstable and increase the risk of a rollover accident. A sudden application of the brakes or jerking of the steering wheel is even more dangerous in poor weather and can cause the vehicle to flip.

Defective Vehicle Parts

Vehicles are fitted with several safety features such as airbags, seat belts, roll bars, and crumple zones to provide protection to the car occupants. In some cases, if these features fail to function as expected, it can lead to injuries.

How is Liability Determined in a Rollover Accident in NYC?

In order to establish who is responsible for a rollover accident, it is important to determine the exact cause of the accident. In cases where there is one clear cause such as a road hazard, or reckless driving, liability is easy to determine. However, if there have been multiple factors responsible for the accident, it becomes quite difficult to establish who is responsible.

Driver Negligence


If a vehicle was being driven above the permitted speed limits or under the influence of alcohol or if it is a clear case of distracted driving, the accident may be attributed to negligent behavior of the driver.  In such cases, the accident victim is entitled to claim compensation from the driver who is at fault.

Apathy of a Government Agency

If you have been injured in a rollover accident in New York that was caused due to the poor condition of the roadways, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the government agency that is responsible for the road’s maintenance.

Vehicle Manufacturer Responsibility

A rollover accident may also be deemed to be the fault of the vehicle manufacturer if it can be proved that its design or faulty parts were responsible for the crash.

Vehicle Faults that Can Cause a New York Rollover Accident

A study of personal injury lawsuits that involve rollover crashes shows that the following are the most common vehicle faults that may be responsible:

  • Defective brakes
  • Problems in tire threads
  • Faulty automobile design
  • Lack of roll bars or roll cages which increases roof instability
  • Failure to warn the public about defects in the car

In such accidents where a third party is involved, it may be possible to bring a lawsuit against the designer of the vehicle and its manufacturer.

If your accident was caused by poor road design, construction, and maintenance, it is possible to claim compensation from the concerned roadway planning, construction, and maintenance agencies.

Can Faulty Vehicle Parts be Considered Responsible for Rollover Accidents?

Based on what the research shows, automobile engineering experts recommend that vehicles must be designed to have a lower center of gravity and more space between the right and left tires. However, this is not really implemented by automakers as it would call for design changes that can turn quite expensive.

If the owner of a vehicle that was involved in a rollover accident blames the incident on a fault in the vehicle, they must be able to prove the following:

  • That the vehicle was being used in the intended manner at the time of the injury
  • That the part of the vehicle responsible for the injury was “unreasonably dangerous”
  • That the vehicle had not undergone any substantial change ever since it was purchased by the individual
  • That the defect in the vehicle occurred during the stage of vehicle design, manufacture, handling or transport
  • That the manufacturer of the vehicle failed to warn consumers of a possible hazard in the vehicle

Safety Features in Vehicles to Prevent Rollover Accidents

Modern automobiles come equipped with safety features that can help prevent rollover accidents. These features include:

  • Tire pressure warning systems that alert the driver if the tires are not sufficiently inflated
  • Curve speed warning that relies on GPS to alert the other vehicle driver who is approaching too fast
  • Electronic stability control system to give stability to a vehicle during the process of veering
  • Traction control that allows better contact of vehicles with the road when it turns slippery
  • Antilock brakes that allow the driver better control of the vehicle


Contact an Experienced NYC Rollover Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a rollover accident, it is important that you take steps to get compensation for the damages you suffered. Having a competent rollover accident attorney on your side can make a huge difference to the way your case proceeds.

Rollover accidents are more likely than other crashes to result in fatalities. This is primarily because the nature of this accident creates a huge stress on the roof of your vehicle. If the car has not been designed for adequate safety, the roof can cave in, killing the occupants of the car or causing severe injuries such as paraplegia or amputation injuries.

A skilled rollover accident lawyer in New York will be able to connect the nature of your injuries with the crashworthiness of the car’s design and this can make a huge difference to the amount of damages you can recover.

At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, our lawyers have several years of experience in representing victims of rollover accidents in NYC and winning them the compensation they deserve. We can help you identify which are all the parties that can be held liable for your accident.

Was another driver’s negligent driving directly responsible for the crash or were you forced to make a particular maneuver to avoid the danger posed by their driving? Was the accident caused in part due to poor roads or was there a problem with the design or the parts of the car that caused it to roll over?

We can connect with accident reconstruction experts who can provide expert testimony that helps to establish the liability of all the concerned parties and gets you the damages you have claimed. For a free review of your case, call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 212-344-1000 or contact us online.


122 East 42nd Street Suite 3800
New York, NY 10168

Tel: 212-LAWYERS

Tel: 212-697-9280



8900 Sutphin Blvd Suite 501
Queens, NY 11435

Tel: (718) 399-3100

*By Appointment Only



220-226 E 161st Street
The Bronx, NY 10451

Tel: (212) 344-1000

*By Appointment Only



1002 Dean St
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Tel: (516) 410-4445

*By Appointment Only