You need more seating than an SUV or minivan can provide, but you don’t need a bus. A 15-passenger van may be just what you are looking for, but are these vehicles safe? What could happen in a van accident?
How Van Accidents Happen
Vans are different from other types of vehicles, but some of the same factors that cause other motor vehicle accidents also cause van crashes. Van accidents often occur because of:
- Driver inexperience. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that 15-passenger vans be driven only by experienced and licensed drivers who drive vans regularly. The agency recommends that van drivers have commercial licenses and that drivers understand how vans operate differently than cars.
- Driver distraction or inattention. Distracted or inattentive driving can cause a crash in any vehicle. To prevent distracted driving van accidents, the NHTSA recommends that drivers limit conversations with passengers, never use a handheld cell phone, and are always well-rested.
- Speeding. Vans require more braking time than cars and can’t handle abrupt movements as safely as cars. Therefore, it is especially essential to obey the speed limit and to drive a van at a safe speed.
- Tire problems. Under-inflated tires or tires with worn treads can cause a van driver to lose control and make a rollover wreck more likely.
- Unbalanced cargo. Vans should not be overloaded, cargo should not be behind the rear axle, and cargo should not be on the roof. Otherwise, the vehicle may be unstable, and a rollover can occur.
One of the most dangerous types of van accidents is a rollover accident. Other accidents, including rear-end wrecks, front-end collisions, and T-bone crashes, can also occur.
Van Accident Injuries
Depending on the unique circumstances of the van crash, the driver and passengers may suffer injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries. Even if you didn’t hit your head in the collision, different types of brain injuries can occur and cause you to suffer lifelong injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries. Complete spinal cord injuries are currently incurable. Both incomplete and complete spinal cord injuries can change your life significantly after a van crash.
- Broken bones. Any bone in your body can break in a van wreck. A pelvic fracture, broken arm, broken leg, broken hip, broken ribs, or other broken bones may cause significant pain and require extensive medical treatment.
- Death. An internal injury or another severe type of injury can cause a van accident fatality.
Some injuries may be more likely for drivers and passengers who are not wearing seatbelts. According to the NHTSA, van occupants who are not wearing seatbelts are four times more likely to die in a van accident compared to van occupants who are properly restrained. Therefore, van owners and drivers should make sure that seatbelts are in good working order and are used on every trip.
What to Do After a Wisconsin Van Wreck
If you’ve already been hurt in a van accident, then you need to take action to protect your rights. Our experienced Wisconsin injury lawyers will:
- Thoroughly investigate your case. We will gather all of the relevant evidence to find out who is legally responsible for paying your damages.
- Value your damages. We will consider all of your van accident costs, including but not limited to past and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering to determine what you should recover in a van accident case.
- Negotiate with the right insurance companies on your behalf. Wisconsin insurance companies know that we mean business and are often willing to resolve our clients’ claims.
- Take your case to court, if necessary, to get you a fair recovery. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement, then we will take your case to court to get you the compensation you deserve.
We believe that everyone should have equal access to the legal system and be fully compensated for accident injuries. Accordingly, we are pleased to offer you a free consultation in our Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, or Wausau office or your home or hospital room. We are also pleased to offer you our Win or It’s Free Guarantee. Learn more today by calling us directly at 800-800-5678 or by completing our contact form to have us contact you.