There was another sad story in the news this week about a motor vehicle crash involving a van. Two vans carrying 22 college students collided, injuring 7 students including 2 who were ejected from one of the vans.
As the story illustrates, van rollovers often involve a number of seriously injured people. It is also not unusual in van rollovers for some of the passengers to be ejected. Unfortunately, ejected passengers are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries.
One problem often encountered in van rollover cases is that the liability insurance limits involved are insufficient to cover the damages of all the passengers. For example, one of my recent van rollover cases involved 15 passengers who together had incurred more than half a million dollars in medical expenses and lost wages. Unfortunately, the van only had $300,000 in liability insurance limits. When this situation arises, it is important to have an experienced lawyer who knows how to look for all liable parties.
One of the things to consider in van rollover cases is the possibility of a products liability claim against the van’s manufacturer. Some 15-passenger vans are top heavy and prone to rolling over, especially when they are filled with people.
As recently as 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a consumer advisory because of the rollover risk of 15-passenger vans. The advisory warns that 15-passenger vans should not be used for transporting school children. The agency also warns that tire maintenance is paramount to preventing tragedies, such as rollover crashes, from occurring. Additionally, drivers should be fully trained and have experience operating 15-passenger vans.
If you have any questions about accidents involving vans, please feel free to contact our office. We have extensive experience working on these types of cases.