Riverside Roof Crush Lawyers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about a third of all vehicle occupant fatalities result from rollover accidents. Roof crush occurs when the roof of an overturned vehicle fails to withstand the pressure and caves in toward the occupants. This can happen as the vehicle rolls over or as the vehicle comes to rest upside down after the crash. Either way, when the roof fails to retain its shape, occupants face the risk of suffering devastating head, neck and back injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please contact the Riverside personal injury attorneys of Bisnar Chase for a FREE case evaluation now at 951-530-3711.
Do I Need an Experienced Auto Defect Lawyer?
It is important to consider all of your legal options before making any decisions. Accepting a quick settlement from an insurance company will negate your ability to pursue additional compensation. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the fairness of the offer and the potential value of your claim.
Automakers who fail to manufacture safe vehicles despite having had the resources and the technological know-how to do so for years, should be held accountable for their negligence and for their eagerness to put profits before public safety.
The experienced Riverside auto product liability lawyers at Bisnar Chase have a long and successful track record of helping catastrophically injured victims and their families obtain fair and full compensation for their losses due to auto defects such as a roof crush liability.
Roof Crush Injuries In Riverside
Even occupants who are properly buckled during a rollover can get thrown around from side to side resulting in sprains, strains, internal injuries and bone fractures. If the structure of the vehicle fails, the occupants can get crushed inside.
Roof crush injuries commonly involve vertebrae fractures, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. It is common for survivors of roof crush injuries to suffer catastrophic injuries and disabilities including paralysis. The severity of the injuries is dependent on the part of the roof that failed relative to where the victim was seated.
Government Regulation and Roof Crush
Consumer advocates have called for higher standards in rollover safety for many years. NHTSA estimates that 10,000 deaths result from rollover accidents each year and about 667 of those fatalities are caused by roof crush. In 2009, the NHTSA issued new standards that could save up to 135 lives and prevent 1,065 injuries annually.
Under the new standards that officially went into effect in September 2012, the roof of vehicles under 6,000 pounds must withstand three times the curb weight of the vehicle. Furthermore, vehicles weighing between 6,000 and 10,000 pounds are now required to withstand 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle.
Before this regulation, there was no required standard for larger vehicles. The new regulations do not cover 12- to 15- passenger vans that are notorious for their involvement in catastrophic and fatal rollover crashes. The regulations do not affect hard- or soft-top convertibles either.
Importance of Preserving a Vehicle After A Roof Crush Accident
Whenever a roof crush accident occurs, it is important to investigate why the vehicle failed to work properly. If it is determined that the vehicle was defectively designed or built, it may be possible for the victim or the victim's family to file a claim against the auto part manufacturer.
This will prove difficult if the damaged vehicle is not preserved correctly for a thorough inspection immediately after the crash. After a rollover crash, it is important to take photos of the damaged vehicle. It is crucial to obtain close-up shots of the roof showing how far it caved in. The vehicle must be towed and preserved so that an expert can thoroughly examine it for defects, malfunctions and design flaws.
Product Liability Claims and Class Action Suits
Victims of defective products have the right to file a product liability claim against the at-fault manufacturer. In such cases, plaintiffs must prove that the product was defective, that they suffered a loss and that their loss was directly related to the defect.
In the event of a roof crush incident, it must be determined if the roof failed because it was defectively designed or assembled. Large dents and cave-ins could be a sign of a defective roof. In general, an investigation should take place if the roof caved in five inches or more during the accident.
Victims of defective auto parts can pursue financial compensation for all of their losses by filing a claim against the auto manufacturer. A successful product liability claim can result in financial compensation for:
- Medical bills including the cost of hospitalization and surgeries
- Cost of medication and medical devices
- Lost wages including time away from work and lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Disability consideration
- Rehabilitation costs
When an individual is killed in a roof crush accident, the victim's family can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for their losses. Such claims, which are filed by immediate family members, seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and benefits and loss of love and companionship.
In any instance, it is not easy to deal with an injury accident on your own.
Again, if you have been injured in a car accident involving a crushed roof, we urge you to contact the Riverside law firm of Bisnar Chase to speak to one of our attorneys. Recovery is only a phone call away!
Call us at 951-530-3711 for a free consultation.