Teetering between passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles, passenger vans are commonly used to transport people in both a commercial and private enterprises. Because these vehicles can be used to transport a large number of occupants, drivers are frequently rotated over long trips which results in individuals whom may be fatigued or who have little /no experience operating vans getting behind the wheel—significantly increasing the odds of a serious accident.
Passenger vans remain a commonly used vehicle for commercial and private enterprises such as:
- Airport transportation
- Employee shuttle
- School functions
- Church outings
- Nursing home / Senior transport
- General business vehicles
Lack of Federal Safety Standards for Passenger Van Drivers
Passenger vans have a disproportionate number of serious accidents compared with other vehicles on the highway. When questioned about the disproportionate number of serious van accidents, some transportation safety experts note that the Federal Government has not imposed any regulations concerning the operation of 10, 12 or even 15 passenger vans—leading to a proliferation of inexperienced drivers operating vehicles that are known to behave differently than typical cars.
Vehicle Design & Common Safety Issues Involved In 15-Seat Van Accidents
The design standards applicable to passenger vans have changed little over the past several decades. Consequently, safety advances on other vehicles has not transferred to this popular type of vehicle, which may contribute to the number of catastrophic injuries sustained in van crashes.
In particular, because of the manner in which passenger vans are routinely used, the vehicles have a tendency to become unstable/unbalanced depending on the number of occupants and their seating arrangements. The instability created by vans has been attributed to accidents such as rollovers and passenger ejection. Similarly, many van operators reconfigure their vehicles in a manner where seatbelts are removed entirely or are simply impracticable to use. In both of these situations, it is important to look at the role that the owner of the van may have had in contributing to the accident in order to maximize each person’s recovery rights.
Common Scenarios Involved In Chicago Passenger Van Crash Cases
Today, both passengers and drivers of vans may become seriously injured in the following types of van-related accidents:
- Rear-end collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Accidents when the vehicle leaves the roadway
- Lane changing incidents
- Center lane change accidents
- Manufacturers defects / products liability
When an incident involving a van occurs, it is imperative for injured drivers and occupants to review the circumstances contributing to the incident in order to ascertain the legal implications and liability aspects. When the vehicle has a corporate owner or is operated by an agency, the occupants may look towards the commercial enterprise amongst the various avenues for their recovery.
Because issues involving corporate agency commonly accompany van collisions, these considerations must be evaluated from the case inception in order for injured parties to fully maximize their legal rights. Particularly, when peers working at the same company operate the vehicle, issues such as ‘exclusive remedy’ and ‘workers compensation’ needs to be considered in order to maximize the recovery for the injured parties and also so no legal rights are compromised.
Lawyers Concentrating In Passenger Van Accident Cases In Chicago And Throughout Illinois
If you were injured in a van accident in Illinois, lawyers at Chicago Truck Injury Lawyers can help explain your legal rights regarding your specific situation. Even if you elect not to retain our legal services, we will gladly evaluate you situation for you without charge or obligation. Only if you elect to retain our services, will a legal fee be charged—and only upon a recovery for you. Come see why other lawyers respect our work and professional integrity so much that we regularly receive referrals from other attorneys across the country.