Rollover and Roof Crush Lawsuits
If a person suffers injuries in a rollover accident, he or she can bring a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages from the responsible parties. If the rollover accident results in the death of a person, a wrongful death action can be pursued by the family of the deceased. The nature of the accident and the known or suspected causes of the accident will determine which parties should be joined as defendants and the legal theories that can be pursued against each.
Lawsuits related to rollover accidents can present a variety of complex legal causation and liability issues. This is especially true if the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries is a defect in the vehicle or one of its component parts. Automotive products liability is a highly specialized, niche field of law. As such, catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death cases related to defective automotive parts should only be handled by attorneys with experience in similar cases.
While this statement may seem self-serving because the Brady Law Group has the experience and skill required to succeed in these cases, it is actually a well-known fact in the legal industry. Big automotive corporations have a lot to lose in these cases, and they will pull out all the stops to defeat an injured party’s claim or otherwise avoid responsibility. California and national case law is filled with examples of seriously injured plaintiffs losing in complex automotive products liability cases because their counsel was not prepared to handle the enormous challenges that such cases present.
In order to gather and protect crucial evidence, significant resources must be expended immediately after the rollover accident. Experts and consultants with training in automotive accident forensics and other specialties will need to be quickly mobilized to investigate the condition of the vehicle and the scene of the accident. Of course, the time period following a rollover accident will also be used by attorneys and their staff to gather official reports from the police or other first responders, interview witnesses, take photographs and compile information regarding any physical injuries. Mistakes made at this stage of the case can greatly diminish the value of the plaintiff’s claim and his or her ability to succeed in any subsequent litigation.
Evidence of certain defects that may have caused or contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries will not always be obvious or readily observable. Accident and automotive experts will need to spend time analyzing and testing certain physical evidence and recording their findings. A great deal of time and effort must also be spent gathering certain documents and historical records related to the vehicle and others built around the same time.
As with any serious automotive products liability case, a rollover/roof crush lawsuit will require extensive work on the part of multiple experts in order to prove the plaintiff’s allegations regarding liability and damages. There are significant costs associated with such expert involvement, in terms of both their initial mobilization and their ongoing investigations and testimony. A properly prepared and experienced attorney with the relationships and financial stability to carry out these tasks should be engaged by a prospective plaintiff as soon as possible after the rollover accident.
If it is determined that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by one or more defectively designed or manufactured products, such as the vehicle itself, its roof, tires, seat belts or air bags, the plaintiff can file a products liability lawsuit against the sellers of the product(s) seeking damages for his or her injuries. Products liability lawsuits are governed by special rules that can often make it easier for a plaintiff to establish the defendant’s liability. Responsibility for injuries or deaths caused by a defective product can potentially fall on any of the parties involved in the product’s chain of distribution. These parties generally include the product designer and manufacturer, as well as the product wholesaler and retail seller. There are three main theories under which the seller of a defective product can be held liable to one who is injured, including negligence, breach of warranty and strict products liability.
Every rollover lawsuit is different, and the unique facts and circumstances of the case will determine the best products liability theory to pursue and the evidence that will be required to prove the plaintiff’s case. If the plaintiff is successful in proving liability, he or she will be entitled to recover compensation from the defendants in the form of damages. The damages that may be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit will vary depending on the facts of each case but can generally include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. In some auto products liability cases, punitive damages may also be available.
It is very important to note that all lawsuits related to vehicle accidents, personal injuries and wrongful deaths are subject to strict “statutes of limitation.” A statute of limitation is a law that limits the amount of time you have to file a claim. If this deadline is missed, your right to recovery will be lost forever.