Among the most severe rollover accidents that we experience in our daily lives, roof crushes are notorious. A car should have a durable safety roof that can withstand the violent force in a rollover accident. A high roof crush-resistant car should offer significant protection for the passengers. However, a weak roof crushes easily during a car accident and results in serious injuries that lead to disability and/or death. In worse cases, the car roof pillar gets displaced, resulting in the seat belt loosening up. Hence, increasing the chances of throwing the passengers out of the vehicle.

Car accidents caused by roof crush cases against potential parties’ are highly contested. Once they are proven guilty, they have to part with massive amounts to settle the victims. In such cases, you need a well-funded and experienced lawyer from the LA Personal Injury Law Firm who can help you hold responsible parties accountable. We have dealt with similar cases, and we clearly understand the challenges that the victims undergo in the aftermath of a disabling injury or an accidental death. Therefore, we do our best to address your case while working towards achieving maximum recovery possible.

About Roof Crush Accidents

Unfortunately, car accidents mostly result in death due to the failure of the vehicle’s roof to hold its structure and shape. The roof’s support pillars may fail from the force of the crush, weakening the roof and causing its collapse. When a roof collapses in a car accident, then this is mainly a vehicle defect. Because the roof failed, it is enough to demonstrate that the roof was not crush-proof. Thus, the victim can pursue claims against the potential parties or manufacturer.

These defects of the roof structure include:

  • Frail low-grade steel
  • Roof enforcement absence
  • Disorganized pillars
  • Disorganized roof headers

Victims of roof failure in car accidents suffer a variety of life-threatening injuries, including the traumatic brain, spinal cord, or amputations. One of the biggest problems of so many fatal roof crush accidents is the lack of legislation to address safety issues. The National Highway and Safety Administration (NHTSA) that was formed in 1970 has been left unchanged for quite some time.

Statistics of Car Accidents Caused by Roof Crush

Official statistics sources state that about a quarter a million deaths annually are caused by roof crush injuries. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) studies has shown that a rise in the strength of a car roof can have a significant impact on reducing injury likelihood and death in a rollover crack-up. The studies are detailed on how a well-organized roof can lead to lower risks of injuries.

Mostly, SUVs, ATVs, pickup trucks and large vans roll over in car accidents that lead to a very high rate of fatal injuries. Some of these injuries are attributed to the roof of a vehicle collapsing. As many as 50% of severe injuries from occupants are as a result of a crushed roof. Most of these cases could be avoided if the vehicle had a crashworthy roof.

Despite the Los Angeles “Vision Zero” policy implemented in 2016, many individuals are injured or killed in car accidents over roof crush. The main aim of the policy was to decrease the number of road injuries and to reach zero traffic fatalities by the year 2025.

Unfortunately, the opposite is happening in the city. The number of fatalities and accidents continue to rise. That is the worse news on the roads. The good news is that the roof crush accident victims can recover damages by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit from our LA Personal Injury Law Firm. We have a proven track record of obtaining meaningful compensation for our clients.

Roof Crush Regulations and Standards

All vehicles are required to have a particular standard roof strength depending on their weight. In the last three decades, there has been an increase in awareness of unstable car roofs. Manufacturers have gone back to crafting vehicles that possess more durable roofs. The legislators have stepped ahead by passing laws that require upcoming car models to have roofs with crush resistivity.

In 2009, laws were introduced for roofs so that they can bear forces of up to three times the car's weight. However, older cars are still operating and may not have enough strength on roofs like the new models. The new ones may even have weak roofs that have a possibility of being crushed.

If a manufacturer fails to follow the regulations and standards, they become fully blameworthy for the injuries caused by roof crush eventuality. In case a victim suffers from automakers’ negligence, our attorneys will help you sue them as they will have less margin to maneuver and discredit responsibility.

Common Causes of Roof Crush Accidents

If you happen to be involved in a roof crush accident, you need to understand what causes them and how they happen. A clear understanding of what causes these types of accidents will help you in the future to determine who is liable for your injuries and damages. Here are common causes of roof crush accidents:

  • Car tripping as a result of the car running over a rock or a pothole that damages the vehicle’s roof
  • Taking a quick turn that can lead to rolling over and the roof caving in
  • Unequal distribution of weight. When at high speed the car might fall and cause the roof to collapse
  • Defects of the car roof structure
  • Poor driving skills such that the driver cannot interpret road signs
  • Striking a guardrail, median, or a barrier.

Most of these accidents don’t involve head-on collisions. The most common cause is the rollover that is mostly brought about by tripping. What happens is that the car trips and sways on one side then tips back on the other side with a high force causing a rollover. Due to this, the roof crushes, causing severe injuries. The worst-case sometimes trapping the driver and other occupants in the vehicle.

Possible Injuries as a Result of Roof Crush

When a car roof collapses in a rollover, the occupants’ limbs, head, and neck are most affected. Here are possible injuries that occur as a result of roof crush:

  • Spinal cord injuries - Damage on the neck due to a roof crush affects the spinal cord which may result in permanent paralysis and disability. No matter the force of the crush, spinal injury occurs.
  • Traumatic brain injuries - When a vehicle flips over and roof crushes, the occupant head may impact the roof and sustain severe trauma. This will result in brain injuries that have lifelong effects, including mental impairment.
  • Limb loss - In a roof crush, a passenger may get an arm or leg trapped. Hence, possibly amputation.
  • Untimely death - When a car roof fully crushes, the occupants often sustain fatal roof crush injuries leading to death.
  • Fractures - Broken bones may seem to be minor injuries, but the degree of the fracture can cause a severe or complicated injury.

These injuries often take a long time to recover and are a permanent disability. Not to mention the expenses brought about by medical care. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, victims may not be able to go about their daily life routines.

What a Victim Should do When a Roof Crush Accident Happens

First and foremost, never repair or get rid of your car after the roof crush accident. You must keep the vehicle in the same condition as the time of the crush. This will help in the investigations to prove if the injuries sustained were a result of automakers’ ignorance. Personal injury attorneys  advise clients just to keep calm and do the following:

  • Call 911 no matter the seriousness of injury police should be informed as emergency services will be provided including medical help, ambulance and fire services.
  • If you were not seriously injured, check the status of other passengers to assure them you have called for help to try to keep them calm.
  • Check other accident victims for life-threatening injuries.
  • Apply pressure to any bleeding areas of either you or other victims.
  • Do not make any unnecessary movements that can cause more harm and pain.
  • Assess the accident scene for hazardous conditions like power lines.
  • Cooperate with the police and paramedics.
  • Try to remember anything that led to the accident, time, weather and road condition.
  • With your smartphone, take photos of the area and the damaged car.
  • Most importantly, contact your personal injury attorney immediately.

How To Seek Compensation For Roof Crush Accidents

If you are involved in a roof crush accident, you can file a personal injury claim for accident-related expenses through our able LA Personal Injury Law Firm. This claim is known as a civil action. This type of claim we will help you get compensated for:

  • Medical expenses including ongoing medical care needs that relate to disability
  • Lost wages, including loss of employment as one cannot work due to disability
  • The pain and suffering including emotional trauma and physical pain

A loved one might have died in a roof crush or got serious injuries from a roof crush accident that led to death. In such a case, you can file a wrongful death claim. On your behalf we take this claim as a type of personal injury and seek compensation for:

  • Hospital expenses up to the victim’s death time
  • Loss of the victim’s earnings as the family breadwinner
  • Pain and suffering the victim went through until the time of death.
  • Loss of care and companionship to the surviving close family is undergoing.
  • The funeral and burial arrangement costs.

Helpful Reports To Build a Strong Case on Roof Crush Accidents

Most people know that after an accident by roof crush, they should take legal action. They don’t even actually know whom to sue over the roof crush accident. When and where to begin becomes a challenge. Once you find yourself in such a state, reach out to the LA Personal Injury Law Firm, and we will get started immediately to gather helpful reports that have a strong case. In the process of building a strong base case against the liable party, we will:

  • Analyze the records of the police and the medical ones
  • Have our investigators examine your vehicle damages
  • Strive to get a full picture of what occurred with our top professional experts
  • Collect witness statements that are in support of your side of the story
  • Take pictures and gather any available video footage even from CCTV cameras.

We don’t take chances as your injuries could have been avoided were it not for manufacturers’ sheer negligence. By using airtight legal argument supported by the witness strong evidence, be sure we will prove this element of your case.

It does not end there if the liable automaker does not give you a full settlement deal. We will further take your case to court and fight aggressively to get you an optimal verdict. With our LA Personal Injury Law Firm legal team at your side, you are guaranteed a favorable case outcome.

Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

You may presume that any personal injury lawyer can handle an accident caused as a result of roof crush. However, for a successful pursuit of this type of judgment requires an experienced lawyer in handling such cases. These cases are complicated and expensive to litigate. The LA Personal Injury Law Firm is financially stable to meet the accident reconstruction expenses and still retain top experts. We can provide efficient representation by using the following tasks:

  1. Conducting Roof Strength Testing

First, we look at the different procedures and testing methods used by vehicle manufacturers. Although the manufacturer may try to avoid liability with the proof of documents to show federal safety compliance, our team of lawyers knows very well that these benchmarks are aimed at minimum standards. Therefore, you need an attorney from us who can persuasively make this argument.

  1. Damages Calculation

Personal injury law firms have experts who carefully examine facts and circumstances that led to the roof crush. Medical experts also help us in evaluating the full amount of your damages and injuries. Further, they will determine the sum you should quote in the suit as non-economic damages. It is difficult to quantify the value of non-economic damages, such as suffering and loss of companionship. However, based on years of experience, the experts may come up with an appropriate figure.

  1. Federal Regulations

Personal injury attorneys’ expertise includes knowledge of complex legislative laws that cover feral standards on roof strength and mandated safety testing that automakers are expected to achieve. Such an understanding will help you in seeking an ideal compensation package for your injuries and suffering.

  1. The Seriousness of Injury

Roof crush causes fatal injuries, manufacturers take advantage and contest aggressively in these cases. A personal injury attorney will formulate defenses such as claims fracture injuries were caused by striking a barrier rather than caving in off the roof into the passenger compartment. We work very closely with mechanic experts who explain in detail how the collapsing roof intensified the violence of your injuries.

How The Law Holds Automobile Manufacturers Accountable

The car manufacturers are required by the law to subject their vehicles to a thorough inspection and safety testing before the car gets to the market. But due to the competition in the car industry, they speed up to make profits and even tries to cover up known auto defects. The law holds them responsible for accountability in case of an accident caused by the roof crush to protect the consumers. Some of the prevalent defects found in these vehicles that lead to roof crush include:

  • Defective tires: when there is an abrupt loss in tire pressure, the driver loses control as the tire blows out. Thus, car trips may cause the roof to cave in.
  • Defective airbags and poor car roofs: many cars contained defective airbags that explode and eject metal debris into the face of drivers. The failure to adequately protect the driver, a poor car roof vehicle can make the driver to be thrown out of the car.
  • Seat belt failure: seat belts are a safe way to ensure safety in the vehicle. If the car has disorganized seat belts and the roof collapses in the process of a sudden halt, the seat belts may unlatch and cause fatal accidents.
  • Fuel fed fire: unprotected gas tanks explode into flames even in minor collisions. The car roof is the most vulnerable part of the car, leading to fatal accidents.
  • Roof crush: it was until in 1971 the NHTSA tackled the roof crushes rollover accidents. The manufacturers knew how to produce a safer roof car, but they maintained the law did not require it. So many fatal accidents happened, and the NHTSA finally approved strict roof crush standards that took effect in 2012.

Product Liability Laws That Show How Manufacturers Contribute to Roof Crush Injuries

Product liability laws are there to protect the public from defective products including design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects, in case an accident occurs due to motor vehicle defects, it might be difficult to determine the actual cause of the defect. It is important to rely on the LA Personal Injury Law firm to pursue your claim.

The following theories are all of which a victim requires to prove that the car defect caused the victim’s injuries and the manufacturer is liable:

  • Negligence: the alleged automaker ought to have known the car’s defects and failed to satisfy their duty to protect the victim.
  • Strict liability: in Los Angeles, the auto manufacturers may be responsible for injuries if the car was defective and dangerous for driving, the defect existed when the car left the manufacturer and /or the defective vehicle caused the victim’s injury.
  • Breach of warranty: the auto dealership violated a written warranty guaranteeing a car-free from defects.
  • Design defects: design defects that rendered the car dangerous when used as proposed.
  • Marketing defects: mistakes on the labeled instructions to ensure proper usage.

Litigation of Claims Involving Roof Crush Injuries

Adequate roof strength is essential to any vehicle occupant safety. Some vehicles are more prone to overturning in an accident than others. Vehicles such as SUVs, 12-passenger vans, 15-passenger vans, tracks, and pickups have both a high center of gravity and a narrow base. In short, their weight is not equally distributed. Hence, more susceptible to overturn in a crush.

The automakers should design motors that are safe for the occupants. This legal duty explains further that the manufacturers should sell vehicles that will protect both the driver and the passengers from unforeseeable harm that includes roof crush injuries.

Most of the cases involving roof crush injuries have proved that automakers know that their vehicles do not efficiently protect the consumer. Even after this knowledge, they go ahead and design and sell vehicles that later result in fatal injuries and wrongful deaths.

Some roof crush accident lawsuits involve manufacturing too. In the Los Angeles lawsuit, the driver of the vehicle suffered a limb loss damage, whereby his arm ended up being amputated. The damage was as a result of defective welds that led to the roof crush. Unfortunately, the devastating injury that rendered the victim not only disabled but also jobless occurred at the end of the journey, and the car speed was decreasing. Our LA Personal Injury Law Firm intervened as requested by the victim. Regardless of whether the roof defect was related to the design or manufacture of the victim’s vehicle, we made sure that the automaker compensated our client fully as they were responsible for a weak roof.

Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm Near Me

Roof crush injuries can be devastating and life-threatening. However, if you or a loved one gets injured in a car accident as a result of roof crush, do not hesitate to contact The LA Personal Injury Law Firm for proper representation. Call us at 310-935-0089 and we will ensure the responsible parties have fairly compensated you.