Houston Roof Crush Lawyers
Understanding Car & SUV Roof Collapse
The phrase "roof crush" was coined for the type of damage caused after a rollover.
A roof collapse occurs when components of the roof are crushed and cave in. In this situation, the SUV's roof is pushed inward, exposing occupants to extreme impact. Any vehicle has the potential to roll over when they are involved in a collision. This risk is why it is so crucial that roofs are durable and can withstand a rollover without injuring the passengers.
According to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, auto manufacturers must follow a specific set of standards in regards to the strength and structure of the roof of each vehicle. However, while any car can suffer roof crush, SUVs are at the highest risk. These established rules currently only apply to vehicles that weigh less than 6,000 pounds; because most SUVs are heavier, they are not bound by this standard.
Per the NHTSA, SUVs are at a higher risk of rollover accidents and accompanying roof collapses than any other class of vehicle. Many of the 10,000 SUV and van rollover deaths in the United States every year are attributed to roof collapses. The rollover rate for an SUV is near 90%, which is the highest rollover rate for any class of vehicle.
In the case of large trucks, rollovers commonly occur because the driver took a turn at too high of a speed or braked too quickly. Car rollovers most often happen when drivers lose control and their vehicle is "tripped" by an object such as a curb. In hopes of remedying the situation, manufacturers are attempting to make vehicles more stable. Stronger "cages" can prevent serious injury. Government regulations require cars to have roofs that can support their weight during a rollover; however, this is only in newer vehicles.
Injuries Caused by SUV Roof Collapse
The force occupants subjected to during a roof collapse can cause debilitating injuries. Most injuries are concentrated in the lower cervical spine and caused by burst vertebrae. In other cases, a person may suffer fractured vertebrae caused when the occupant is flung against the roof.
These include neck injuries that can lead to the following:
Roof Collapse of Smaller Cars
Roof collapses are less frequent in passenger cars than they are in SUVs. However, some models have shown a higher risk of roof collapse during rollover accidents. Injury and death can occur when the seat belt, windshield, and door of the car fail as a result of roof collapse. The rate of fatalities is higher in rollover accidents compared to side or frontal impact accidents. Most rollover deaths occur as a result of roof collapses.
Helping the Victims of Roof Crush Fight for Fair Compensation
When the roof of a car collapses in a collision, this can cause catastrophic injuries to the occupants. A roof may collapse because it is poorly designed or has a manufacturing defect. In either scenario, the driver and passengers may experience life-threatening head and spinal cord injuries that would have otherwise been avoided. Working with a lawyer is highly recommended if you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving roof crush. With considerable knowledge regarding roof crush injuries, the team at Arnold & Itkin LLP can offer you valuable insight to help you get started in the right direction. If you believe the negligence of any kind was involved, you should speak with an attorney from our firm. At Arnold & Itkin, we understand road, driving, and vehicle regulations and can evaluate your case accurately to see how you can be helped. Even if you are unsure if you are entitled to a claim, you can never honestly know until you have your case evaluated by a legal professional. Feel free to call our firm for a free consultation. A skilled professional can review the matter on your behalf to determine whether you have grounds for a product liability lawsuit.
Contact a roof crush attorney about injuries caused by rollover accidents. Call (888) 493-1629 now.