Injuries that an individual sustains from motor vehicle accidents are typically very specific. Symptoms of injuries from an automobile accident may last for several weeks following the accident.
For example, one of the most common injuries that individuals suffer from automobile accidents is whiplash. Whiplash involves ligament, tendon, or muscle injuries that are caused by the severe jerkind of the head and neck which occurs due to the collision.
Other common injuries which individuals may sustain in automobile accidents include:
- Scrapes, cuts, and lacerations;
- Head and neck injuries;
- Internal bleeding;
- Back pain or herniated discs;
- Sprains, fractures, and broken bones; and
- Psychological or emotional pain, which may include:
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
- flashbacks; and
- survivor’s remorse or guilt.
Individuals who are injured in motor vehicle accidents should ensure that they keep organized records of any information which is related to the accident. For example, if an injured party had to go to the hospital to be treated for their injuries immediately following the accident, they should request a copy of their hospital records in addition to any related receipts or bills.
These records and information may be used as evidence if an individual decides to file a lawsuit. It is important for an injured individual to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
These types of cases often require testimony from expert witnesses who are trained medical professionals that can appear on behalf of an individual to testify regarding their injuries. A medical professional will also be able to determine if the injuries were a result of the accident or if they were pre-existing.
If the injuries were pre-existing, it may be used as a defense if the individual is being sued as a result of the accident.
What is a Roof Crush in a Car Accident?
In an automobile accident when a rollover occurs, it may cause the roof of the vehicle to be crushed, which may cause serious injuries or death to the occupants of the vehicle. A roof crush may also increase the likelihood that the vehicle occupants will be fully or partially ejected from the vehicle when the accident occurs.
In many cases, when a roof crush occurs, the manufacturer of the vehicle is at fault.
Why Do Roof Crushes Occur?
Companies that manufacture automobiles have a duty to provide the purchasers and drivers of those vehicles. If a driver is injured during an automobile accident because of a flaw in the manufacturing of the vehicle, the manufacturer may be held liable in court.
When a roof crush occurs, the issue is that the roof was not built with sufficient strength to handle the impact of the vehicle rolling over. This type of defect has become more frequent with the advent of SUVs, which tend to roll over more frequently than sedan-style vehicles due to their height off the ground.
SUVs typically have roll bars which are designed to prevent this type of roof collapse. A safe roof is equipped with numerous features, including strong roof pillars and full-length closed sections.
A well-designed vehicle roof should not be crushed inward when an accident occurs. A roof crush typically results from a defect in the vehicle.
For more information, please see the following LegalMatch articles:
How Can a Roof Be Defective?
The roof of a vehicle may be defective in at least three ways, including:
- The roof can have a defective design;
- The roof can be defectively produced; or
- The roof can be defectively installed.
What are the Risks of a Roof Crush?
A roof crush has the potential to greatly increase the chances of serious injuries or death when an automobile accident occurs. The vehicle will typically be flipped over. Therefore, as the roof crushes in, the occupants of the vehicle will also be moved towards the roof by gravity.
This adds to the force of what is an already serious threat from the roof crushing inward towards the head and neck areas of the occupants of the vehicle. Head and neck injuries are more likely to occur in a roof crush, as discussed above.
If the injuries are severe, it may result in paralysis or death. As previously noted, a roof crush can also make ejection of occupants from the vehicle more likely to occur.
What Information Do I Need After an Accident Has Occurred?
Most states have their own automobile accident forms which are available at the local DMV or police department. This form is used to gather all of the necessary information that is needed to report the automobile accident.
It may also be helpful for an individual to review this form and collect the necessary information in the event that they are involved in a future automobile accident. The information which is typically required to file an insurance claim includes:
- Information about how the accident occurred;
- Information about the driver, including their:
- address; and
- contact information; and
- Information for insurance.
Important information that should be collected following an automobile accident includes:
- The date and time of the accident;
- The address of the accident;
- The direction all vehicles were driving at the time of the accident;
- Photographs of the accident scene for purposes of recording the incident;
- Recording in writing exactly what occurred prior to and during the collision;
- it is important to try to record as many details as possible;
- The driving visibility and the weather;
- The names and contact information of any witnesses;
- Information regarding the passengers in the vehicles, including their contact information; and
- Contact information for the law enforcement officer or officers who were dispatched to the accident scene.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover in an Auto Accident Lawsuit?
There are two main categories of damages which an individual may recover for an automobile accident, compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are monetary awards which are paid to compensate the injured party for their losses.
Compensatory damages are intended cover all of the common losses from an automobile accident that can be proven, including:
- The cost to repair or replace the vehicle that was damaged;
- The costs of the injured party’s medical care, which may include:
- hospital stays; or
- lost wages; and
- pain and suffering.
It may also be possible to receive compensation for losses which may occur in the future, such as future lost wages if an individual cannot perform the same occupation as before the accident.
Punitive damages may be awarded in cases where a defendant’s actions were particularly egregious. For example, if the vehicle manufacturer was aware of the issue but failed to take any preventative measures.
I Have Been in an Auto Accident with Roof Crush Involved, Should I Contact an Attorney?
It can be very helpful to consult with an automobile lawyer if you have been involved in an automobile accident with a roof crush and you have sustained injuries. You may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle if a roof crush occurred.
Your lawyer can review your case, determine whether you may have a claim, and assist you with obtaining compensation for your injuries. Automobile accidents may be draining, both financially and emotionally.
You will be required to deal with medical facilities and insurance companies while still attempting to recover from your injuries. It is important to note that these types of claims must be filed before the statute of limitations runs and the claim is barred.