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SUV Roof Crush Lawyers

The Big Three Have Done Little to Curb Injuries Caused by Roof Crush

Each year, an estimated 7,000 people are fatally injured in roof crush rollover accidents. That doesn't include the 250,000+ rollover accidents that cause non-life threatening injuries.

While their European counterparts are busy building vehicles with roofs that withstand more force and weight, the big three automakers in the United States — Ford, General Motors (GM) and DaimlerChrysler — are doing little to improve their roof crush standards and are still following 30-year-old guidelines for safety. With cost and fuel efficiency in mind, not safety, American auto manufacturers are doing everything they can to convince those in charge of federal roof crush regulations to stay silent.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a rollover or roof collapse related accident, contact the experienced trial attorneys of Miller Weisbrod, LLP, for a free case assessment. From our offices in Dallas, we represent individuals nationwide.

Understanding Roof Crush

SUVs are more likely to rollover due to their height and in many, their narrow wheelbase. When a SUV has a weak roof, the resulting roof crush during the rollover can cause serious or fatal brain or spinal cord injuries.

Vehicles are supposed to be designed so that, in the case of a rollover, the roof structure should remain reasonably intact. When the amount of pressure on the roof causes the windshield to break, the roof of the vehicle is weakened by 33 percent. When the windshield breaks, there is a greater chance of vehicle ejection, resulting in far worse injuries. With cheap and inexpensive material in the roof structure and A-pillars, roof crush will result.

Roof crush injuries are some of the most serious and often include spinal, neck and head injuries. In a rollover and roof crush accident, the survival space for occupants is greatly limited or eliminated altogether, so that the heads and spines of occupants hit the roof. In addition, roof crush can open ejection portals — making windows and the windshield area very large and leading to ejection of occupants, which is frequently fatal. Years of crash investigations have shown that as many as one-half of seriously injured ejected occupants could have received their initial injuries as a consequence of roof crush.

In one representative case, Miller Weisbrod obtained $3.2 million in a defective products lawsuit on behalf of a client who suffered brain injury due to roof crush.

Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities in Rollovers, by Vehicle Type, 2000–2009

Year Cars SUVs Pickups Vans Total* Total Passenger Vehicles*
2000 4,548 2,064 2,558 771 5,411 9,959
2001 4,559 2,149 2,651 786 5,598 10,157
2002 4,794 2,471 2,755 699 5,935 10,729
2003 4,464 2,661 2,580 728 5,978 10,442
2004 4,353 2,929 2,597 695 6,237 10,590
2005 4,371 2,895 2,796 794 6,499 10,870
2006 4,376 2,899 2,844 609 6,366 10,742
2007 4,055 2,861 2,748 572 6,185 10,240
2008 3,653 2,435 2,435 514 5,390 9,043
2009 3,219 2,294 2,292 457 5,048 8,267

* Includes other/unknown light truck vehicle types.

** From the 2009 Safety Facts "Passenger Vehicles" report by the NHTSA

Motor vehicle manufacturers are aware of these design defects, but decide not to correct them — choosing corporate profits over driver and passenger safety. Unfortunately, many innocent victims have paid the price for this greed with serious injuries and their lives. In fact, more than ten thousand people are killed in rollover and roof crush accidents each year.

Contact Us

Miller Weisbrod is a nationally-recognized leader in the fight to hold negligent automakers and parts manufacturers to account for the injuries and deaths they cause. Please call our offices in Dallas at 214.987.0005 to discuss your rights and legal options with an experienced trial lawyer.

We offer free initial consultations to potential clients nationwide. If you are calling from outside the DFW Metroplex, please use our toll-free line at 888.987.0005 or contact us by e-mail to schedule an appointment.