A vehicle’s roof is made to resist impact during a crash. This, in the automotive industry, is referred to as being crashworthy. Additionally, the roof ought to remain intact in case the car flips over in a rollover accident or if a heavy object lands on top of the car. If the car’s roof isn’t strong enough, it could cause physical injury to the passengers and even the driver. Apart from an auto’s roof being weak, substandard or defective roofs may also crash on the occupants of the vehicle in case of a crash. Or, its parts may act as piercing objects that could cause bruises and cuts to the passengers and the motorist.
Either way, a vehicle roof crush accident may lead to severe injuries and even death. Should you get involved in a roof crush accident in Las Vegas, and it isn’t your fault, you can seek compensation for the injuries, property damage, and losses you sustain. However, you need the help of a personal injury attorney for your claim to stand a chance of being successful. Also, the lawyer may help you get just compensation. Talk to the attorneys at Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney to help you with your claim. Let’s look at how roof crush accidents occur, the party to blame, and damages you can recover.
Vehicle Manufacturer’s Duty for Industry Standard of Roofs
Manufacturers of vehicles have the obligation of designing and producing automobiles that are reliable and safe. As a result, they’re required by the standards of the industry to build crashworthy roofs, which protect the occupants of the vehicle from harm in case an accident occurs. Failure for automobile manufacturers to manufacture crashworthy autos and parts could make them liable for the injuries that arise in case of a crash.
If you’ve been injured due to an auto roof crush accident, you can take legal action against the manufacturers. Roof crush lawyers at Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm offer valuable help should you choose to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for the injuries, damage, and loss you suffered.
SUVs and other vehicles designed in the same way are at a higher risk of being involved in rollover accidents because of their weight distribution and shape. Consequently, these autos also are at a higher risk of causing car roof crush harm.
Why Roof Crush Car Accidents Occur
One main reason why vehicle roof crush crashes occur is due to poor manufacturing. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) engineered the push for the United States to establish standards for vehicle roofs. An auto ought to be up to the standards that can prevent this risky outcome in case of a crash, just like there’re standards set to help prevent rollover accidents. Roof crush happens when, as a result of a poorly-planned structure, a car’s roof can’t handle its weight, or there’s roof intrusion due to poor manufacturing, like flawed construction, missing pieces, or a poor welding job.
The roof itself could be faulty either because it’s made of flawed material, it was ineptly constructed, or it was poorly planned. Defective parts like poor quality tires may also have led to a rollover; thus, they are to blame for your injuries. If this is the case, you need a skilled car accident attorney who can show that you were harmed, your car was faulty, and the defect resulted in your injuries. Failure to which, you might be left incapable of working as you face medical and astronomical car bills. If another person is liable for your harm, then you can seek compensation that will help you to recover both physically and financially.
Ways Through Which a Roof Crush Leads to Injuries
A roof crush may play a role in your sustaining of injuries irrespective of whether you were wearing a seatbelt or not. Whereas seatbelts have demonstrated to save the passengers and even drivers’ lives in every kind of crash, roof crush can cause further harm to the occupants that are strapped in an upward position. Ways through which roof crush can result in injuries include:
Creation of dangerous debris -Roof crush shatters glass as well as other components of a vehicle’s structure, which immediately turn into sharp objects that could cause lacerations.
By collapsing on passengers or motorists -Seatbelts are meant to keep occupants of a vehicle that’s involved in a crash restrained upwardly. The moment the roof falls in, the seatbelts place these occupants in a position to suffer spinal injuries by holding them in a fixed position when the roof makes contact with their heads. Note that this doesn’t invalidate the usefulness of seatbelts. It only shows the need for vehicle manufacturers to maintain roof standards for these seatbelts to prevent injuries.
Common Injuries Resulting from Roof Crush Accidents
A rollover accident can result in devastating injuries, particularly if the roof of the vehicle caves in. Most severe and even permanent injuries are linked to rollover and roof crush. This is because, even if the roof withstands the first impact, the auto may stay flipped over for several hours after a crash, putting the victims at the danger of sustaining further neck and head trauma.
You may also suffer a traumatic brain injury, which may have life-changing consequences. Severe spinal cord injuries are also possible, and might even cause paralysis. Even a broken bone or bones could be costly and may impair your working ability. Also, you may face lengthy, expensive therapy.
Don’t deal with all these injuries alone. If another person is to blame, then an experienced car attorney can make sure that you get fair compensation for the damages and also to cater to your expenses so you may be able to move on from the accident. Mostly, when this happens, it’s the manufacturer of the car’s roof that is held accountable to pay for your loss.
Apart from causing injuries, roof crush and rollovers can also cause deaths. If a victim dies as a result of this crash, his/her surviving family members can bring a wrongful death claim.
Determining Fault in Roof Crush Accidents
Nevada is an at-fault state in matters of car accidents. By this, it means that the overall negligence rules apply, whereby the party that should’ve been careful to prevent the crash bears liability for the accident. The party to blame and their insurance provider has to pay for the losses plus other damages you incurred.
When you are proving liability in an auto accident, it is critical to evaluate each party’s actions to determine whether anybody acted with negligence. If any party did not use reasonable care or caution, and their acts led to the accident, the party would be ruled to be guilty of the crash. To show fault, you have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that someone else wasn’t as careful as they ought to have been and that their negligence led to the accident.
And if more than a single party contributed to the accident, the law permits sharing of fault for every involved party. This implies that the jury will compare the level of negligence of all involved parties. After comparison, each party will be apportioned a degree of responsibility depending on how much they contributed to the crash.
The general rule in Nevada is that in case the jury finds you to be less than 50% liable for the accident, you could still recover your damages. However, it is determined that you are 50% or more accountable; you will not be entitled to any damages under NRS 41.1, Nevada’s comparative negligence law. Your compensation will be lowered by the exact percentage to which you will be found to be responsible for the accident.
As we said earlier, the vehicle manufacturer is mostly to blame in case a car’s roof caves in and injures the occupants during an accident. However, there could be other negligent parties that may have contributed to the accident. The auto’s motorist, for instance, can be at-fault if he/she neglected his/her duties. Negligent behaviors of a driver that could warrant lawsuit filing include:
Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of car accidents. In many cases, drivers get carried away by their phones while behind the wheel. However, a distraction could also happen when the motorist is:
- Using GPS or radio
- Searching for something under the vehicle seat
- Talking to passengers, or
- Looking out of the window at something on the roadside
If the roof crush accident occurred due to driver distraction and you can prove it before the jury, then you can sue the motorist for compensation for your injuries.
A Motorist Driving while Intoxicated
Motorists who consume alcohol or any other intoxicating substances may be hazardous on the roadway. Response skills and decision making are usually slow. Their judgment also can be impaired. Roof crush accidents may take place when the motorist is intoxicated with alcohol or drugs.
The driver might have recklessly acted when driving. Reckless driving includes weaving in & out of traffic, making dangerous turns, or operating the vehicle at excessive speeds.
Therefore, in addition to bringing a claim against the manufacturer of the car’s roof, you can also sue the vehicle driver. This is because if the motorist weren’t negligent, the roof crush accident wouldn’t have occurred in the first place.
Unsafe conditions of the roadway may also contribute to rollovers that may cause roof crush injuries. A road condition may change rapidly with the weather pattern. For instance, the rainy season may lead to the development of potholes on the road. Poor road conditions may result in driver error. Additionally, traffic jams and construction zones may contribute to unsafe conditions of the roads and accidents. If it’s the hazardous condition that led to the crash, you can sue the government of Nevada for damages, or the city council in charge of that road. And if the roadway is on private property, the property owner is held accountable for your injuries.
Compensation for Roof Crush Accident-Related Injuries
One common mistake in a Las Vegas car crash is failing to ask for all the available and applicable damages. We have different forms of damages you can seek after being involved in an auto accident that leaves you injured. The major categories of these damages are economic (special) and non-economic (general) damages. If you are a victim of a car roof crush accident, you could seek damages for any injuries, loss, and damages you have sustained.
Economic damages are also known as special damages. These are objectively quantified financial losses that represent a victim’s tangible, out-of-pocket expenses. Special damages include:
These damages cover the income you lose when you miss work due to nurturing for your injuries. They may also compensate for other possible wages, which you would have earned in the course of the period you were injured. Nevada statutes permit recovery for the losses sustained due to roof crush accident-related injuries.
Medical bills include all the amounts you spent to cater to past hospitalization and medical costs as well as future treatment costs. Also, medical bills damages cover the costs of medical care, assistance, and medicines. If you suffered a spinal cord injury, permanent brain damage, or paralysis, you might qualify to get lifelong compensation for medical costs.
Loss of Future Earning Capacity
You can recover damages for future earning capacity after a roof crush accident if you can show that your ability to earn income in the future has been diminished or impaired by the harm you sustained. Like future medical bills, it’s usually a requirement to present expert testimony before the judge about your incapability to earn. Before the judge awards you these damages, he/she will consider your age, life expectancy, health, past earning capacity, talents, and training. These factors help to determine whether there’s lost earning capacity and the amount you can get.
Cost of Property Damage & Repair
If you get into an accident, your car may be damaged and you will need to repair it. Other property that belongs to you may also get destroyed. If this is the case, you can seek compensation for the amount you used for the repair of the damaged property.
Damages for household services compensate for any costs you incurred on hiring another person to do chores around your house while you are recuperating. The primary aspect of these damages is that they must be for the services for which you wouldn’t have incurred costs if you hadn’t been hurt. For instance, you can’t recover housekeeper costs if the wages of that housekeeper were already inclusive of your household budget.
Non-economic damages are also known as general damages. These kinds of damages are more subjective. They compensate for non-tangible, non-monetary losses. They include damages for:
Pain & Suffering
Due to the pain & suffering that you endure because of the crash and the resulting injuries, Nevada law allows you to claim these kinds of damages.
Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish
Sometimes, being involved in a crash and sustaining injuries have emotional and psychological ramifications on you. Usually, mental anxiety and emotional pain have to be proven using psychiatric records. Also, aspects like a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may add to the compensation amount you will be awarded for emotional distress and mental anguish.
Loss of Consortium
A loss of consortium claim is brought by a member of the family of the victim whose daily operations have been significantly altered by the crash or injury. These damages compensate the member of the family for the loss of the relationship of the victim. For instance, if a victim is affected by the injury that he/she loses the capability of having an intimate relationship with his/her spouse, the spouse may recover loss of consortium damages.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Loss of enjoyment of life damages compensate for the detrimental changes of a person’s lifestyle or life or an individual’s inability to engage in the pleasures or activities of life that he/she formerly enjoyed.
For you to calculate general damages, you would generally use a multiplier. This multiplier is used for calculating economic damages, which will help determine what to seek general damages.
Apart from special and general damages, Nevada State recognizes another form of damages called punitive damages. The courts grant punitive damages to a victim as punishment for the negligent party. They are also charged as a way to deter intentionally harmful or reckless behavior, which might be malicious. However, judges rarely award this form of damages.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Rollover and roof crush accidents have also been known to lead to death. If this happens, a wrongful death claim can be brought against the at-fault party. Wrongful death claims are filed by members of the family of the victim that gets killed due to a crash or an injury resulting from another person’s negligence, or by a deliberate bad act. However, not every family member in Nevada will be permitted to bring a wrongful death claim in case the victim dies. The member that files the lawsuit should have standing. In Nevada, for instance, those who are allowed to claim wrongful death damages include the spouse, surviving children, etc.
Nevada wrongful death laws allow complainants to seek compensation for a variety of damages. For instance, they can be compensated for:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Medical bills from the time the victim was injured until his/her death
- Loss of companionship
- The complainant’s grief
- Loss of financial support
If you decide to file a lawsuit for compensation for roof crush crash-related injuries, our personal injury attorneys will work with you closely to determine the ideal course of action you can take. Reach out to us for a free evaluation of your case.
Insurance Requirements for the State of Nevada
Like it is with most states, the state of Nevada requires motorists to keep a specified minimum amount of liability auto insurance. The law requires drivers to purchase coverage that compensates injured victims if they’re found to be accountable for a car accident. Insurance minimums in Nevada are as follows:
- $50,000 per crash for physical injury
- $25,000 per individual for bodily injury
- $20,000 per crash for damage to property
Even though drivers are required to buy insurance that compensates for their property damage or injuries, it is estimated that about 20% of drivers in Nevada are uninsured. Purchasing additional coverage is the ideal way to make sure you’re protected in case you ever get injured in a car accident in Nevada.
Types of Supplemental Insurance
- MedPay - This form of insurance covers any medical treatment for any injury the policyholder motorist or passengers sustain without consideration of liability.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) - This type is also called no-fault insurance. It pays medical bills, lost wages, and is rehabilitative to the driver or passengers irrespective of who is to blame.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage - This protects you if you are in a crash with a person who does not have enough insurance to cater for your losses.
- Comprehensive- Comprehensive insurance compensates for damages to the car that occur because of reasons apart from a crash like falling objects, flooding, or even theft.
- Collision - This covers any damage to the driver’s vehicle, which results from an accident irrespective of who’s accountable.
Find a Roof Crush Car Accident Attorney Near Me
At Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we understand that dealing with injuries you sustained from an auto accident that isn’t your fault is an intensely challenging time. For one, since it’s an unplanned disaster, you may end up using all your savings for medical treatment and sustaining yourself for the time you will miss going to work. However, we also know that the negligent party owes you fair compensation, which can help you cover medical bills, your lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, etc. Our attorney will fight for you as well as your family for the best possible outcome of your case. If you’re in search of a car accident attorney in Las Vegas, call us at 702-996-1224 for a consultation.