Manufacturer Liability in a Roof Crush Accident Cases
Automobile manufacturers have a legal duty to design
and manufacture vehicles in a way that provides for the safety of
vehicle occupants. This means that manufacturers must design and build
cars and other vehicles in ways that prevent certain foreseeable
accident injuries, including roof crush injuries.
Evidence from court cases has shown that automobile
manufacturers at times have known that a roof design for vehicles
destined for the marketplace has been deficient. Despite knowing that
the defective roof would expose vehicle occupants to the risk of death or serious injury
in a roof crush, the same manufacturers have failed to take action.
Such failure has resulted in needless deaths and injuries. It is clear
from some of these cases that an underlying motive for such abhorrent
inaction has been to save money and avoid delaying production of the
In other court cases, there has been evidence that design defects
that would lead to roof crush were revealed to automobile manufacturers
in their own testing. The manufacturers in some of these cases
suppressed these results and green-lighted the vehicles for production,
despite the manufacturers' knowledge of the unreasonable potential for
a deadly roof crush.
Less common, but equally dangerous, are crashworthiness cases involving manufacturing defects.
In one California case, defective welds, in what appeared otherwise to
be an adequate roof, led to roof crush that resulted in a spinal cord injury to the driver, leaving him with quadriplegia. In this case the roof crush and the driver's injury
occurred near the end of the accident, when the car was slowing. As the
car made its final impact on the driver's side, the roof pillars
collapsed, causing a massive neck injury.
Whether the defect that leads to roof crush is in
the design or manufacture of the roof, the manufacturer of a car built
with a weak roof should be held accountable for roof crush injuries.
For more information see our New Government Roof Crush Standard article.
Other Responsible Parties in Roof Crush Accidents
It is possible that one or more parties may have
caused or contributed to your roof crush accident and injuries.
Entities or individuals who may bear responsibility in a roof crush
A competent and experienced personal injury law firm
can sort through the facts of the roof crush accident to ensure that
all the responsible parties are named in a lawsuit, thereby ensuring
compensation from all liable sources.
Choose the Right Roof Crush Attorney
Roof crush accidents are complex and expensive to
prosecute. You should take care to choose an experienced accident
attorney with the monetary resources to hire costly but necessary
experts and to finance accident reconstructions. Following are some of
the expertise that a roof crush lawyer should have and the types of
tasks he should perform:
Roof Strength Testing:
Experienced and competent accident lawyers will understand the
implications of the different types of roof crush testing methods and
procedures followed by manufacturers. A common defense in a roof crush
accident is that the manufacturer complied with federal standards.
However, those standards are minimal with regard to roof crush and this
defense should be attacked skillfully by your lawyer.
Roof crush cases will be hotly contested by
manufacturers. These cases require a well-funded and skilled accident
lawyer. Manufacturers and their experts often argue that the injuries
you suffered in a roof crush accident were caused by factors other than
the roof's intrusion into the passenger compartment, such as high speed
or the severity of the impact. An experienced accident attorney will
utilize expert witnesses to demonstrate the mechanics of your accident,
including how roof crush caused or enhanced your injuries, to defeat
It is important to know that even if you were
ejected in a rollover accident involving roof crush, the underlying
cause of your injuries may have been the roof crush. The collapse of
the roof can cause seat belts and air bags to malfunction and windows
to shatter. Even a seat-belted occupant can be ejected. An experienced
accident attorney may be able to demonstrate in court that your
ejection was caused by the roof crush rather than from not being
Experts are Essential in Roof Crush Cases
In a roof crush case that has resulted in
significant damage and injuries, experts in various areas may be
retained. Competent roof crush lawyers will retain appropriate experts
to help the judge and jury understand the dynamics of your roof crush
accident and the injuries you have suffered. There are many types of
experts your attorney may find helpful, depending on how complicated
your case is and how severely you are injured. Some of these include:
Vocational Rehabilitation experts: These
experts will ascertain the possible effects of major injuries and
disabilities caused by the accident, including physical limitations,
cognitive impairments and psychological impairments. They will make
recommendations on services that the injured individual may need, such
as training and counseling, to allow the roof crush victim to earn a
living and function as well as possible after the accident.
These could include orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons
and neuro-psychiatrists. They will be offered for testimony as to
medical conditions and the past and future treatments that a claimant
Life care planners:
These experts will analyze and account for all realistic medical costs
that a catastrophically injured person might face, including
hospitalization, rehabilitation center costs, and assisted living.
These experts will quantify the amount of lost earnings a claimant has
and will incur associated with the rehabilitation of the claimant, and
past and future medical bills, which takes into account life expectancy
and the future costs of health care.
What Exactly is Personal Injury?
Choosing the Right Lawyer Learn More About Us
See More Videos...
What to Do After A Roof Crush Accident
- Seek Immediate Medical Help. Roof crush injuries are usually severe and require immediate medical attention. Needless to say, if you or a loved one has been involved in a rollover accident and injured by a roof crush, your highest priority is to be seen by a doctor in a trauma center.
Chances are that if serious injuries
were sustained, you or your loved one has already been treated with
emergency care. It is sometimes the case however that an injury might
not seem severe at the time of the accident. The true extent of certain
injuries may only manifest themselves at a later time. Seeking
emergency care after a roof crush accident is therefore always
Ensure that Evidence of the Rood Crush Accident Scene is Preserved.
Usually, roof crush accidents are investigated by law enforcement
authorities. You must ensure that the police or an investigator has
taken pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, the
roadway, any road hazards
that may have caused or contributed to your accident, and the path
along which the vehicle traveled as it rolled. Ensure that the
following has been obtained: the names, addresses and phone numbers of
all witnesses, responding police officers, paramedics and other
emergency personnel, and tow truck drivers.
Preserve the Vehicle After a Roof Crush Accident.
If your vehicle must be towed, make sure that it will be safely-kept in
a secure location. Be sure that neither the vehicle nor its parts are
altered. The vehicle and its parts need to be inspected for defects in
order for your attorney to determine if defectively designed or manufactured parts are a cause of your or your loved one's injuries.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Immediately Following a Roof Crush Accident. You should act quickly following a roof crush accident if you or someone close to you has been seriously injured.
The simplest way for you to ensure that all of the information
mentioned above is obtained promptly, and that the evidence is
preserved, is to hire a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer who has the resources to prosecute these expensive cases.
Statistics: Roof Crush Intensifies Injuries
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority ("NHTSA"):
Types of Compensation that can be Recovered in a Roof Crush Accident
If you have suffered injuries in a roof crush
accident, you may be entitled to a monetary recovery to compensate you
for losses. Some of the damages to which you may be entitled include:
Future Medical Costs for Roof Crush Injuries:
Serious injuries often require substantial future treatments and
expenses. In catastrophic injuries the expenses can be incurred on an
ongoing basis throughout a lifetime. If your roof crush injuries
require lifelong medical care or assistance, your attorney should
present a life care-plan to the court that accounts for all your future
medical expenses from all sources, ranging from in-home care providers
to inpatient rehabilitation centers.
Future Loss of Earnings and Earning Capacity in Roof Crush Injuries: The
impairment of your ability to earn future income is also a compensable
item of damage in accidental injuries. The calculation of these damages
depends on the circumstances of each individual. One roof crush victim
might have little education, but has consistently earned a good living
in a physically demanding trade. Another might be a highly educated,
highly compensated professional. Yet another roof crush victim might be
a young child, whose future earning capacity is unknown. Some roof
crush victims will be able to return to their work, but due to the
degenerative nature of their injuries, will have a reduced work life.
Others injured by roof crush will require vocational counseling or
retraining to be gainfully employed in areas that their disability will
allow. Some who have suffered roof crush injuries may never return to
work. Each type of roof crush victim might recover money that will
compensate them for their unique lifetime loss of earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering for Roof Crush Injuries:
Your pain and suffering is usually compensable damage in a roof crush
case. This allows you to recover for the short and long-term
impairments to your health that affect your enjoyment of life, such as
chronic headaches, incontinence, paralysis, and other effects brought
about by ailments and conditions caused by the roof crush accident.
Diminished Quality of Life in Roof Crush Injury Cases:
Your life may be altered forever due to the severity of your injuries
from a roof crush accident. You may be able to recover money damages to
compensate you for your diminished quality of life, the increased
likelihood that you may suffer from medical complications or
infections, the increased likelihood of medical procedures and
surgeries, and for a reduced life expectancy.