Vans are useful vehicles for transporting a larger number of passengers than cars can seat. They also have more room to store items like luggage, recreational and sports gear, and jobsite equipment. Despite the many benefits of vans, their size and design can make them very dangerous if they are involved in a collision.
Serious injuries and fatalities can occur when a van crashes into another vehicle or multiple vehicles. Vans are prone to rollovers which can be dangerous not only for the passengers of the van itself but also for the passengers of the other motor vehicle involved in the crash. If you or someone you love have been injured in a passenger van accident, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA for advice on seeking just compensation for the injuries you have sustained.
Common Causes of Accidents Involving Vans
Similar to any other vehicle on the roadway, collisions involving vans can be caused by a number of things. Their chances of rolling over are heightened in situations where the van comes into contact with a stationary object or an uneven roadway. Below are some of the most common causes of van accidents:
- Driving on rural roads
- Driver fatigue
- Excessive speed
- Loss of steering wheel control
- Driver inexperience
- Collision with a curb, guardrail, tree stump or other stationary object
- Driving on uneven ground
- Distracted driving
Common Injuries Resulting from Van Crashes
When a van collides with another vehicle or stationary object, there is a significant chance that the van will tip onto its side or its roof. Rollovers can lead to passengers being partially or fully ejected from the vehicle. Injuries suffered as a result of van accidents range from mild to severe and fatal. Some of the most common injuries associated with van accidents are as follows:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Back and chest injuries
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal bleeding
- Pelvis/abdominal injuries
- Chest injuries
Van Crashes and Liability in Miami, Florida
A person injured in a collision involving a van can seek compensation for injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the van. These types of lawsuits are usually pursued on a negligence theory. In order for a court to find that a defendant was negligent in a van accident, the plaintiff must prove three elements. The plaintiff must prove:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care under the circumstances;
- The defendant breached the duty of care that was owed to the plaintiff; and
- As a result of the breach, the plaintiff suffered damages.
Florida follows the Pure Comparative Fault Doctrine that states that even if a plaintiff was partially at fault for a collision, he or she can still recover for injuries suffered. Nevertheless, the amount of damages recovered will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiff. For example, a court finds that a plaintiff can recover $100,000 in damages for injuries suffered in a van accident. The court also finds that the plaintiff was 20% at fault for the accident. Thus, the damages will be reduced by $20,000 and the plaintiff can collect $80,000 in damages.
Getting Compensation for Injuries in Miami Van Accidents
There are two types of compensation that an injured person can receive in a personal injury action: compensatory and punitive. The purpose of compensatory damages is to make a plaintiff “whole.” Compensatory damages are divided into two subcategories: monetary and nonmonetary. Monetary damages include compensation for:
- Present and future loss of income
- Present and future medical expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Property damage
- Household services
Nonmonetary damages are more difficult to calculate than monetary damages, but they are still recoverable in this type of claim. Examples of nonmonetary damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are awarded when a court finds that a defendant’s actions were intentional or particularly egregious and outrageous. The purpose behind punitive damages is to make an example out of the defendant so as to deter other people from committing similar acts in the future. Florida has a cap on punitive damages in personal injury lawsuits. A plaintiff can receive up to three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $500,000, whichever is greater.
Florida Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims
Florida has a four year statute of limitations for personal injury causes of action. Therefore, an injured person has four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Wrongful death suits have a two year statute of limitations. Thus, if the family of a victim who was killed in a van accident has two years from the date the victim passed away to file a claim.
Call a Miami Van Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love have been injured in a van accident, it is crucial that you consult with a skilled personal injury attorney who can guide you and assist you in receiving compensation for your injuries. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA will use every resource and tool available to fight tirelessly for your legal rights. In this type of claim, it is important not only that you are compensated for your injuries but also for the person who injured you to be held accountable. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 for a free and confidential consultation.