San Diego Van Accident Lawyers
Pursuing Compensation After a Devastating Accident
Vans are incredibly convenient for drivers and passengers to easily get around San Diego County, but there are not as entirely safe as they appear. Their weight, size, and length can be major factors in a serious vehicle collision, most of which can catastrophically injure other drivers, pedestrians, and even the van’s occupants.
If you or someone you love was injured in a van accident due to negligence, you may be able to recover compensation in an auto insurance claim. Negligence can take many forms, from poor vehicle maintenance to driving while distracted, and you will need the legal aid of a skilled San Diego van accident lawyer to prove it in a claim or lawsuit. To secure strong legal representation in your van accident claim, contact jD LAW at (760) 630-2000. We are ready to take your case.
The Dangers of Passenger Vans
Vans are utilized for a variety of purposes throughout San Diego, from transporting passengers between hotels and airports to handling packages on a delivery route. Though they may vary slightly in design, the most common vans you can be injured by include:
- Delivery vans
- Maintenance vans
- Airport and hotel shuttle vans
- Disabled vans
- Church vans
- Catering vans
- Vans used by schools and universities
- Long-term care facility vehicles
On their own, these vehicles are often extremely heavy, but they also have very strict weight limits for cargo and passengers. A passenger van is designed to accommodate no more than 15 passengers, while delivery, maintenance, and catering vans can become unbalanced if they are overloaded with cargo. Drivers should be properly trained to handle these vehicles at their standard weight limits so that they can avoid a serious collision, but when these weight limits are ignored, a van accident is almost inevitable.
Overloaded vans are extremely hard to stop, and failing to brake in time can lead to serious rear-end accidents. However, balance is another major issue that vans face. Because the engines for these vehicles are raised off the ground, they are more prone to rollovers. If the vehicle becomes unbalanced due to unsecured or overloaded cargo, the van could tip over at a tight turn or during a collision. Not only can these vehicles tip onto other cars, causing devastating injuries, but passengers can also be severely injured.
Lastly, the length of the van can also influence the type of accident that occurs. Drivers must pay extra close attention to the vehicle’s blind spots, as the length of these vehicles can make it difficult to spot bicyclists, motorcyclists, and other drivers directly behind the vehicle or beside the rear tires. If the driver does not check the blind spots before making a turn, they can easily sideswipe another vehicle and force them off the road or into nearby objects.
However, other drivers are not the only ones at risk.
Why Passengers Are at Risk
The National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has repeatedly called out safety issues involving 15-passenger vans, often pointing to the increased risk of fatal injuries for occupants during rollovers. Rollovers can be absolutely devastating. Passengers, if not properly secured, can strike their heads against the roof or side of the vehicle, causing brain damage and neck injuries. Any loose cargo can be thrown throughout the vehicle, resulting in further trauma to occupants.
Rollovers are often the result of either poor driving practices or a lack of vehicle maintenance. Vans can suffer a large amount of wear and tear on San Diego roadways, leading to tire blowouts, damaged seatbelts, and weak brakes. Inspecting these vehicles and scheduling repairs is often the duty of the driver, the company who owns the van, or the rental company who leases it to drivers. But if these vehicles are mishandled or unmaintained, a rollover is almost inevitable.
Negligent actions that can contribute to rollovers and passenger injuries include:
- Driving while distracted, fatigued, or intoxicated
- Speeding at sharp turns
- Overloading a vehicle
- Unsecured cargo
- Tire blowouts
Drivers often have the most control over these vehicles and can take steps to avoid serious collisions or accidents; however, not all accidents are the fault of van drivers, and determining fault is key to how you will file an auto accident claim.
Who Can You File a Claim Against?
Whether you are a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, you may be able to file an auto accident claim for compensation if someone also acted negligently and caused your injuries. While we often attribute blame to the van’s driver, these accidents are often extremely complicated and can involve multiple liable parties. It is just as likely that another driver struck the van and caused injuries to the occupants than a van driver caused the accident.
But driver negligence is just one factor in a van accident case. The van itself could also have been poorly maintained, increasing the risk of an accident occurring. Companies who own or rent out the van are expected to provide routine maintenance on the vehicles and abide by all automotive part recalls. If a rental company failed to replace damaged or worn tires and a rollover occurred due to their inaction, then they could be liable in a claim.
In addition, the vehicle’s manufacturer could also have acted negligently. Manufacturers are required to put their vehicles through a series of tests before they go out on the road and try to minimize the risk of a rollover. If the manufacturer installed a defective part or designed the van with clear safety defects, then anyone injured in an accident may be able to pursue a product liability claim against them.
Contact jD LAW Today
What type of claim you file will ultimately come down to the specifics of your accident. Every case is unique, and you will need an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to ensure not a single detail is missed. With jD LAW, our San Diego auto accident lawyer can launch an in-depth investigation into the nature of your accident to determine who was at fault. This may involve reviewing driving records, maintenance logs, auto part recalls, and police reports.
Once we have enough evidence, our legal team can negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company and advocate for the maximum available compensation. If necessary, we are fully prepared to take your case to court. To learn how we can represent you in an auto accident claim, contact our office at (760) 630-2000 and schedule a free consultation.
Don’t Wait A Second Longer
When you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed due to the negligence of another, you need legal help. Contact jD LAW, today to get the justice you deserve.
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