Car accidents are pretty unfortunate and sometimes unavoidable. The results of an accident are devastating. Some people lose their lives, while others incur life-changing injuries. A roof crush accident is one of the most catastrophic car accidents experienced in Nevada. It happens when the roof of a vehicle collapses, injuring people inside the car. The gravity of the crush will determine the severity of the injuries. Sadly, some roof crush car accidents occur due to negligence. Nevada personal injury laws hold the negligent party responsible for the resulting damages.

Thus, if you or someone you know suffered injuries in a roof crush accident in Las Vegas, you could be eligible for compensation under the personal injury laws. G. Dallas Horton & Associates can help determine your eligibility for compensation, offer exceptional legal advice, plan a solid case with you, and walk you through the legal process until you obtain the compensation you deserve.

What is a Roof Crush Accident

Cars offer great convenience for people moving from one place to the other. Their design is for comfort and safety for all, including other road users. Sadly, many people have lost their lives, and others sustained catastrophic injuries due to car accidents. Roof crush vehicle accidents are among the most devastating car accidents in Nevada.

A roof crush accident occurs when the roof of a vehicle collapses, caves in, or rips off. When a vehicle roof caves in, it falls on the vehicle occupants, causing severe physical injuries and death. The driver could also lose control of the car, causing it to crash into other vehicles, people, or objects on the road. When a vehicle roof collapses, it could also rip off the top, extending to other parts of the car. That could also result in injuries to the vehicle occupants.

Roof crush vehicle accidents are widespread in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has provided clear and detailed guidelines on the quality of vehicle rooftops that vehicle manufacturers must meet. Even so, roof crush car accidents are still happening, and many people in Nevada are injured.

Vehicles must be well-designed to protect their occupants in the event of a crash. A car’s roof should be specially designed not to crush. Every vehicle has a crush resistance, which is the weight the vehicle’s roof can hold without giving way. For instance, most vehicles should only carry on their roof weight of at least 1.5 more than their actual weight. The most recent modifications by NHTSA have seen vehicle manufacturers designing vehicles with better crush resistance and carrying more than three times their weight.

These standards by NHTSA minimize the number of roof crush vehicle accidents on our roads. Vehicles with a higher crush resistance are seemingly safer than the rest and are more recommended.

When a roof crush accident occurs, investigations are necessary to establish the actual cause of the crash. That will help determine liability. Personal injury laws only allow compensation if another person or party was negligent in causing an accident. People that sustain injuries in accidents like those are eligible for payment for all their losses. A competent personal injury attorney will guide you on the right course of action to take, based on the results of that investigation.

Common Causes of Roof Crush Vehicle Accidents in Nevada

Roof crush car accidents are deadly. The people trapped inside the vehicle suffer catastrophic injuries after the roof crush accident. Others lose their lives.

Most roof crush vehicle accidents occur after a rollover accident. Rollovers are very common with large vehicles. When a driver loses control of a car, it could result in a rollover accident. Rollovers are also common in cases where more than one vehicle is involved in one accident. Some drivers lose control of their vehicles and rollover while avoiding the accident.

Vehicle manufacturers must ensure that all vehicles are built with a strong roof that will not crush even after an accident.

Roof crush car accidents mainly occur due to manufacturing and design defects of a vehicle or its roof. As previously mentioned, vehicle manufacturers must follow a laid-down guideline in ensuring the quality of all the cars they bring on the market. That includes crush-resistant vehicle roofs. Sadly, some manufacturers negligently ignore those guidelines, and the result is unsafe vehicles for all road users, including the occupants. Sometimes manufacturers do a commendable job, but vehicle assemblers fail in their mandate to carefully consider every step in the assembling process.

Here are some of the common but avoidable causes of roof crush car accidents in Nevada:

Defective Vehicle Design

The vehicle’s design is an essential factor in determining the vehicle’s safety. Different makes and models of cars have unique designs. Vehicle manufacturers must follow specific safety guides in ensuring that they produce a vehicle design that is functional and safe. Some mistakes made when designing a vehicle could result in mechanical problems that could eventually cause significant damages to the vehicle users or other road users.

Some manufacturers negligently ignore the given manufacturing guidelines to produce vehicles with faulty designs. Sometimes this is done by using inadequate materials or choosing unfit parts to the desired design for a particular vehicle. That could create a weak vehicle structure that will likely collapse on impact.

Use of Low-Quality Materials on a Vehicle

The quality of a vehicle is mainly in the quality of materials used in its making. High-end vehicle manufacturers use the best quality materials to produce quality vehicles that serve their users well. These vehicles remain solid and great-looking even after years of use.

However, some selfish manufacturers will still sneak in poor-quality materials to save on production costs and maximize profits. Buyers end up with a cheap vehicle that will likely collapse on impact. A poorly-manufactured vehicle will not remain intact after an accident. Its roof will likely collapse and cause severe injuries to its occupants after a rollover accident.

Poorly Installed Vehicle Roofs

When a vehicle’s roof collapses, the blame mainly shifts to the manufacturer or vehicle assembler. It is because most roof crush car accidents happen due to poorly-installed roofs. Manufacturers and vehicle assemblers must follow detailed guidelines when installing the roof. The entire outer structure of the vehicle must fit well for the vehicle to remain solid and safe for its user. If a few details are ignored during the manufacturing or assembling of the car, the car will stay with a weak roof that is prone to crushing.

A trivial step like an inadequately driven screw could weaken the entire structure, making it vulnerable to collapse on impact. Vehicle manufacturers and assemblers must have the skills and experience needed for quality production. Without proper qualifications, they could make simple mistakes that will compromise the quality of all vehicles.

Weak or Dispositioned Roof Pillars

Still, the vehicle roof pillars must be carefully selected and positioned during the assembling process of manufacturing and assembling. If the roof pillars are weak or not set correctly, they will not support the roof’s weight if the vehicle is involved in an accident.

Center of Gravity Too High

Vehicles designed with a higher center of gravity will likely roll over more quickly than those with a lower center of gravity. Some vehicles are taller or narrow, like large SUVs and passenger vans by design. These vehicles are usually not stable on the road compared to the shorter ones. Drivers of larger vehicles who like to speed when taking sharp corners run the risk of flipping their cars over, resulting in a rollover accident.

Some vehicles are designed with a lower center of gravity but carry loads that shift their centers of gravity higher. These vehicles risk flipping over, resulting in a roof crush accident.

Possible Injuries After a Roof Crush Accident

Car accidents leave a trail of destruction behind. The resulting injuries are devastating to the vehicle occupants and anyone on site. Roof crush car accidents are likely to result in severe and catastrophic injuries. When a vehicle’s roof crushes, people inside the vehicle are trapped and crushed. Some lose their lives, while others suffer life-changing injuries.

A collapsed roof will probably fall hard on the vehicle’s occupants, causing severe physical injuries. If a crushed roof rips open, it leaves the upper part of the vehicle open. Some vehicle occupants could be forcefully ejected from the vehicle as the car rolls over.

In any case, accidents like these dangerously expose the driver and passengers to severe injuries. The most common of these injuries are:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

The head of a human being is susceptible to injuries. Sadly, it is vulnerable to injuries in the event of a car accident. A roof crush accident is likely to impact the skull of one or more vehicle occupants. The skull could fracture or crack, causing a traumatic brain injury.

When the roof of a vehicle collapses on your head, it will likely apply great force on your head, which could extend to your brain, damaging it severely.

Traumatic brain injuries bring devastating effects on accident victims. Some are mild and moderate, while others are severe and extreme. Some of the symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Feeling tired and reduced energy levels
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Feeling foggy and groggy
  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Short- or long-term memory loss
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Sleeping more than usual

It is difficult to tell the severity of your injuries right after an accident. That is why it is advisable to seek medical help immediately. Some symptoms will disappear soon after treatment; others could take time, while others will remain for the rest of your life.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The spine is another susceptible organ in the human body. It is also more vulnerable to injuries after a car accident. Damage to the spine could affect several functions of your body, including your ability to control your limbs. However, it depends on the exact location of the injury on your spinal cord.

A complete spinal cord injury affects all your feeling (sensory) and ability to control movement (motor functioning) below your spinal cord. If you have some feelings or movement below the affected part, you will have suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury.

Both cases are severe and could result in paralysis. Some of the symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Altered or loss of sensation, including feeling cold, heat, or touch
  • Difficulties in coughing, sneezing, breathing, or clearing your lungs
  • Intense stinging sensation or pain in the back
  • Problems when walking or with balance
  • Extreme pain in the back, head, or neck
  • Paralysis, weakness, or inordinate in any part of your body

Some symptoms will clear with treatment, but others could remain for a while or life.

Loss of Limbs

Losing one’s limbs is catastrophic. Sadly, it is one of the devastating results of a vehicle accident, especially a roof crush accident. Some accidents leave the victims injured and crushed beyond the ability to recover. If the hands and legs of the vehicle occupants are severely crushed, the medical solution to that could be amputation. Amputation disables a person completely. Victims will have to make several changes in their lives to live a near-normal life. An amputation also impacts the emotional and psychological aspects of a person’s life.

Fractured Bones

Bone fractures are also prevalent in vehicle accidents. Victims of roof crush vehicle accidents will likely sustain severe fractures in their bodies. Some fractures are fatal, mainly if they cause internal bleeding. But others can recover with time, and the person can enjoy a whole life after that. Extreme cases of bone fracture will require constructive surgery for the victim to enjoy a near-normal life.

Wrongful Death

Unfortunately, some roof crush vehicle accidents result in the death of victims. The death of a person is a significant loss to the family, friends, and colleagues. Some victims lose their lives on the spot, and others when receiving treatment in a hospital.

Possible Liable Parties

Liability is an integral factor in all personal injury cases in Nevada. A victim in a roof crush accident is only eligible for compensation if another party was negligently responsible for the accident.

All vehicle accidents in Nevada are subject to deep investigations to determine their cause. The cause of the crash will point to the possible liable party. That will help you build your case against the responsible party for compensation.

There is a need to engage the services of a competent personal injury from the start of the process. Lawyers have the legal expertise that ordinary people lack. Your lawyer will look into the accident to determine your eligibility for compensation. Some of the liable parties in a roof crush accident are:

Vehicle Manufacturers

The first thing that comes to people’s minds when the roof of a vehicle crushes is that the car could have been substandard. People believe that quality vehicles do not collapse on impact. That could be true for so many reasons.

It is not unusual for vehicle manufacturers to compromise on the quality of their productions to maximize profits. Therefore, the quality of the crushed vehicle will be investigated first to ensure that all manufacturing guidelines were followed before it was brought to the market.

If evidence shows that the manufacturer used a faulty design or products to make the vehicle, you will be eligible for compensation under Nevada personal injury laws.

The public trusts vehicle manufacturers to produce quality vehicles that are safe to users and other road users. If they fail in this mandate, they are responsible for the resulting accidents and will be expected to compensate victims that sustain injuries in those accidents.

Vehicle Assemblers

Some vehicle’s roofs crush because of poor vehicle assembly and not due to low-quality construction. Manufacturers do a commendable job of producing quality vehicle parts. But if these vehicle parts are not correctly assembled, they could weaken the vehicle’s structure, resulting in devastating injuries after an accident.

Vehicle assemblers must ensure that every piece fits as it should. For instance, roof pillars must be well-positioned to support the roof correctly. If the required standards are not followed during vehicle assembly, you can raise a suit against the responsible company to recover compensation for your injuries.

Vehicle Driver

Some roof crush car accidents are inevitable. Not all vehicle roofs are strong enough to withstand a severe impact. Thus, liability could shift to the person responsible for the vehicle accident that resulted in the roof crush. It could be that the driver was intoxicated, speeding, or distracted. If the driver were negligent in causing the accident, you could file a lawsuit against them for compensation.

Your personal injury attorney should help you identify the party liable for your injuries. In most roof crush injuries, establishing the actual cause of your injuries is the first step in identifying the responsible party.

Possible Damages to Include in Your Lawsuit

A roof crush accident will likely leave victims with all kinds of damages, including physical injuries, loss of lives, and material damages. Knowing what you have lost in the accident is crucial to include in your compensation claim. That will be your next course of action after establishing the liable party. Your claims will fall into three main categories:

Economic Damages

You will include all damages with a dollar value attached under this category. They will include:

  1. Medical Costs

Medical costs will include all medical-related expenses you will have incurred after the accident. You can add the cost of medical services to the cost of transportation to and from the hospital, doctor’s consultation fee, and any out-of-pocket medical expense you would have incurred.

Costs of medical care you will likely incur in the future are essential to include.

  1. Lost Wages

Lost wages include all the earnings you could have made during the recovery period. It is determined by the number of days you will have missed work, multiplied by your daily average earnings.

  1. Lost Earning Capacity

If the accident has incapacitated you in any way, you deserve compensation for your lost earning ability. The resulting disability could have rendered you incapable of engaging in gainful employment.

  1. Damages for Wrongful Death

The victim’s immediate family pursues damages for wrongful death. The compensation recovered will help the family with the deceased’s funeral and burial costs. It is also essential to consider the victim’s dependents when determining these costs.

  1. Property Damage

You will also seek compensation for any property you have lost in the accident. For instance, if it is established that the vehicle was poorly manufactured or assembled, you could be eligible for compensation for the loss of your car. You will also be compensated for any other property damage inside your vehicle.

Non-Economic Damages

They include all the damages the victim incurred in the roof crush accident but have no dollar value attached. Some of the damages you could add under this category are:

  • Suffering and pain
  • Lost consortium
  • Physical impairment
  • Physical disfigurement
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Mental anguish

Punitive Damages

Sometimes the judge decides to grant punitive damages to extreme car accident cases. When it is established that the liable party was gravely negligent in causing your injuries, the court will award you punitive damages. It also warns other people against similar conduct resulting in devastating injuries.

Find a Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer

If you suffered injuries in a roof crush accident or lost a loved one, you are eligible for compensation under the Nevada personal injury laws. Find a skilled attorney to take you through the legal process and file a winning claim in court on your behalf. G. Dallas Horton & Associates has a team of experienced personal injury attorneys that could help you obtain the compensation you deserve in Las Vegas, NV. We are keen on quality and professional legal services. Call us at 702-820-5917, and let us evaluate your claim, then advise you on the right course of action to take. Our team will not rest until you obtain a fair outcome of your situation.