Churches and other religious organizations frequently use passenger vans to transport large groups of individuals to worship services and other events. For the past few decades, however, there has been increasing concern about the safety of church vans or buses that are fully loaded with passengers.
Studies have demonstrated that these types of vehicles have a much higher center of gravity than most cars, making them especially vulnerable to rollovers and other accidents. This risk is even greater when they are filled to capacity with occupants. In fact, a fully-loaded passenger van has a 300 percent higher chance of rolling over compared to one that is only occupied by the driver.
These types of accidents can result in devastating injuries or worse, ones for which their victims could be eligible for compensation under Illinois law. To help maximize the value of any settlement or verdict, contact the Chicago church van accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC to schedule a case evaluation at no cost to you. You can call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative.
How Do Church Van Accidents Happen?
Large passenger vans have serious structural problems that make them prone to certain types of accidents, especially when fully loaded, including:
- Higher centers of gravity, making them more prone to rollovers;
- Greater size and weight, increasing the likelihood of tire blowouts; and
- An insufficient number of seatbelts, resulting in more severe injuries in the event of a crash.
These design flaws have long been acknowledged by automotive experts, so much so that they have led to heightened government oversight. Within recent years, the National Transportation Safety Board has issued a warning about the hazards of large church vans that called for stronger safety regulations, while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration now requires commercial motor vehicles to meet tougher safety standards.
If widely implemented, these changes could have made a positive impact; however, many churches lack the resources to cover the cost of retrofitting older vans to comply with federal codes, thereby continuing to place Chicago parishioners in jeopardy.
In addition to these structural flaws, many of these accidents may be the fault of church van drivers, whether because of improper training, negligence, or drug or alcohol impairment.
Let Our Church Van Accident Lawyers Assist You
If you have suffered a severe injury or a loved one has been killed in a Chicago church van accident, you might be able to obtain compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. But as with all litigation, positive results are not guaranteed. In order to achieve a successful outcome, you must determine all of the parties who may have been at fault and prove they improperly violated the duty of care so as to inflict damages upon you. This is why so many plaintiffs seek out the Chicago church van accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
GWC can help you build a solid case against the people or entities responsible for your injuries by establishing their negligence. These parties could include:
- The church that failed to properly vet or train its drivers, ensure its van was properly maintained and fully functional, and follow all state and federal safety guideline;
- The church van operator who harmed passengers through reckless driving or impairment;
- The manufacturer of the van or its equipment in the case of a dangerous defect; or
- Another driver on the road who may have actually caused the church van accident.
Once all of the defendants are identified, GWC will gather the necessary medical records and evidence to build the strongest claim possible, all while continuing to be respectful to your church, its pastors and ministers, and your religious faith as much as possible. Our Chicago church van accident lawyers have the experience, the determination, and the resources necessary to get you and your family the justice you deserve. And with over $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients, we think our record speaks for itself.