SUV Rollover Accident Attorneys

By: Tim Dillard

If you or someone in your family has suffered injury or death due to an accident in your sport utility vehicle, consulting with an SUV rollover accident attorney can be a good way to ensure proper compensation for the accident is procured. Your SUV rollover accident could be the result of faulty engineering of the vehicle or of tires whose propensity for blowout caused the incident. Before trying to tackle a car or tire manufacturer on your own, consulting an attorney will protect your interests.

SUV rollover accident attorneys are experienced in working with families who have been affected by injury or death to ensure that after-accident procedures are handled appropriately. Before making an appointment for your first consultation, ensure that you have gathered all information pertinent to the accident, and also given thought to the end result you expect to achieve.

The information you will need to gather prior to your consultation will include the accident report written out by local police, any estimates written on your vehicle by qualified repair shops, any hospital paperwork documenting the extent of injuries or exact cause of death, and any witness statements that may have been recorded at the scene.

If speed or weather conditions played a role in the accident, the attorney will need to be apprised of that as well, so as to appropriately handle that circumstance when seeking to simultaneously prove that the car or tire manufacturer is at least partially liable for the accident.

If you are seeking to be compensated for specific damages caused to your vehicle as a result of an SUV rollover accident, you will need to have exact estimates performed for replacement cost. If the vehicle is totaled as a result of the accident, the estimate will need to include the current value of the vehicle, rather than the value of replacement parts.

Compensatory damages can often be sought out of court, as large car and tire manufacturers would prefer to come to a settlement in most instances rather than face a lengthy or embarrassing trial in court. Compensatory damages sought can also include the costs of any accident-related injuries treated at the hospital.

There is also another type of damages you can seek: punitive damages. Punitive damages are a way to "punish" an entity which has caused harm. Punitive damages go far above and beyond compensating for actual damages, and are often calculated based on suffering caused by the accident, loss of use, lost income, and any other current or future losses that may be a result of your accident.

Your SUV rollover accident attorney can help you to determine if punitive damages are appropriate in the case of your specific circumstances, and if appropriate, what a fair amount would be to request.

In cases where punitive damages are sought, manufacturers will sometimes seek to settle out of court; again, it is often in their best interest to settle quickly rather than endure a lengthy trial. In some cases, however, manufacturers prefer to go to court in the hopes that they encounter a judge or jury that does not agree with the concept of punitive damages.

Punitive damages can be a very thin wire upon which to walk - on one hand, it is often a necessary check on the power of car and tire manufacturers, so that the point is made that they must take responsibility for losses caused by their products. On the other hand, the punitive damages that are sought are often beyond believable levels and are so large that some judges and juries cannot fathom awarding such a large amount. Cases are sometimes thrown from court for being frivolous when the remedy being sought is not in line with the loss suffered.

If death has been caused by your accident, your SUV rollover accident attorney will likely urge you to seek a much higher level of punitive damages than if it is a simple injury accident. Often, levels of punitive damages in this case are determined by the number of years lost income until the person who was killed would have retired, as well as amounts for loss to the person's spouse and children, and also loss of enjoyment or companionship.

These calculations can often reach into the millions. It is always important to keep in mind that judges and juries will often agree with what they see as fair compensation; going to court is not a time to be greedy, but to be made whole again through some fashion of compensation after a loss.

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