Many Americans are injured or killed in crashes involving vans, which often are known as 15-passenger vans. Their families have a legal right to seek payments for their medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering with help from a van accident lawyer provided by our law firm.
Indeed, a van crash can be especially deadly or can cause horrifying accident injuries even for survivors. For one thing, often a van’s passengers are not as protected as passengers in a smaller car, and that’s especially true for 15-passenger vans.
Such vans can be top-heavy due to their own design flaws and also having so many passengers. This makes them more susceptible to a deadly van rollover accident. In fact, 15-passenger vans are so prone to rollover wrecks that their owners often are unable to get insurance for them.
Despite this, about 500,000 15-passenger vans are on America’s roadways. But they do have restrictions. Federal law holds that vehicles which transport school children to and from classes may not be 15-passenger vans. That’s a condemnation of their safety in itself.
This doesn’t stop vans from being used frequently by groups of people, such as church groups or business groups on an outing. Vans also may be used as commercial vehicles to shuttle passengers to and from airports or hotels, or they may carry passengers for a day care facility or a YMCA.
Perhaps you need some statistics to convince you about the inherent dangers of 15 passenger vans. If so, be advised that from 1990-2002, America experienced over 1,500 fatal accidents in which a 15-passenger van was involved. That’s according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA.
Of those crashes involving 15-passenger vans, over 1,100 deaths occurred. Also, 40% of such crashes were single-vehicle wrecks in which only the 15-passenger van was involved. In addition, many of those wrecks were the kind of ultra serious crashes known as rollovers.
Rollover accidents are extremely dangerous because they can result in “roof crush,” meaning the vehicle, while upside down, gives way and collapses, so that passengers inside and beneath the vehicle’s weight are crushed. This makes a rollover even more dangerous.
The National Transportation Safety Board says 15-passenger vans roll over more than half of the time in which they’re in a single-vehicle crash. That’s a startling statistic and an indictment of such vehicles’ dangers. Other types of vehicles, by contrast, roll over only a third of the time in single-vehicle crashes, or about 20% less.
What are the causes of van rollovers? Often it’s the cargo — which is to say, the passengers.
By their very name, it’s known that 15-passenger vans can carry up to 15 people — and the more passengers, the more top-heavy and rollover prone the van will be. Indeed, studies indicate that a van with even 10 passengers is more likely to have a rollover crash than if it had 5 or fewer passengers.
Beyond that, when a van has over 10 passengers, it has almost three times the rollover rate of vans carrying fewer than 5 passengers. Too, if a van is full with 15 people on board, it has a 70% higher risk having a rollover accident.
Even when empty, a 15-passenger van has a higher center of gravity to make it rollover prone, due to its manufacture. Such vans also often have seats placed behind their rear axle. These factors, as well as having too many passengers, can contribute to a rollover accident or a fishtailing wreck.
Rollover crashes often happen if a van makes a sudden, sharp turn or is slammed broadside by a different vehicle. When that happens, the more people who are in the van, the larger its chance of having a devastating rollover.
When a van crashes, passengers or objects may be hurled around the large vehicle’s interior. Also, since vans often are overloaded, not everyone may have the benefit and protection of wearing a seatbelt.
Such deadly van crashes can be the basis of a van accident lawsuit on behalf of victims or their survivors — and our law firm can provide this legal action. Contact us today and let the Willis Law Firm work to safeguard your legal rights after a van accident injury or fatality. Your family’s financial well-being may be at stake.
And rest assured that your van accident lawyer will not charge you up-front for any high billable hours for his or her legal services. Instead, by working on a contingency fee basis, we will only be paid if we win your case. And even then, we’ll be paid only a portion of the settlement gained in your favor, with nothing coming out of your own pockets.
Victims of van accidents need justice. Let the Willis Law Firm fight for that justice for you. Notify our law firm today about your needs. Get the Willis Law Firm — and get results.