Roof Crush Injuries
A rollover happens when a vehicle flips completely over onto its roof, often due to the force of a crash. Certain vehicles, such as SUVs and some types of vans, are prone to rollovers due to car defects that make the center of gravity too high for the narrow wheel base. These kinds of wrecks are particularly deadly if the roof supports of the vehicle collapse. Motorists may sustain serious and often fatal personal injuries in such circumstances, as the full weight of the vehicle may bear down on the head and neck. In fact, rollover accidents are among the deadliest crashes. According to the National Highway and Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollovers account for barely more than two percent of all car crashes. However, rollovers cause up to 35 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Despite several highly-publicized vehicle recalls, rollovers resulting in roof crush injuries and wrongful death are still common. If you sustained injuries or lost a loved one in this kind of car crash in Georgia, contact a rollover accident attorney from the McArthur Law Firm as soon as possible. We can immediately begin an investigation to determine the cause and contributing factors. Then, we can aggressively represent your interests in an insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit. If product defects caused your personal injuries, then you may be able to file a product liability claim as well.
What Causes Roof Crush Injuries in Rollover Crashes?
Roof crush injuries result when a vehicle overturns, either during a wreck or as a result of car defects. In such circumstances, the roof supports of a vehicle should be strong enough to prevent crumpling and protect motorists. Otherwise, the weight of the car or truck could fall onto passengers, crushing them between the vehicle and the ground. This happens when design and/or manufacturing defects are present.
For example, the design of a vehicle may include thin roof supports or no supports at all. If the automaker fails to test this design properly or ignores the results, then serious injuries and/or wrongful death may result. Manufacturing defects can weaken a roof, even if the design is sound. The deadliest combination is a vehicle that is both prone to rollovers and roof crush due to car defects.
Federal regulations require automakers to include sturdy roof supports and/or roll bars in all vehicle designs. Companies must also test all new vehicle designs to ensure the roofs will not crumple in a crash. However, it is important to note that these federal standards are minimal. Even vehicles that meet safety standards may still contain defects that may cause roof crush injuries.
What are the Most Common Roof Crush Injuries?
When a vehicle’s roof collapses in a rollover, a passenger’s limbs, head and neck are most vulnerable to roof crush injuries. Therefore, the most common such injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the neck and/or spinal cord in a rollover may result in permanent paralysis and disability. Even if the roof only partially buckles, spinal cord injuries may result.
- Traumatic brain injuries. When a car is upside down and the roof collapses, a passenger’s head may impact the roof and/or ground beneath or sustain other serious trauma. Brain injuries can have lifelong effects, including severe mental impairment and more.
- Loss of limb. During roof collapse, a passenger’s arm or, more rarely, leg may become trapped, resulting in crush injuries and possibly amputation.
- Wrongful death. If a vehicle’s roof fully collapses, then passengers often sustain fatal roof crush injuries.
Furthermore, if a car’s seatbelts and/or windows fail during a rollover, the resulting injuries may be much more serious.
Learn More in a Free Consultation with a Rollover Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one sustained serious roof crush injuries in a rollover car crash in Georgia, then you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury or product liability lawsuit. A rollover accident attorney from our law firm can assist in identifying all possible responsible parties, and can fight for your rights in negotiations or the courtroom.
We represent rollover victims throughout Georgia and nationwide. If you have questions or believe you have a case, then contact our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.