Roof Crush Injuries a Dangerous Consequence of Rollover Accidents


January 03, 2013

Seatbelt use can provide significant protection to vehicle occupants in a rollover accident involving a car, pickup truck or SUV because the driver and passengers are not ejected. Many rollover accidents result in only minor injuries when seatbelts are used, since the speed of the vehicle slows as it is rolling over.

In an accident involving a vehicle rollover, roof collapse injuries pose the greatest danger to vehicle occupants. These devastating injuries occur when the support for the roof of a vehicle is not sufficient to bear the weight or force caused in the rollover collision. Roof crush injuries comprise almost 90 percent of all injuries caused by the roof of a vehicle.

Carmakers have a legal obligation to design and manufacture vehicles in a manner that will prevent foreseeable injuries, which includes roof crush injuries. Lawsuits involving defective motor vehicles sometimes reveal that automakers are aware that a vehicle’s roof strength is inadequate before the vehicle is placed on the market. The decision not to improve roof strength is sometimes a matter of increasing profits or avoiding delays in production. These cases include some where the vehicle manufacturer’s own testing reveals insufficient roof strength, but the results are buried and no modifications are made to provide additional roof strength.

When you are involved in a collision where severe injuries occur because the roof collapses into the passenger compartment of the vehicle, these product defect cases can be costly and complicated to pursue because of the experts and accident reconstruction involved in persuasively presenting the claim, versus the massive resources and engineers at the disposal of an auto manufacturer. Roof crush cases require expertise in the following areas:

Tests of Roof Strength: Our experienced Georgia car accident lawyers understand the variety of testing procedures and methods for roof strength that are conducted by automakers. While the insurance provider for the at-fault driver may claim that the roof complied with federal standards, these are merely minimum requirements, which must be effectively communicated to a judge or jury.

Investigation Methods: When handling a rollover that results in roof crush injuries, time is of the essence, and preserving evidence can prove extremely helpful if not critical. If the accident scene is not disturbed and the vehicle damage and debris remain in their post-collision condition, this can aid accident reconstruction efforts.

Minimum Federal Roof Strength Standards: Our dedicated Atlanta roof crush attorneys understand the complex federal standards that apply to vehicle manufacturers when it comes to roof strength and testing requirements.

Insurance companies for vehicle manufacturers vigorously defend roof crush cases. They will frequently contend that roof crush injuries were caused by other factors, such as the intensity of the impact or a high rate of speed. The use of accident reconstruction experts can be very important to demonstrate the mechanics of the collision and the manner in which the collapsed roof exacerbated the accident victim’s injuries.

Injuries or fatalities caused by vehicle ejections may also be a product of inadequate roof reinforcement. When the vehicle’s roof collapses into the passenger compartment, doors may be thrown open, windows shatter and airbags malfunction. Roof collapse damage may even cause a vehicle occupant who is buckled up to be ejected.

Our Georgia car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.