Rollover & Crashworthiness
The high center of gravity of SUVs makes them more prone to rollover accidents (especially if the vehicle leaves the road or in emergency maneuvers) than lower vehicles. In recent years, Consumer Reports has found a few SUVs unacceptable due to their rollover risk. This was also dramatically demonstrated in one Fifth Gear show using a Range Rover. Modern SUVs are usually designed to prevent rollovers on flat surfaces.
Crashworthiness is the ability of a structure to protect its occupants during an impact. This is commonly tested when investigating the safety of vehicles. Depending on the nature of the impact and the vehicle involved, different criteria are used to determine the crashworthiness of the structure. Crashworthiness may be assessed either prospectively, using computer models or experiments, or retrospectively by analyzing crash outcomes. Several criteria are used to assess crashworthiness prospectively, including the deformation patterns of the vehicle structure, the acceleration experienced by the vehicle during an impact, and the probability of injury predicted by human body models. Injury probability is defined using injury criteria, which are mechanical parameters (e.g., force, acceleration, or deformation) that correlate with injury risk. A common injury criterion is the Head Injury criterion (HIC). Crashworthiness is assessed retrospectively by analyzing injury risk in real world crashes, often using regression or other statistical techniques to control for the myriad of confounders that are present in crashes.
In any crashworthiness case, our attorneys will hire the best experts in the field to perform crashworthiness testings on a subject vehicle. Our firm has been extensively involved in representing clients who sustained injuries as a result of the unworthy crash sustainability of a motor vehicle. The firm is recognized nationally for its litigation in this complex practice area. For a complete list of the firm's representative results, go to our Verdicts and Settlements section.