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Auto Defect Attorney

investigating Roof Crush Defects In Rollover Accidents

It is more likely for SUVs, pickup trucks and large vans to roll over in traffic accidents, which may lead to serious injuries—some of which are attributed to the roof of a vehicle collapsing. Roof crush incidents lead to a very high rate of passenger injury and fatalities.

If a roof of a vehicle collapses during a rollover accident, it may be the result of an automotive defect. Poorly designed and constructed vehicle roofs, which collapse during the rollover, are responsible for fatal car accident injuries.

Car part manufacturers and automakers may be liable for resulting damages and loss of life. If you or a loved one sustains a roof crush injury in a rollover accident, you may be due compensation from a negligent manufacturer, regardless of the cause of the collision.

Roof crush injuries and deaths are often the result of auto defects, usually due to manufacturer negligence. Durable roof supports or roll bars are necessary for a vehicle’s roof to maintain its shape during a rollover accident. These features are crucial in preventing the roof from collapsing.

When vehicle designers and manufacturers neglect crash tests or fail to reinforce a vehicle’s frame to cut costs, they may be held accountable for endangering American motorists.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Product Liability and Personal Injury attorney. When involved in serious roof crush accidents, victims should contact an experienced lawyer to investigate.

Why Do Auto Roofs Collapse?

If a car flips upside down during a car accident, both the weight of the vehicle and the force of the crash impact the structure of the roof. In these terrible events, a defective vehicle’s roof may buckle and endanger occupants.

Roof crushes increase the likelihood of car accident injuries to the spine and brain. Some safety features such as airbags and seat belts rely on the entire structure to remain intact to work properly. If the roof is defective and fails, the safety features will not fully protect passengers.

In rollovers, the biggest risk of injury is an ejection from the vehicle. Seat belts can only protect a passenger so much during rollover accidents. In rollover collisions, seat buckles may unlatch or fail.

An additional danger from a roof crush incident is the shattering of a windshield and side windows under pressure. The open windows allow for occupants to be ejected, leading to serious and fatal injuries.


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

Types of Rollover & Roof Crush Accidents

  • Tripped Rollover—tripped rollover accidents occur when a car, truck, sports utility vehicle, pickup truck, or van hits a guardrail, snowbank or other fixed object and the tripping force on the tires cause the vehicle to roll over. Tripped rollover accidents account for the vast majority of all rollover accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • Untripped Rollover—untripped rollovers generally occur when an SUV or truck vehicle swerves to avoid an accident or hitting an object. The sudden maneuver causes the vehicle to flip and roll.
  • Arrested Rollover—an accident in which the rollover is stopped abruptly by impact with a fixed object like a tree or pole. Up to 90 percent of occupants in arrested roll crashes sustain serious head or neck injuries. A recent study by the NHTSA shows that while crash fatality statistics remain stable, there has been an increase in the number of rollover accidents and fatalities, particularly with SUVs and vans.
  • Non-arrested Rollover—a rollover accident where the vehicle makes impact with one or more fixed objects, but is not abruptly stopped by the impact.

Rollover Injuries & Roof Crush Defects

Approximately 7,000 people each year are killed or severely injured in vehicle accidents in which the roof crushes. As many as 50 percent of seriously injured ejected occupants may have received serious initial injuries as a consequence of a crushed roof.

Because rollover accidents are so violent, even belted occupants can experience partial ejection from the vehicle, and may be crushed by a faulty roof.

Research has shown that injuries suffered by car and SUV occupants are directly linked with the location of roof intrusion in vehicles involved in accidents. Generally, when there is an instance of a roof crush, occupants are injured. When the roof remains intact, nobody is injured. Common rollover and roof crush injuries include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Neck & Spinal Injury
  • Orthopedic Trauma
  • Burn Injury
  • Lacerations
  • Severe Whiplash
  • Other Crush Injuries

Roof Crush Accidents & Auto Safety

When a vehicle rolls over in a serious accident, the design of its frame becomes critical to the safety of the driver and passengers inside. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has implemented requirements that automakers must follow with regard to the strength of the roof to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers.

With that said, the American auto industry has tried to realign engineering and safety principles to ignore the fact that thousands of motorists are killed each year due to poor safety features. In many accidents, the truth is simple: if the roof is strong enough to withstand the weight of the car and impact, occupants will be kept safe.

The NHTSA has compiled crash data to establish a direct relationship between collapsing roofs and catastrophic injuries. Yet, GM, Ford, Daimler-Chrysler and others resist new standards.

Roof Crush Accidents & Lawsuits

Roof crush accidents can result in severe, permanent injury and death. The personal injury and product liability lawsuits that follow can be complex, and auto manufacturers will try to avoid being held accountable.

However, the Lyon Firm aims to recover all necessary damages for harm caused by a defective product. It is clear that automakers have a legal obligation to design and manufacture vehicles and all components in a safe manner to prevent foreseeable injuries.

Lawsuits can reveal that certain automakers are aware that a vehicle’s roof strength is inadequate, yet it is still put to market. There is often a stated decision not to improve roof strength to cut production costs. A vehicle manufacturer’s testing methods may also be faulty.

The Lyon Firm hires qualified specialists and Accident Investigators to build the best possible case on your behalf. We are confident you will receive the proper compensation you need to accommodate your long-term needs.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for Those who have suffered
Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.


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Questions about Roof Crush Defects & Rollover Accidents

Can I File an Auto Defect Lawsuit?

You may not be aware that your car is defective. It is not always obvious when your seat belt or other safety component fails to function as intended. It can take an expert in auto engineering to determine what contributed to an accident or injury.

You can contact The Lyon Firm, and we will work diligently to review your auto accident case. If an auto defect was in part responsible for an auto injury, a lawsuit can be filed and a large settlement is likely.

If negligent manufacturers and automakers are directly responsible for an auto-related injury, a product liability and personal injury lawsuit may be filed and compensation may be recovered for accident victims. Plaintiffs may seek compensation that may include property damages, past and future medical expenses, lost wages and future earnings, and pain and suffering.

The Lyon Firm takes pride in representing consumers to make America’s roads safer by holding negligent auto manufacturers accountable for auto defects that lead to accidents and injuries. When car makers fail to institute basic safety measures and fail to test auto components before releasing cars tot he public, they may be targeted in product liability lawsuits.

Did an Auto Defect Cause my Accident?

Auto defects have been known to cause accidents in tire failure, tread separation accidents, brake malfunction and sudden acceleration cases.

Auto defects may not cause every accident, but they can play an integral part in causing injury in the event of an accident. This is common in defective seat back collapse, seat belt defects and airbag defects. When these crucial safety features fail to function as they were intended.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

Has My Car Been Recalled?

Consumers can follow recall news or search for current and past recalls on the Web sites of the NHTSA, as well as on other car safety advocate outlets. Look on your car windshield for a 17-character Vehicle Identification Number. Your VIN is also located on your car’s registration card.

If your car has been recalled and you have suffered an injury, contact an auto defect attorney to investigate a potential claim

Who is Responsible for Auto Defects?

Auto manufacturers and car makers can be held liable in auto defect lawsuits. Many automakers outsource some of their production and may not always be aware of some defects. Honda, for example, purchased all their defective airbags from Takata.

Some defective auto part suits name other defendants like negligent auto dealerships or auto repair shops who alter car parts or fail to properly repair automobiles and leave a serious safety risk.

What Cars are Defective?

The list of defective automobiles changes each year, and it is more likely that certain components are defective rather than an entire brand name. Nowadays many car makers use the same third-party suppliers, which compounds safety issues when a defective auto part is produced.

Why Hire a Product Liability Attorney?

An Auto Defect Lawyer can assist in not only reviewing your accident and injury case, but is able to hold large corporations accountable for the negligent actions in releasing unsafe products to the public.

Auto companies must be held liable in order to keep the roads safe in America. So not only can The Lyon Firm seek compensation for injured plaintiffs, but we can file lawsuits to punish car makers for failing to properly test their auto parts before they are sold to the public.

When car makers fail to produce reliable cars and fail to provide basic road safety features, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and product liability attorneys can hold them responsible and help mitigate injuries and future damages.

The majority of accidents and injuries on the road are preventable, but defective auto design and manufacturing defects may leave victims with huge medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, in many cases, permanent injuries.

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against negligent individuals or companies to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Brown County, Kentucky):   The Lyon Firm was second chair a case involving a driver texting and driving when he crossed the median, killing a father of four. The case was resolved once discovery confirmed the cell phone records proved the texting-related incident. The settlement will pay for the surviving childrens’ education. The driver was likely facing additional criminal charges at the time of the settlement.



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  The Lyon Firm was lead counsel in a $495,000 settlement. This case involved a motorcycle operator who sustained fractures of the calcaneus, talus, medial cuneiform, tarsal bones, and tarsometatarsal when a car ignored its driving lane and crossed into his right-of-way. Settlement provided repayment of medical bills of $20,000 and funds for future education to re-enter the work force in a less physically-demanding job.