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Nevada Supreme Court: Driver, Not Carmaker, Liable in Rollover Accident

With some injury auto accidents, there is uncertainty as to whether or not the victim was at fault. Other times, the circumstances clearly show that a person was injured as the result of another party’s negligence – but the question concerns precisely who should be held responsible for the accident.

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled on a case last week which revolved around the latter scenario. The plaintiff in the case was Alyson Roth, who became a paraplegic ten years ago in a one-car rollover accident near Searchlight. Roth was sleeping in a BMW’s back seat when driver Jennifer Stapleton lost control of the vehicle while traveling between 70 and 90 miles per hour. The BMW rolled several times and threw Roth out of the car.

Roth already has won a $5.9 million judgment against the driver, but she also sued BMW because she claimed that a vehicle defect caused her to be ejected from the car. The carmaker disputed claims that Roth was wearing a seat belt at the time of the rollover accident. The news article does not specify exactly what type of defect was being alleged.

The initial trial verdict gave Roth permission to seek a new trial against BMW to examine the defect allegation. But on Friday, the state Supreme Court reversed the decision unanimously and cleared BMW of any responsibility in the accident (though the carmaker did have to pay costs and fees to both Stapleton and Roth). There’s no word on whether Roth will try to appeal the decision further.

This case also illustrates the necessity of hiring a personal injury lawyer if you are severely injured in a rollover accident. He or she will thoroughly examine the information to help determine if there are other parties in the case which might be held responsible for your injuries.