Roof crush occurs when the vehicle roof is unable to withstand the pressure during a car crash. Roof crush is common in rollover accidents or situations where excessive force is applied to the sides or roof of the car. Most vehicles get designed to withstand this pressure, but when substandard materials are used and improper fixing of the roof, can result in serious injuries. If you are injured in a roof crash car accident, you are entitled to compensation. By filing a personal injury claim, you can recover compensation for all costs you incurred from the injuries. Navigating a compensation lawsuit can be complicated, and you would greatly benefit from competent legal guidance. At The Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm in California, we will work hard to ensure your best interests in the case.
What is Roof Crush in a Car Accident?
Roof crush occurs when the roof of your vehicle caves in during an accident. Roof crush is typical in cases where the vehicle rolls over, and all the weight is exerted on the roof. Vehicle roofs are supposed to be made in a way that they can withstand immense pressure during a crash. When the roofs are made with inferior quality materials or improperly fixed, they are likely to break under pressure. Rollover accidents are the most common cause of roof crush, and they result in severe injuries.
Some potential causes of the roof collapsing include:
- Inferior materials used to manufacture the roof
- Inadequate and incomplete inspection of the vehicle
- Failure to conduct repairs and maintenance when necessary
- Gluing over serious cracks instead of fixing or replacing the materials
- Getting unskilled personnel to service the car with a substandard item to cut on cost
Depending on the nature of the impact, car accident victims suffer serious injuries or death. If you get injured in a roof crush accident, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Also, if your loved one dies from roof crush injuries, you can file a wrongful death compensation claim. However, it is essential to understand that you need to prove liability in the accident before receiving compensation.
Liability in Roof Crush Car Accidents
There are several reasons why the roof of your car can crash. If you suffer injuries in a roof crush, you will want to get compensation for those injuries. However, you will have to prove who is liable for the roof crush that caused your injuries. Liability in a car accident is established by showing negligence. Liability in a roof crush can be complicated to show. Therefore, it is crucial to have competent legal representation. The following elements of negligence should be clear when proving a person’s responsibility for the accident:
- Duty of care - Each person has the responsibility to ensure that they do not cause harm to others. Manufacturer’s retailers and installers of the vehicle roof have a duty to ensure they do the work properly with the right quality of materials to avoid a crash.
- Reach of duty - An individual breaches a duty of care towards you by acting in a way that puts you in harm’s way. You can prove that there was a breach of responsibility from the manufacturers for manufacturing and installing a substandard roof.
- The breach of duty caused your injuries - If you get injured in a roof crush accident, you need to prove that the actions of the defendant were a contributing factor to your injuries. Also, you need to show evidence of the injuries suffered from the accident. Often, the evidence of injuries will be clear from the medical report.
Some of the parties who could be held liable for your injuries in the compensation lawsuit include:
After the roof crush accident, an assessment will be done to establish whether a roof defect resulted in the accident. Car manufacturers will be held liable for the crash in the following circumstances:
- Poor design - The design is an initial stage of manufacture before the vehicle is made. If designing was done wrong, the end product will be defective and can pose a threat to you.
- Poor construction - Auto manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is made using proper materials and specifications. If a defect in construction caused the roof crush, the manufacturer would be held liable for your injuries.
- Lack of proper testing - When a car is constructed, the manufacturer needs to ensure that the roof can withstand its weight and more. All vehicles should be tested for this aspect before releasing it on the market.
If your attorney can successfully prove that the manufacturers’ negligence caused the accident, they will be responsible for your injuries.
Auto Dealers or Repair Shops
When you take your vehicle to a repair shop, you always expect it to be corrected off all its damages. While the car is at the repair shop, the mechanic is expected to treat it with reasonable care to avoid causing you injuries. Sometimes these repair shops will use inferior quality materials to repair your vehicle in an attempt to save cost.
Some auto repair dealers fail to disclose what work was done on the vehicle, making you unaware of the roof defect or weakness. Also, unqualified personnel may handle the car. Hence, the correct repair is not done if you can prove that the roof defect that caused it to crash resulted from poor repair. The repair shop could be held liable for your injuries.
Vehicles like other machines need to get checked regularly and serviced. The owner has a responsibility to identify any broken parts and take it for repairs before going on the road. Some individuals will ignore vehicle defects. This will pose a threat of injury or death to passengers and other road users.
Injuries Common in a Roof Crush Accident
Roof crush often occurs in rollover accidents. In most cases, these accidents are fatal, and victims who survived the crash can sustain severe injuries. If the vehicle roof is not strong enough to withstand the pressure in a crash, it will collapse or deform, causing injuries to the occupants of the vehicle. Injuries from roof crush can see you spend an extended period in hospital and incur substantial medical bills. Fortunately, you can get compensation for these injuries by filing a lawsuit against the liable party. Common injuries from a roof crush include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
When the roof of your vehicle crushes during an accident, it is most likely that you will suffer a blow to your head. However, not every impact on your skull causes brain injury. In less severe accidents, you may suffer cuts and scrapes to the head. Traumatic brain injury is an injury that affects the oral function of your brain. This could be caused by a blunt blow or penetration of sharp objects in your mind. The severity of your injuries will vary depending on the type of accident and impact on the car roof.
Brain injuries can either be a mild concussion where you briefly lose your consciousness or severe brain damage where your brain function is destroyed. After a roof crash accident, it will not be easy to detect brain injury. Therefore, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some of the symptoms you may experience include:
- Loss of balance and dizziness
- Confusion and disorientation
- Poor vision
The brain plays an essential role in the body, and its damage can affect other body functions. A traumatic brain injury will ultimately affect your life, and you will have to depend on other people. If you or your loved one suffers a head or brain injury in a roof crush, you can file a personal injury claim against the party liable for the accident.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
The spine is a very crucial part of your body that controls and regulates many functions in the body. When you are involved in a roof crush accident, your back may suffer an impact from the roof and other objects in the vehicle. Spinal cord injuries vary from fractured vertebrae to complete severing of the spinal cord. Sometimes a sharp object can permeate your body and cause severe damage to the spine.
The following are some of the most common spinal cord injury symptoms you may experience after an accident:
- Unexplained muscle spasms
- Breathing difficulties
- Muscle weakness and motion loss
- Painful and stinging sensations in the back
- Numbness and tingling
Depending on the severity of your spinal cord injuries, you may end up paralyzed below the point of damage.
In most cases, damage to the lower part of the spinal cord will affect digestive, bladder, and reproductive functions. A spinal cord injury will cause a person to spend a long time in hospital and be left with substantial medical bills to pay. Fortunately, you can get relief for some of these costs by seeking compensation in a personal injury compensation claim. Proving liability in a compensation lawsuit is quite complicated, and you will require competent legal guidance.
Roof crush often occurs in fatal rollover accidents. When a vehicle rolls over, and the roof cannot support the weight, it will crash and cause injuries. When your legs or arms get stuck in spaces within the collapsed roof, you will suffer broken bones. If the damage to your limbs is irreparable, you may end up with an amputation. Sometimes amputation will occur at the accident scene while others will have to get done at the hospital.
Loss of limbs in an accident can be a devastating and life-changing experience. Performing routine as simple tasks will be difficult, and you may not be able to return to work. Even though it is a difficult moment to heal from the injuries and shock after an accident, it is crucial to contact an attorney. Your story will help you in collecting evidence and filing a claim.
Any bone in the body can break in a car crash. When pressure is exerted on the body in a roof crush accident, your bones may be twisted unnaturally and end up breaking. Depending on the severity of the crash, you can break the femur, which is one of the most robust bones. Although most bones in the body can break in a car crash, the following are more susceptible to damage in a roof crush accident:
- Collar bone
- The pelvis
- Facial bone
- Bones in the limbs
Some of how your bones suffer injury in a roof crush accident are:
- Transverse fractures - This occurs when the bone receives direct pressure and breaks into two pieces. A transverse bone fracture can be very severe and will require expensive medical care to correct.
- Compound fractures - This is one of the most severe bone injuries you can suffer in a roof crush accident. The bone will break and protrude out on the outer skin. Compound fractures increase the risk of infections.
- Buckle - The buckle is less severe bone damage where the bone bends or strains. Younger people are at a higher risk of this type of injury.
Broken bones do not often pose a direct threat to your life. However, these injuries take a long time to heal, and you may be required to pay substantial medical bills. Some bone injuries do not completely resolve, and this will affect your ability to carry out routine activities. Besides the pain, you suffer from the injury, some level of damage can prompt an amputation of your limbs. Also, broken ribs can cause an injury to your internal organs leading to internal bleeding.
Internal Organ injuries
When the roof of a vehicle crushes over your body during a car accident, the immense force will be applied to your body. Sometimes you can suffer an injury, but it is not visible on the outside. When the impact is too much, your internal organs may be damaged. Also, sharp objects from the crash can penetrate your body, causing an internal injury. Most internal injuries cannot be noticed from the outside. Therefore, it is crucial to seek medical attention after the accident to ensure the injuries are detected and treated on time. Also, ensure all medical reports from the treatment are well kept for proving injuries in your claim.
Compensation in a Roof Crush Personal Injury Claim
Injuries from a roof crush car accident can change your life completely. Besides the immense pain of the injuries, the ordeal will put a strain on your financial life. Fortunately, you can get compensation for the damages you suffered by filing a lawsuit against the liable party. Success in your suit can get you the following compensation benefits:
Roof crush injuries are often severe and may require you to be hospitalized for a long time. In this case, you will incur high costs in medical bills. Some of the injuries may require a lifetime attendance of therapy. If you or your loved one suffers substantial injuries in such an accident, you are entitled to compensation for your medical bills. Immediately after the accident, you need to ensure that you get a medical checkup to ensure the early detection and treatment of your injuries.
The party responsible for the accident will not be quick to accept liability. Therefore, you will have to cover your medical bills. There are several ways through which you can include these medical bills, including payment on cash, use of medical insurance coverage, or paying on a lien basis. However, it would be wise to use your medical coverage since the medical providers cannot charge you more than the cover. If you do not have a medical cover, the government will ensure you get a discount for the treatment.
Some medical providers operate on a lien basis, and you will be required to pay them with proceeds from your lawsuit. However, if your medical bills exceed the benefits, you will have to cover the balance. After a successful claim, you will receive compensation for the medical bills. It is crucial to understand that you need evidence to prove the medical bills you incurred. When getting treatment, ensure all injuries resulting from the roof crush are documented. The medical records will be a crucial piece of evidence to prove your injuries and the amount incurred in medical costs.
Lost Future Earning Capacity
Most roof crush injuries are severe. Some injuries result in lifelong confinement in a wheelchair or amputations. Also, these injuries take longer to heal, making it difficult for you to return to your job. Lost earning capacity is the inability to make money in the future resulting from the injuries. Your injuries do not need to be permanent for you to receive compensation for lost earning capacity. If damages have not fully resolved by the time your case is heard, you are entitled to these benefits.
In a personal injury claim, lost earning capacity can be in the form of monthly salary, bonuses, commissions, overtime pay as well as income from self-employment. There is no specific way to calculate the number of lost wages, and your payments may depend on the testimonies from your employer. Also, the doctor who is treating your injuries can be able to explain how the injuries have affected your ability to work.
The following are personal factors that will be put into consideration when calculating lost earning capacity in California:
- Your age
- The severity of your injury
- Time expected or your injuries to recover
- Your life expectancy before the injuries
- The number of working years before you are expected to retire
- The nature of your contract and terms of employment
- Your performance review
Lost wages are the amount you lose at the time you are nursing your injuries. Most injuries resulting from a roof crush accident will require you to stay a long time in the hospital. During this time, you cannot go to work, and you may lose the wages you could be earning. Before receiving compensation or the lost wages, you need to give sufficient evidence of what you lost. The following documents can be used to prove lost wages in a personal injury claim:
- Lost wages letter - This is a letter given by your employer. If you have a permanent job, you can use this document to show what you suffered as a result of roof crush injuries.
- Tax returns and pay stub -. If you cannot obtain a lost wages letter, you can use your past tax returns and pay stubs to prove what you suffered from the injuries.
- Billing statements - If you are self-employed, you can use the billing statements and past tax returns to prove the amount in lost wages you deserve as compensation.
Wrongful Death Compensation
Some roof crush accidents are fatal. If your loved one succumbs to the injuries from a roof crush accident, you can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. However, it is crucial to understand that only close family such as the spouse and children of the deceased can receive compensation. Wrongful death compensation will be in the form of burial and funeral expenses. Also, you can receive payment or lost consortium from the deceased. Filling a successful wrongful death claim will require competent legal guidance.
Navigate a Roof Crush Compensation Claim with Help from a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
A roof crush is one of the worst things that can happen in a car accident. When the roof collapses, the vehicle occupants will likely suffer severe injuries or even death. If you or your loved one sustained injuries in a roof crush, you could file a compensation claim against the liable party. A successful personal injury claim can enable you to get compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. Should you get injured in a roof crush anywhere in California, it would be wise to seek legal representation. Contact The Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm at 619-625-8707 today to discuss the details of your claim.