In the early morning hours of September 5th a tragic car accident in Los Angeles left one person fatally wounded and two more injured. The collision, which took place at approximately 8:15 A.M. Friday, happened in Elysian Park close to Dodger Stadium.
The Los Angeles fire department reports that two of the occupants suffered injuries after being ejected from the vehicle as it rolled over on Academy Road, in the 800 block. A third occupant was pronounced dead at the scene.
We wish to take this time to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim. We also have the injured passengers in our thoughts and hope they are able to quickly recover from their injuries.
The cause of the rollover accident is still unknown, as the white sports utility vehicle (SUV) carrying the three occupants was the only car at the scene when police arrived. Fireman and police interviewed the two injured parties at the scene, but have not yet released any details into the cause of the crash or the extent of any injuries as they continue their investigation.
As the investigation is still on-going, and with no apparent eye witnesses coming forward, it will be difficult for authorities to assign fault for the crash. SUV’s are known for rolling over under certain circumstances due to a misplaced center of gravity. If the driver took a sudden sharp turn, that could have been the cause for the crash.
A rollover accident is defined as being a traffic event where a vehicle is caused to turn over onto its side. In many instances, these types of collisions will result in the vehicle turning multiple times before coming to a stop.
An SUV has most of its weight distributed to the top making them difficult to maneuver during a turn. The majority of rollover accidents are single-vehicle crashes like this one, with three-quarters of the victims involved being ejected from the vehicle as it turns on its side.
The risk for a rollover accident with an SUV has been well documented for years. As it is the very design of the vehicle which makes it so hazardous, manufacturers are subject to product liability lawsuits when collisions such as this one occur. The narrow wheel track and high center of gravity are the reason behind the accidents and a design flaw which most manufacturers are unable or unwilling to correct.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been paid out to victims and their families in the aftermath of a rollover accident. There is so much public concern for this issue that one victim even offered back a part of her $369 million reward if the manufacturer would discontinue the model. They refused, and have instead continued to pay millions of dollars each year both in lawsuits and settlements for the injuries and deaths caused by their vehicles.
If no other cause can be determined, the victims in the Dodger Stadium rollover crash and their families may have the opportunity to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the SUV they were traveling in.
Those injured could have their medical expenses and any lost wages recovered, while the family of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death claim. While obviously not at the forefront of their minds at this moment, it will be something they could consider in the future.
A wrongful death lawsuit can help recover the funeral and burial costs for the victim. They are also used if the victim was financially responsible for dependents. If applicable, family members may claim monetary losses as well as companionship and guidance.
As the investigation into Friday’s crash is still on-going, there may be other factors involved that would put liability for the collision onto the driver. A crucial part of scene investigations is to gather blood evidence to determine if alcohol and/or drugs were involved. The fault may be assigned to the operator of the SUV.
One last thing to consider is the possibility of what investigators refer to as a phantom vehicle. The roadway itself will be looked at for any signs that another vehicle was present that may have contributed to the rollover.
These differ from hit and run accidents as there was not any physical contact between the cars, but the other driver’s actions may have led to the driver of the SUV to maneuver defensively to avoid a collision. As it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident in California, if a phantom driver exists and is found, they could face criminal charges as well as civil liability lawsuits.
Those who have themselves been involved in a Los Angeles car accident or are mourning the loss of a loved one who has is eligible to obtain a free confidential case evaluation with no obligation to retain legal services from a skilled auto collision attorney by calling (800) 838-6644.