When a vehicle rolls over in an accident, in many cases the roof collapses, causing injury to the vehicle’s occupants, whether or not they were wearing a seat belt. Some 24,000 people are severely injured each year by crushed roofs in rollover accidents in the United States, and more than 10,000 are killed. Crushed roofs contribute to approximately more than a quarter of serious or fatal injuries in more than a quarter of rollover crashes.
The original standard for vehicle roof strength was set in 1973 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and requires the roof to be strong enough to withstand 1.5 times the vehicle’s weight. The strength of roofs is tested by pressing a metal plate on the roof over the driver’s seat.
In 2009, the rules were amended to require a roof to withstand 3 times the vehicle’s weight using the standard means of measurement. Under that force, the roof should not bend so far that it would touch the head of a median-height male test dummy. The new law also requires that vehicles weighing over 6,000 pounds meet a roof-crush standard, although the standard for the heaviest passenger vehicles remains at 1.5 times the vehicle’s weight. The new law phases in to cars with a model year of 2012 and applies to all new vehicles by the 2017 model year.
When a roof collapses in a rollover accident, it may cause serious injury to the occupants of the vehicle, including paralysis from the neck down (“quadriplegia”) or waist down (“paraplegia”). It can also result in traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) to the vehicle’s occupants, as well as other serious injuries, even death.
If you have been seriously injured or had a loved one killed due to the collapse of a roof, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to represent you in your efforts to receive maximum monetary recovery from the careless (“negligent”) driver who caused the accident.
The Torkzadeh Law Firm is experienced in handling serious cases due to vehicular defects and will aggressively pursue your case to ensure that you get maximum recovery for you and your passengers’ injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages.
TorkLaw provides free legal consultations on potential roof crush accident cases. Our firm is dedicated to properly and effectively protecting the rights of those who have been injured to to defective automobiles. We have assembled a team of the best lawyers, engineers and experts that are necessary to prosecute auto defect cases against major corporations. Call now 1 (888) 845-9696.