Los Angeles Van Accident Attorneys
The catastrophic injury lawyers at Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, regularly witness the devastating effects of injuries from van accidents. We know that accidents involving everything from microvans and minivans to conversion vans and, especially, 15-person vans, can leave victims facing a lifetime of invasive medical treatment, pain and suffering, disabilities and impairment, and more. We also know that some victims do not survive, and we represent families dealing with such tragic circumstances.
While your life may change forever after a catastrophic or fatal injury, our firm is here to help. You may worry that your losses are too extensive and that you will not receive the amount of compensation you need to cover a lifetime of medical care. Our legal team, however, possesses the resources, skill, and experience to seek the full amount of compensation that our clients deserve in even the most serious injury or wrongful death cases.
Our Firm Has Obtained Billions of Dollars for Injured Clients
Our clients have recovered more million-dollar settlements and judgments than the clients of any other injury law firm in California. These results do not simply happen—they occur result from the dedication and skill of our team of attorneys, and our repeated successes only breed further success for subsequent clients. The following are two examples of multimillion dollar results our firm has achieved in van accident cases.
$73 million verdict against Ford Motor Company. Our attorney, Christine Spagnoli, served as co-lead counsel to take on the automotive giant Ford Motor Company. A Ford E-350 15-passenger van rolled over, resulting in the tragic death of the driver and severe injuries to a passenger. She successfully argued that this model of 15-passenger van was dangerously defective, making it extremely susceptible to tread separation, which can easily cause a driver to lose control of the van. The jury agreed and awarded the plaintiffs $73 million, including $50 million in punitive damages.
$25.9 million jury verdict in deadly church van rollover trial. Again, our team member, Christine Spagnoli, took co-lead counsel at trial to stand up for the rights of our clients against Ford Motor Company, as well as the First Baptist Church of New Port Richey. Another E-350 van experienced a tread separation and rolled over, ejecting four occupants, and resulting in the death of two persons and injuries to eight others. A 44-year-old wife and mother of four children was one of the people ejected, and she did not survive.
Our firm represented the husband and children of the woman who suffered a tragic and untimely death in the rollover van accident. Our firm argued that:
- Ford defectively designed the van without dual rear tires to support the extra row of seats
- This design led to the instability of the van and susceptibility to roll over when the tread separated
- Ford installed defectively designed seatbelts, which become inaccessible to passengers when they fell under the bench seats
- The church did not properly maintain the vans by ensuring each occupant had access to a seatbelt
The jury agreed and awarded our clients more than $25 million for the wrongful death.
$5 million jury verdict in 15 passenger van rollover trial. Partners Christine Spagnoli and Bruce Broillet represented a Korean college professor who suffered a spinal cord injury when the roof of his Ford 15 passenger van crushed in a rollover causing permanent spinal cord injuries.
Our firm regularly handles claims that result in seven- or eight-figure verdicts or settlements. The many reasons for our continued success include:
- We employ full-time investigators committed to determining the cause of accidents and injuries. Our investigators have gathered so much evidence in favor of our clients that we have an entire evidence warehouse. We can also use this space to present demonstrations to make a persuasive case right before our opponents’ eyes.
- We explore every option to get the results each client deserves. Whether this involves aggressive settlement negotiations, engaging in arbitration, or taking the case to trial, we are ready to do what it takes.
- Because our firm brings in such large settlements and verdicts, we have the resources to dedicate to new and pending cases. If a case requires expert opinions, we do not hesitate to hire respected experts to testify on behalf of our clients.
- Law firms and peers in the legal industry throughout California and the United States respect and recognize our firm for its success. When we walk into settlement negotiations or a courtroom, other attorneys know to take us seriously and that we do not back down.
These are only some of many reasons why the lawyers of Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, continue to successfully help clients with catastrophic injuries move forward with their lives in the best position possible.
Many attorneys focus on settling numerous cases quickly. However, we know that approach does not work when millions of dollars in losses are at stake. We carefully select the cases we accept, so we can fully dedicate all of the necessary attention and resources each client needs and deserves. If you have injuries with lifelong effects, you need a firm that will fight for a lifetime’s worth of losses.
Van Accidents Can Result in Devastating Injuries and Losses
People use large 15-passenger vans for church and youth group trips, transportation to athletic events, rentals for weddings or parties, and more. While owning or renting these vans can prove convenient for transporting groups of people together, large vans also pose the very real risk of serious accidents. Specifically, these vans have a propensity to roll over.
Since 2001, more than 600 people died in 15-passenger van rollover crashes. Federal agencies issue warnings about these vans and auto manufacturers even acknowledge the dangers and redesign their vans with added safety features. Many groups, however, continue to use older van models that put people in serious danger.
These vans become even more dangerous when groups load them to their capacity, which only increases the risks. A full load of people in a 15-passenger van will shift the van’s center of gravity, so it is particularly susceptible to a rollover accident when the slightest problem occurs.
Despite the recorded number of rollovers and fatalities, no automotive companies recalled these vans, so they remain on the road, and unknowing passengers ride in the vans on a regular basis.
To make matters worse, many people in large 15-passenger vans are not wearing seatbelts as they usually would in their own personal vehicles. The seatbelts fall between the gaps in bench seats, making them difficult to access. Instead of searching for the seatbelt, passengers often simply ride without them, not realizing the extreme risks of a rollover accident.
When a large van rolls over, passengers can tumble onto each other, especially if they are unbelted. Occupants can smash into windows, doors, the roof, and land on top of one another, all of which can result in multiple traumatic injuries.
Van passengers may suffer catastrophic injuries and effects, which can include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Paralysis, including paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Severe traumatic brain injuries
- Extended coma
- Cognitive, physical, and behavioral impairments
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of organ function
These devastating injuries will completely change a van accident victim’s life in an instant, as well as the lives of their family members. Unbelievable losses can add up after these injuries, and often the losses continue for the rest of the victim’s life. These losses can include:
- Medical expenses – Medical bills begin to add up with the first ambulance or medical helicopter ride, and will often continue indefinitely for victims who need lifelong care.
- Lost earnings – Accident victims may need to stop working while they recover, and disabling injuries often prevent victims from returning to their previous jobs or from ever working again.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering – The severe injuries common to van accidents can cause immense pain. Victims must deal with and manage pain, which may never go away. Dealing with a sudden disability and resulting life changes can also result in significant emotional trauma.
- Permanent disability or disfigurement – A disabling or disfiguring injury will completely change every aspect of a van accident victim’s life, and they deserve to receive compensation for changes that were completely beyond their control.
- Wrongful death – Tragically, many 15-passenger van accident victims do not survive their traumatic injuries. This leaves families with a sudden loss that causes not only immense emotional bereavement, but also the loss of financial support, household services, love and companionship, and much more.
Recovering the Compensation That Van Accident Victims Deserve
The above losses can rise into the millions before you know it. To seek compensation, however, you must know what specifically caused the van accident so you can identify the liable party or parties. Liable parties may include individual drivers, employers of drivers, auto manufacturers, and government entities. Defective design by negligent auto manufacturers is one of the most commonly cited causes of van rollover accidents.
Defective design. Drivers of smaller vehicles may momentarily lose control of their cars, but they may regain control and prevent serious accidents. The design of 15-passenger vans makes them highly prone to loss of control and rollover accidents, often increasing the severity of injuries to occupants.
As mentioned above, Christine Spagnoli, a member of our legal team, has repeatedly and successfully fought for clients who sustained injuries or lost loved ones due to defectively designed vans. Unfortunately, these accidents continue to occur even though manufacturers know about the dangers of their vehicles.
For example, in August 2018, a 15-passenger van accident resulted in the deaths of three teenagers in Missouri, as well as serious injuries to 10 other persons. The van was the same type as the van involved in Ms. Spagnoli’s earlier wrongful death case against Ford.
News sources interviewed Ms. Spagnoli in light of her past work to hold Ford accountable for such a defective design. She explained that it appears manufacturers like Ford would rather pay for lawsuits than use the resources to pull the vans from the market.
Whatever the reason, defectively designed and dangerous vans remain on the road, and devastating accidents will continue to cause severe injuries and fatalities.
Going up against a major billion dollar corporation like Ford is no easy task. A less experienced and capable attorney might feel too intimidated to continually fight for the millions of dollars that injured van accident victims deserve. At Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we do not shy away from claims against even the largest companies. Instead, we want to demonstrate the dangerous mistakes companies like Ford make, so that we may prevent future accidents and injuries from happening in the future.
Dangerous drivers. Auto manufacturers are not the only ones to blame for a van accident. Sometimes, negligent drivers can cause a crash due to some of the following dangerous behaviors:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Excessive speeding
- Running red lights
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Violating other traffic laws
Negligent drivers may get behind the wheel of the van or another vehicle on the road that crashes into a van. In some cases, both a negligent driver and defective design may contribute to the cause of a crash.
Do Not Wait to Contact Our Dedicated Van Accident Attorneys for Help
Van accidents are notorious for leaving devastation in their wakes. After a catastrophic injury or the loss of a loved one, you may not know where to start to hold van manufacturers and other parties liable for your overwhelming losses. The injury lawyers of Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, are ready to help our clients in these situations.
If you are dealing with crushing losses and want to discuss a possible case with our firm, please contact Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, online, or call us at (310) 576-1200 today.