Posted on November 15, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team
The structure and strength of your vehicle is brought to bear when you encounter a road mishap. The roof of your car is not just a protection for rain, heat and hail. It has to be strong enough to provide the “shell” to shield you from further injury if ever your car turns turtle. If your vehicle rolls over, your car should still protect you and you can come out of that incident a bit shaken, but still in one piece. Of course, this is when you are wearing your seatbelt.
However, there are instances when the structure of your car’s roof is not strong enough. Instead of protecting the passengers, some roofs give way and cave in. As a result, doors and windows break open to that passengers are crushed inside the car.
Sadly, some car manufacturers have chosen to scrimp on the structure and strength of the roof. Thus, roof crush and roof defects can occur and result in catastrophic injuries to the passengers. Often, these defects can be traced back to:
- The use of substandard materials, especially in the supporting structure of the roofs, including railings and pillars
- Defective design, where not enough support is incorporated in the design of a particular model
- Faulty manufacturing processes, such as improper welding of the pillars, metal panels, cross-members, windshield headers and so on
Serious injuries can result from a roof crush accident. These can include:
- Severe spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head and neck injury
- Fractures and broken bones
- Loss of limbs
Defective Product Liability
Safety standards. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a car to pass some tests to prove that that particular model is “roof crashworthy”. Based on Standard 216, the roof of the vehicle should be able to hold up the one and a halt times its weight without collapsing for more than 5 inches into the passenger’s space. However, this does not signify whether a car’s roof is strong enough to withstand the force involved when a car actually turns turtle at a given speed.
Strict liability. A car manufacturer is responsible for producing safe cars. This means that the design and manufacturing of the car are done in such a way that it protects against known risks. The possibility of a roof caving in and crushing its passenger is one of these foreseeable risks. A car manufacturer can be held liable for a weak roof if it can be proven that this made the product unreasonably dangerous and the product resulted in harm. The victim does not have to prove where and how the car manufacturer was negligence.
Other responsible parties. Aside from the car manufacturer, you can also seek compensation from other responsible parties, such as the driver who caused your car to turn turtle or a government agency that was in charge of maintaining the roads and ensuring that there are no design hazards or dangerous obstructions. If the roof crush is a result of a defect in the parts, you can also turn to the parts manufacturer for compensation.
A personal injury lawsuit may last longer than you think, given that you are battling with a car manufacturing giant. A lawyer who is experienced with the ins and outs of roof crush cases will help a lot in bolstering your case and in gathering the necessary evidence. He can look into the statistics of roof crush injuries linked to your vehicle’s model and make.
Aside from these, you may also need the help of the following:
- Engineers and vehicle experts. They will testify as to how the defect or weakness in the roof contributed directly to your injuries.
- Your doctor or other medical practitioners. They will outline the extent of your injuries and the kind and length of treatment and therapy you need.
- Vocational rehabilitation experts. They will look into the effect of the injuries on your capability to perform your tasks for your own occupation, for other occupations that suit your experience and training and for other alternative occupations. They will state whether you will need additional vocational training.
Also, you may need some expensive testing. For instance, roof strength testing can be done to prove that the car manufacturer failed to meet federal standards.
As you can see, suing to gain compensation for your injuries can be quite complicated. The case can also be long and drawn out. During this time, it is important to establish a solid financial base. This is to help pay for medical expenses and provide for your family’s day-to-day needs as well as cover court-related costs. Lawsuit funding is a good source of the money you need.
Also referred to as a lawsuit loan, this kind of funding will look into the merits of your case, rather than on your financial capability. This means that you don’t have to pay back the money from the lawsuit cash advance if the lawsuit is not settled and the compensation is not paid.