Van Rollover Accidents
A rollover crash in a 15-passenger van is extremely dangerous – and all too common. These types of vans might be used to carry athletic teams, church groups and students all the time, but they have an extremely high rate of rollover when compared with other vehicles.
Traffic accident data shows that 15-passenger vans loaded to capacity with people and equipment can easily become unbalanced. In some cases, a sharp turn, some debris in the road or a careless driver at the helm will cause van rollover accidents, which are more likely to be fatal or cause serious injuries than other types of motor vehicle crashes.
The victims of a van rollover accident often don’t know where to turn when medical expenses and disabilities lead to financial hardship. An experienced van rollover accident attorney can offer advice and assistance when it comes to helping van rollover accident victims pay the bills and secure their futures.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF VAN ROLLOVER ACCIDENTS?
Because of the high center of gravity and the likelihood of these vans to be fully loaded, 15-passenger vans are more likely to roll over during routine driving maneuvers or adverse weather conditions. The dangers are increased when an inexperienced driver is behind the wheel, as 15-passenger vans can’t turn on a dime and are heavier than most other motor vehicles, making them subject to the forces of gravity in a way that other automobiles aren’t.
Some of the common reasons behind van rollover crashes include:
- Vehicle swerves off the road: When going up or down a hill or encountering a pothole, a 15-passenger van can drift off the road and come into contact with other debris, causing it to tip, exposing all passengers to risk. A tired driver who has been on a long trip or who does not have experience maneuvering these heavy vehicles may also lose focus and swerve off the road, making the van susceptible to rollover.
- Over-correcting too quickly: A sharp turn or bend in the road isn’t difficult to navigate for most drivers, but in a heavy 15-passenger van, the slightest wrong move can lead a driver to lose control of the vehicle. Because of their length and weight, these vans are easily unbalanced and the forces of gravity may flip them over when the tires lose contact with the road. Rapid overcorrection or steering too sharply may make a 15-passenger van susceptible to flip over on its side or roof.
- Unexpected hazards: Roads made slick by rain and ice, or pocked with potholes or other debris, can cause van rollovers all too easily. A 15-passenger van cannot maneuver as deftly as lighter motor vehicles, and clipping an unexpected hazard in the road can have serious consequences.
- Malfunctioning auto parts: If parts of a 15-passenger van have been poorly manufactured, designed or installed, such as tires prone to blow out or tread prone to separation, the chances for rollover increase exponentially.
CONSEQUENCES OF VAN ROLLOVER ACCIDENTS
Many types of organizations use 15-passenger vans for transportation, despite the known and documented safety risks. Unfortunately, van rollovers often cause more serious injuries than other types of car accidents, and victims are more likely to be permanently disabled.
Because passengers may strike the roof or become ejected from the vehicle, injuries to the head and neck are common – and some will pay the price for the rest of their lives in the form of medical expenses, lost work opportunities and the need for rehabilitation or reconstructive surgery. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a van rollover crash, an accident attorney experienced with bringing claims for these types of vehicles is crucial.
The causes of a van rollover accident can be difficult to determine without the help of experts who can pinpoint factors amid the wreckage and property damage that usually goes along with these types of crashes. In many cases, outside forces such as a hazard in the road or environmental conditions will be to blame, which is hard to prove.
Victims will need help from expert witnesses, such as crash investigators and mechanics, who can closely examine all of the causes of a 15-passenger van rollover, including speed, weather, defective auto parts and more. A van rollover accident attorney will be able to summon these resources for the benefit of van rollover accident victims.
In addition, a qualified attorney can identify all possible sources of recovery. Many parties could be partially responsible for a van rollover accident: the driver, the organization which authorized the use of the van, the van’s manufacturer and perhaps even government entities for allowing hazardous roads or conditions to exist. Because of the severity of the injuries involved in a van rollover crash, victims will need exceptional representation in order to cover the costs they will face in the long term.