Often occurring in rollover accidents, roof crush injuries are among the most deadly on our roads. About 10,000 Americans die yearly in rollover accidents — that’s a third of all traffic fatalities — and victims’ families may have a legal right to claim payments for losses in a roof crush lawsuit.
As for what is roof crush, it happens when a vehicle lands upside down so that the auto’s entire weight rests on its roof. Due to inadequate design and manufacturing leading to poor roof supports, roofs often collapse, with the weight of the vehicle crushing occupants below.
Far too many vehicles are not built strongly enough for their roof to sustain the weight of the vehicle if it rolls over and lands upside down.
The auto manufacturer which failed to design and build vehicles with strong, structurally supported roofs is legally liable and responsible. That manufacturer can be the target of a defective product lawsuit or roof crush lawsuit.
Perhaps the automaker cut costs by not spending an extra small amount to provide adequate structural support to a car’s roof. Maybe substandard metals or other materials were used when making the door pillars, supports and other structures which should have reinforced the strength of a roof.
Roof collapses can happen in many different types of vehicles, including cars, SUVs, vans, buses or trucks. An SUV is particularly prone to rollovers, due in part to its high center of gravity and top-heavy design. Most SUV rollovers are single-vehicle wrecks with no other driver at fault, but that doesn’t mean the auto’s manufacturer isn’t responsible for an injury caused by poor roof construction.
When a vehicle is upside down and crushes occupants within, roof crush injuries can be especially severe, catastrophic, debilitating and even fatal. Survivors may suffer from amputation, paralysis, fractured bones or traumatic brain injury for the rest of their lives.
Head injuries and brain injuries are especially common in roof-crush crashes. Victims often suffer life-changing injuries and, even if they survive, they never may be able to work and function as before. This makes roof crush injuries extremely costly and makes roof crush lawsuits vitally important for victims or their survivors.
While no legal action can bring back a deceased loved one or restore to full health a permanently injured family member, roof crush lawsuits can give victims’ families the solace of gaining economic recovery for their many losses caused by a negligent auto manufacturer.
Such lawsuits can claim money for victims’ pain, suffering, medical bills and any lost present to future wages or salary due to the roof crush injury.
These are known as compensatory damages to compensate victims for their actual monetary losses. A court also may assess punitive damages to punish the defendant and to send a message that such actions, or inaction, won’t be tolerated. Punitive damages are calculated by the court.
Be advised that your roof crush lawyer provided by the Willis Law Firm will not charge you any legal fees until or unless he or she wins your case. Then, a portion of the settlement will pay the law firm for its help, with no money coming from out of your pocket.
Not only that, but it’s likely that your case will be resolved by negotiations and an out-of-court settlement, with no need to go to trial. In fact, a majority of injury lawsuits are handled in this way.
Again, such lawsuits can target the manufacturer whose negligence allowed the roof-crush injury or death to happen. But they also can target the bad driver who caused the crash and his or her insurer.
The NHTSA, or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has taken a stand on roof crush crashes by calling for new federal regulations for autos’ roof standards and for automakers to provide more additional protection against roof crush.
Federal roof crush standards were set first in the 1970s, but today they’re believed to be badly out of date and needing an update. For one thing, many more rollover-prone pickups and SUVs are on America’s roads compared to the ‘70s.
The NHTSA believes its revised federal rules for design and manufacturing of vehicles could save more than 1,000 persons yearly from roof crush injuries.
Such new Federal Motor Vehicle Standards began being phased in during September of 2012, and they will continue phasing in through 2026.
Even so, a number of consumer groups as well as safety experts claim the new manufacturing standards don’t do enough to avoid roof crush compared to the stricter standards already applied by European automakers.
If you need a roof crush lawyer for your injury case, notify the Willis Law Firm immediately. We can give you a free case review with no obligation, and then you can decide if you want to proceed with our help.