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Rollaway accidents can create extremely dangerous situations. Learn who can be held liable and how you can obtain damages for your losses.

Cars and trucks come with several safety features to protect you while driving, but collisions can also happen when a vehicle is parked. Rollaway accidents can cause property damage and personal injury similar to any other car crash. Models such as the Jeep Cherokee, Dodge Durango, and Range Rover are prone to this issue, as well as Ford and Chrysler vehicles.

The Lyon Firm has years of experience working with auto defect accident victims, including those who have suffered from a rollaway collision. If you or a loved one have been injured in a rollaway accident, we will provide guidance and aggressive representation for you. Contact us at (513) 381-2333 or use our convenient online form to schedule a free consultation today.

What is a Rollaway Accident?

Rollaway accidents occur when a parked vehicle begins moving when the vehicle is left unattended. This commonly occurs when a defective transmission or parking brake allows the car to slip into reverse or neutral, causing a rollaway accident. Cars can roll into property, over people in their path, or into roadways with traffic.

Rollaway accidents are more common than you may think. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that as many as 142 people die in rollaway accidents each year, with up to 2000 injuries resulting from driverless cars rolling over individuals. This accounts for a full 17% of all accidents involving individuals who are not in the vehicle during a crash.

Who is Liable for a Rollaway Accident?

Many accidents are the result of bad vehicle design from the carmaker. Several different makes and model years of vehicles are plagued with transmissions that allow the gear shift to accidentally be knocked into reverse, neutral, and even drive. Inadvertent contact from a person or object can put the car at risk of rolling or driving into property or people. 

For instance, one manufacturer, Ford Motor Company, has issued recalls for nearly 350,000 F-series 2018 pickup trucks and 2018 Expeditions sold in North America. The recalls were for faulty transmission parts that can cause the gear shift lever to indicate that the vehicle is in park, even when the defective gear shift cable locking clip is not fully engaged. This allows a driver to walk away from an automobile that appears to be turned off and safely parked when it actually presents a dangerous risk.

Determining liability can be difficult and often requires the guidance of a skilled auto defects lawyer. The Lyon Firm specializes in investigating every aspect of your case to understand who is responsible for the crash. They also know how to pursue the maximum compensation to cover your injuries and property damage. We focus on getting the facts so you can recover and heal.

What Damages Are Available in a Rollaway Accident Lawsuit?

When you are injured or have your property damaged by a rollaway vehicle, you face bills for your medical care and perhaps vehicle repairs. There are a number of expenses that can pile up, and a skilled attorney can help you calculate the damages you should seek. They can also explain costs that may not be familiar to you, such as pain and suffering.

The Lyon Firm has successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, including over $9 million in defective auto product cases. Every claim is unique in its details, and our professional legal team will evaluate your circumstances to present a complete picture of how your life has been affected. 

Common damages that may be sought include:

  • Medical expenses, including surgery, ICU, and ER costs
  • Loss of income while you recover
  • Loss of future wages if you are left disabled
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship or consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property repair or replacement costs

Your attorney can help you create a full accounting of both economic and non-economic damages to pursue. Economic expenses are losses with a specific dollar cost or receipt, such as medical bills. Non-economic losses can include suffering such as mental anguish. Your lawyer may even request punitive damages if it appears the defendant’s negligence was especially heinous or purposeful.

Joe Lyon and his colleagues work with clients across the nation to successfully litigate both class action and individual lawsuits. Our team stays up to date on vehicle recalls, multi-plaintiff claims, and settlements to ensure that you have the most accurate information to support your case.

What Are Driverless Rollaway Accidents? 

Driverless rollaway accidents occur when a driver is not behind the wheel as a vehicle rolls away and causes a collision or injury.  There are many ways a car could be involved in a rollaway accident without a driver present:

  • Contact with the gearshift: An object may accidentally bump the gearshift out of park, especially if the windows are rolled down or the car is a convertible vehicle with the top down.
  • Another object strikes the car: A vehicle, tree, or any other object interacting with the car could knock it out of park and send it rolling away.
  • A transmission or braking part fails: Defective auto parts in the transmission or brake system could cause the car to roll.

When a faulty part or system causes a rollaway accident, you could need the services of an auto defect attorney. At The Lyon Firm, we specialize in car accident cases and pursuing manufacturers who release products that cause injury and damage. Several prominent carmakers have been named in numerous lawsuits to address their designs that brought suffering and loss to unsuspecting victims. 

Fiat-Chrysler, Dodge, and Ford have all been involved in fines, legal actions, and recalls for faulty transmission modules that allow their vehicles to slip out of park and cause rollaway accidents. Holding car manufacturers accountable for these problems is a powerful way to influence them to institute safety measures. One such measure is a Brake Transmission Safety Interlock (BTSI) system, a technology that works with automatic transmissions to prevent cars from slipping out of gear.

How Can a Lawyer Help With a Rollaway Accident Lawsuit?

Car manufacturers have a duty to produce vehicles that safely carry drivers and their families for work, play, and travel. Part of that includes making sure a car can be parked without fear of facing the devastating loss of a rollaway accident. When carmakers fail in this duty, you need the help of an experienced lawyer who knows how to investigate product defects and auto accidents.

Joe Lyon and his colleagues work with clients across the nation to successfully litigate both class action and individual lawsuits. Our team stays up to date on vehicle recalls, multi-plaintiff claims, and settlements to ensure that you have the most accurate information to support your case. We research whether other cases like yours exist to understand how precedent is being set by the courts.

A Cincinnati auto defect lawyer can assist in not only reviewing your accident and injury case but can hold large corporations accountable for their negligent actions in releasing unsafe products to the public. Auto companies must be held liable to keep the roads safe in America. The Lyon Firm will not only seek compensation for injured plaintiffs, but we can file lawsuits to punish car makers for neglecting to properly test their auto parts before they are sold to the public.

If you’ve been injured in a rollaway accident, you need time to heal and put your life back together. Our team has worked on cases in all fifty states in the US, so we are familiar with filing requirements throughout the country. We put our team into action immediately to ensure you can file your case in time.

Contact a Qualified Auto Defect Attorney for Your Rollaway Accident Today

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati product liability lawyer and Ohio catastrophic injury attorney who has litigated a wide variety of cases for clients just like you. He has built a team of legal professionals who pride themselves on high-quality and compassionate legal representation, no matter how complicated the case may be. 

The Lyon Firm has worked on cases in every U.S. state helping individuals fight for the compensation they deserve. We investigate your accident and gather all the documentation needed to build a solid claim. We also work with you to negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel.

If you or your loved one has suffered a rollaway accident, you need the experts on your side. The Lyon Firm can aid you in determining who is at fault and how to develop your case. We will not rest until we reach the best outcome for you. We offer no-risk, no-obligation consultations completely free. Call us at (513) 381-2333 or connect with us through our online form to set up a meeting today.


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for Those who have suffered
Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my car has been recalled?

For those who may have bought the vehicles secondhand, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an excellent resource that lists all current and past recalls for all models and years of cars manufactured and sold in the United States. Other car safety advocate websites will also provide this information.

When a part or system consistently causes collisions or dangerous driving conditions, carmakers will issue a recall of the vehicle to fix the problem. This can range from simply updating software to recalling the entire vehicle and paying consumers for their loss. Regardless of how a recall is handled, manufacturers will usually send notifications via mail to anyone who purchased the affected models as new cars. 

If you find your car has been recalled due to a problem that caused your rollaway accident and you have suffered injury or loss as a result, you should contact an auto defect attorney right away. The Lyon Firm can assist you in deciding your options for pursuing compensation that may be available to you.

Can I file an auto defect lawsuit?

Yes, depending on the facts of your case. Understanding the technicalities of how a vehicle can malfunction to cause a crash often requires information from an auto engineering expert. At The Lyon Firm, we consult with trusted advisors to identify any and all factors that could contribute to an accident or injury. We review your case with our experts and keep you informed while we handle the investigation and build the case.  

Joe Lyon and his team take pride in representing consumers to make America’s roads safer. We hold negligent car manufacturers accountable for their actions when they are responsible for a rollaway accident injury. Our experience in litigating product liability and personal injury lawsuits gives us a strong foundation for helping you seek recompense for losses.

Did an auto defect cause my accident?

Auto defects have been known to cause accidents from tire failure, tread separation, brake malfunction, and sudden acceleration. When a part malfunctions from poor design or manufacture and causes an accident, you may have grounds to pursue a product liability lawsuit.

Auto defects can play an integral part in causing injury in the event of an accident. This is especially true of rollaway accidents when the driver believes the car is correctly parked and safe to exit.

Who is responsible for auto defects?

Auto manufacturers can be held liable in auto defect lawsuits. Many carmakers outsource the production of some of their components, leaving them at risk when other companies do not have sufficient quality standards. If outsourced parts are found to contribute to your rollaway accident, you may be able to include both the auto manufacturer and the component manufacturer as defendants in your case.

Automakers are not always aware of the defects from vendors until vehicles are delivered and in regular use. This does not generally absolve them of liability. Other possible defendants for defective auto part claims could include negligent auto dealerships or auto repair shops. These facilities could alter car parts or improperly repair automobiles with recalled or unauthorized modified components.

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against negligent individuals or companies to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Brown County, Kentucky):   The Lyon Firm was second chair a case involving a driver texting and driving when he crossed the median, killing a father of four. The case was resolved once discovery confirmed the cell phone records proved the texting-related incident. The settlement will pay for the surviving childrens’ education. The driver was likely facing additional criminal charges at the time of the settlement.



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  The Lyon Firm was lead counsel in a $495,000 settlement. This case involved a motorcycle operator who sustained fractures of the calcaneus, talus, medial cuneiform, tarsal bones, and tarsometatarsal when a car ignored its driving lane and crossed into his right-of-way. Settlement provided repayment of medical bills of $20,000 and funds for future education to re-enter the work force in a less physically-demanding job.