Charlotte Van Accident Lawyers
In 2019, a devastating accident involving a church van and a truck driver caused the death of five children. A church from Louisiana was driving to Walt Disney World when a truck driver became incapacitated, lost control of his semi-truck, and collided with the church van. After an investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board discovered a semi-truck driver had medical conditions and heart disease that he did not disclose when applying for the health certificate he needed to renew his commercial driving license.
The semi-truck driver was driving north when he lost control, and his semi-truck veered to the left, smashing into a car and then pushing through the guardrail. After that, the semi-truck smashed into the van traveling southbound and caring for 12 adults and children from a church in Louisiana. The truck then crashed head-on into another truck, also killing that driver.
The truck driver and several children were thrown from their vehicles, and the accident burst into flames. The driver had a heart attack after having undergone bypass surgery and having high blood pressure and other medical conditions. This tragic case demonstrates how serious church van accidents can be. If you or your loved one have been injured in a church van accident, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries.The Main Causes of Church Van Accidents
Many churches use 15 passenger vans or larger buses to help disabled or elderly parishioners get to church services. Or, as in the case above, they may use their vans and buses to take congregation members to a special event or retreat. The causes of church van accidents are numerous, just like with other types of motor vehicle accidents, and they often include the following:
- Negligence by another motorist
- Negligence by the driver of the church van
- Improper maintenance and repairs to the church van by a service company
- Defective equipment on the van
- Defective tires, which may be the responsibility of the tire manufacturer
- Negligent hiring on the part of the company that hired the at-fault driver
There have been several studies on the dangers posed by 15-passenger vans. 15-passenger vans that are fully loaded have a 300% higher chance of rolling over than other vans that only a driver occupies. The center of gravity and large church vans are much higher than other automobiles, making them more susceptible to a rollover than other vehicles. In other cases, the van size and weight cause a defective tire to blow out, causing a multiple vehicle accident.Why You Need a Church Van Attorney
Recovering compensation after being injured in a church van accident is not easy. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. You may need to bring a claim against your church or spiritual group, especially if the driver was an employee of the church and acted negligently. Bringing a claim against the church has a sensitive matter, and we can help you understand your options.
It may not be necessary to bring a claim against your church or the driver individually. Most church van accidents are covered by liability insurance policies that protect the organization from settlement funds coming directly from the church. If a third-party driver caused the church van accident, you could submit a claim with his or her insurance company. If the church owns the van and the at-fault driver does not have insurance or is underinsured, you can file a claim through the church's auto insurance policy.
Dealing with insurance companies is not easy. Most insurance companies will offer church van accident victims a low settlement to close the case as quickly as possible. It can be tempting to accept the first insurance offer that comes your way, especially when mounting medical bills are causing you stress. However, you should consult with an attorney before signing anything agreeing to a settlement offer with the insurance company. Your lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and determine how much your claim is worth, then negotiate with the insurance company to obtain the total amount of compensation you deserve.Contact a North Carolina Church Van Accident Lawyer Today
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand how devastating motor vehicle accidents can be, and that is why we offer our clients an initial consultation to help them understand all of their options. We want people to feel comfortable with our law firm and ask us questions. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation to learn more about how we can fight for your right to compensation.