15 passenger vans, commonly called “church vans,” are used to transport large groups. These vehicles are extremely popular because they often do not cost as much as a small bus or a larger transportation vehicle, and they can typically be driven without a special license. However, these vehicles often have surprising risks that can lead to rollovers and other serious dangers in the event of an accident.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident while riding in a 15 passenger van or a church van, call Miami church van accident lawyer Prosper Shaked today. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA offer free legal consultations to help injury victims understand their right to sue and the potential financial compensation they can receive from the at-fault parties. To schedule your free consultation, contact our law offices today at (305) 694-2676.
Dangers of 15 Passenger Vans
15 passenger vans typically carry passengers in rows of bench seats or individual seats. These vehicles are commonly constructed from standard panel van or pickup truck frames. The seats are typically positioned over the wheel wells so that the wheels do not cut into the passenger compartment and take up precious leg room. With this construction, the vehicles are often prone to roll over and cause serious accidents.
With the seats and passengers riding above the wheel level, the center of gravity of the vehicle is extremely high. Carrying 15 people of average weight, a full 15 passenger van has over 1 ton of weight positioned high over the axels. Adding in the weight of the seats themselves and any cargo or luggage the passengers may bring on the vehicle, there is even more weight high up in the vehicle.
When the center of gravity is raised up, the risk of a rollover is increased. The basic frame of these church vans is often identical to a pickup truck, which is designed to carry weight low and flat in the truck bed. Raising the center of gravity is often incredibly dangerous.
During emergency maneuvers to avoid an accident, or even around tight corners, these 15 passenger transport vans can roll or flip. During an accident, the effects can be even more drastic if the vehicle is bowled over onto its side.
Many people who own and operate 15 passenger vans also make other mistakes with maintenance that can lead to risks. These vehicles’ wheels are often supposed to be inflated to specific air pressure values, which are different for the front and rear tires. Failing to inflate the tires properly can make maneuvering more difficult and potentially lead to blowouts or further increase the risk of rollover during quick turns.
The vehicles themselves must also be in good condition, and many churches and lower-income organizations might not have the funding to properly maintain and keep these vehicles safe for transporting passengers.
Suing for 15 Passenger and Church Van Accidents in Florida
When you are injured in an accident as a passenger in a van, you may have multiple potential parties that you can sue for the damages you face. The manufacturer of the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle, the driver of the van, and other drivers may all be responsible for the injuries you faced.
The owner of a vehicle is responsible for having a safe vehicle that others may ride in without risk. An organization that uses 15 passenger vans may be putting its riders at risk if the vehicle is not properly balanced with a low center of gravity. If the manufacturer put a dangerous vehicle into production, they may share some of the blame. Alternatively, if the owner continued to operate a they knew was unsafe or they failed to maintain the vehicle properly, they may share some blame for the accident.
As a passenger in a van, you put your safety in the driver’s hands. If the driver fails to conduct the vehicle safely, they may be directly liable for any injuries you face from an accident. Running a red light, speeding, driving drunk, or driving while distracted can all be serious accident causes that make the driver of the van responsible for the crash.
Another driver may also be responsible for the crash. In some cases, the driver of the van is an innocent victim, and the crash was caused by another driver on the road. If that driver failed to follow traffic laws or violated reasonable safety expectations, they could be at fault for the accident.
When another driver causes the accident, the owner, manufacturer, or driver may still share a portion of the blame for the crash if they also committed errors. Our attorney can investigate the crash and file suit against all responsible parties.
Miami 15 Passenger Van Accident Lawyer Offering Free Legal Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash involving a 15 passenger van, call Miami 15 passenger van and church van accident lawyer Prosper Shaked today. To schedule a free consultation and learn more about your potential lawsuit, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.