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Semi-trucks are specially designed for safety on city roads, backroads, and highways – but no vehicle is completely immune to rollovers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that roughly 18,000 truck rollover accidents happen every year – which makes up about 4 percent of all trucking accidents.

Semis can weigh anywhere from 35,000 to 80,000 or more pounds and have a high center of gravity. A single wrong maneuver or miscalculation can result in serious damage. Needless to say, a truck rollover is extremely dangerous for everyone involved.

Most truck rollover accidents are caused by driver error or negligence – and many result in substantial injuries or death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you have options to seek compensation from the at-fault party. In this article, we want to explain the basics of trucking rollover accidents, the process of attributing liability, and your path to seeking justice.

Let’s get moving.

Common Causes of Truck Rollover Accidents

Trucking rollover accidents can happen for a million different reasons. However, most can be traced back to a single scenario: the driver performed a maneuver too abruptly – and caused the cargo to drastically shift.

While quick maneuvers are sometimes necessary, there are many contributing factors in trucking rollover accidents. These include (but are not limited to):

Excessive Speed

Speeding is one of the most common culprits behind truck rollovers. Every state has different laws regarding speed limits for semis. In the Midwest, this number can vary based on the type of road. Here’s a breakdown for some of the Midwest states:

Illinois Trucking Speed Limits:

  • 70 mph on rural highways
  • 55 mph on urban interstates
  • 65 mph on limited access roads
  • 55 mph on all other roads

Indiana Trucking Speed Limits

  • 65 mph on rural highways
  • 55 mph on urban interstates
  • 60 mph on limited access roads
  • 55 mph on all other roads

Iowa Trucking Speed Limits

  • 70 mph on rural highways
  • 55 mph on urban interstates
  • 70 mph on limited access roads
  • 65 mph on all other roads

Ohio Trucking Speed Limits

  • 70 mph on rural highways
  • 65 mph on urban interstates
  • 70 mph on limited access roads
  • 55 mph on all other roads

Michigan Trucking Speed Limits

  • 70 mph on rural highways
  • 70 mph on urban interstates
  • 70 mph on limited access roads
  • 55 mph on all other roads

Missouri Trucking Speed Limits

  • 70 mph on rural highways
  • 60 mph on urban interstates
  • 70 mph on limited access roads
  • 65 mph on all other roads

Wisconsin Trucking Speed Limits

  • 70 mph on rural highways
  • 70 mph on urban interstates
  • 70 mph on limited access roads
  • 55 mph on all other roads

Failing to Accommodate Sharp Curves

Sharp curves in the road can be extremely problematic for large trucks. If the driver does not slow down in time, the quick maneuver can cause a sudden, drastic shift in the vehicle’s center of gravity. This can significantly increase the likelihood of a rollover.

Oversized Loads

The Federal Government has regulations in place for cargo loading limits. This is to help prevent the risk of truck rollover accidents. When a semi’s trailer is overloaded, there is more stress placed on the frame, tires, and braking systems. This can lead to blowouts – which creates a huge hazard for large trucks.

Unsafe Lane Changes

Semis have giant mirrors to see cars in the surrounding lanes – but every vehicle has blind spots. Failing to properly check these blind spots or making lane changes without signaling can greatly increase the chances of a truck rollover.


Making a call, being on a smartphone, or simply spacing out are common distractions drivers face. When a truck driver is distracted or takes their eyes off the road, it’s likely they will make a poor maneuver or have to act quickly to avoid an obstacle – both of which can result in a rollover.

Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is a prevalent issue for truck drivers – many of which drive long hours to meet deadlines. The dangers of drowsy driving are commonly compared to drunk driving. Fatigue results in slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and increased risk of errors.

Driving Under the Influence

Similar to fatigued driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can significantly inhibit a truck driver’s ability to properly maneuver their vehicle and avoid preventable accidents.

Mechanical Failures

Driver error may be the cause of many truck rollover accidents, but some can be attributed to mechanical failures. Engine defects, faulty braking systems, steering problems, etc. can all contribute to rollovers.

Dangerous Weather Conditions

Weather conditions can make truck accident injury cases complicated. Rollovers commonly happen due to slippery surfaces, fog, rain, and other hazards that impair the driver’s visibility. For example, heavy rain may cause the driver to miss an obstacle in the road until it’s too late, resulting in a sudden maneuver that leads to a rollover.

Common Injuries in Truck Rollover Accidents

To reiterate, truck rollover accidents can lead to devastating consequences. Some of the most common semi truck rollover injuries include (but are not limited to):

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Paralysis
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries

The lingering effects of truck accident injuries can last a lifetime. Victims may struggle to walk or manage day-to-day tasks. If you were a victim of a truck rollover accident and are facing serious impairments to your ability to work and navigate your daily life, you deserve justice from the at-fault party.

Who is Responsible for a Truck Rollover Accident?

After a truck rollover accident, many victims believe they are facing an uphill battle – and think they cannot hold the trucking company accountable for their injuries. Fortunately, the trucking industry – and the drivers – have regulations in place to reduce the risk of accidents. These include:

  • Trucking companies must conduct background checks to assess the skills and qualifications of all drivers.
  • Trucking companies are required to set realistic deadlines for drivers.
  • Drivers are required to abide by speed limits.
  • Drivers and trucking companies must comply with federal hours – prohibiting drivers from driving more than 11 hours in 14 hours after at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • Companies must limit the operation of trucks in dangerous conditions – inclement weather
  • Trucks must be equipped with electronic stability control systems (ESC).
  • Trucks must be systematically inspected before every trip.
  • Regulations for transporting, loading, and securing cargo must be followed for every trip.

If you can prove the trucking company or driver violated one or more of these rules – and the violation resulted in a truck rollover, you may be able to sue the trucking company for negligence.

What If You Were Injured in a Truck Rollover?

If you’re facing serious hardships – physically, mentally, or financially, you have options to pursue compensation against the trucking company. With the help of a skilled truck accident injury lawyer, you can potentially recoup every single dollar you lost (and more) in the accident.

Damages to Seek After a Truck Rollover Accident

Most victims of truck rollover accidents are looking at extensive medical treatment, ongoing care, and a plethora of hardships. Your main objective is to hold the at-fault party accountable to cover all the costs you incurred from the accident.

Damages in trucking accidents are placed in two categories: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages refer to any losses incurred with a clear monetary value. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Ongoing medical treatment (estimates)
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Therapy

Non-economic damages are much more ambiguous – there are no receipts, estimates, or invoices. These damages account for the daily struggles you face after the accident, including (but not limited to):

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of companionship
  • Reduced quality of life

Calculating damages in a trucking accident injury is not an easy task. Your personal injury attorney will make sure every penny is accounted for and factored into the claim.

The Role of a Trucking Accident Lawyer

When you’re suffering from an injury, your primary concern should be recovery. The legal proceedings from truck rollover accidents can get extremely complicated. Moreover, most trucking companies have legal departments to contest personal injury claims against them.

Without an experienced attorney, your chances of receiving fair compensation are extremely slim.

Now, many victims falsely believe they cannot afford a truck accident lawyer to represent them. What they may not realize is these attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement. This means they make their fees in the form of a percentage of the total settlement AFTER the at-fault party pays it out. More importantly, the attorney will not charge the victim anything out of pocket to take the case.

If you’re facing serious injuries and financial losses, hiring a truck accident injury attorney is the most important decision you will make.

The Next Step

Knowing what to do after suffering a truck rollover accident can be intimidating. Step one is gathering the information taken at the scene of the accident and attributing liability. If there is ANY indication the truck driver or trucking company was at fault, you need to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer immediately.

At Midwest Injury Lawyers, we are happy to assess your situation in a FREE consultation. Get in touch today to speak with an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer. We’ll be happy to examine your case and guide you through the next steps. Call 312-786-5881, send an email to info@midwestinjurylawyers.com, or fill out an online form.

Request a Free Consultation

Tell our experienced team about your accident and/or injuries. One of our personal injury attorneys will contact you to schedule a free case evaluation. Remember: you won’t pay for anything unless we secure a compensation on your behalf.

Call (312) 786-5881 or send us a message online to get started.