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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

Nissan Compensates Paralyzed Victim After Oregon Rollover

The Ammons Law Firm has successfully negotiated a settlement with Nissan in a personal injury claim made by a 57-year-old Oregon woman whose 2009 Nissan Frontier rolled over.

The woman was driving the Frontier down a highway near Pendleton when she hit a patch of black ice. The Frontier left the roadway and rolled over, coming to rest on its roof. Rob Ammons claimed that the accident would not have occurred had the pickup been equipped with electronic stability control (ESC) as a standard feature. ESC uses sensors to compare the driver’s intended trajectory to the direction in which a vehicle is actually traveling. When impending loss of control is detected, it immediately applies the brakes on one side or one corner so that the vehicle is returned to its intended path. According to Ammons, the NHTSA has estimated that ESC would prevent some 168,000 to 252,000 injuries if it were on all passenger vehicles and that vehicles with higher centers of gravity than cars would benefit most from the technology. Including ESC as standard equipment on the 2009 Frontier was without question feasible since Nissan offered it as an optional feature on the pickup at extra cost to the consumer.

Rob Ammons also claimed that the Frontier proved not to be crashworthy in the rollover. The woman was wearing her seat belt during the incident and bystanders found her belted in the overturned vehicle following the crash. But the Frontier’s roof deformed to a drastic extent, collapsing in a V shape just to the right of the driver’s seat. Inclusion of a strong horizontal member between the driver’s side and passenger side of the pickup’s roof structure would have prevented such deformation, but Nissan chose not to strengthen the Frontier’s roof in such a manner.

As a result of what was preventable roof crush, the woman’s head room was reduced by 8 inches. Her upper back and shoulders were exposed to the collapsing roof as the Frontier rolled, compressing and fracturing her spine and rendering her permanently paraplegic.

The Ammons Law Firm handles cases nationwide, including those involving tire defects, oil rig explosions, truck accidents, plant explosions, refinery accidents, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, seat back defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers, and workplace negligence.

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