In the early days of both light pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles, many models were characterized as dangerous because their size and weight distribution contributed to accidents caused by drivers losing control of the vehicles. In recent years, auto manufacturers have addressed these concerns, making today’s pickups and SUVs safer than their counterparts that were produced in past years. However, the same can’t really be said for multi-passenger vans; they are still cumbersome to operate.
An incident on the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago last weekend illustrated this issue. Around 8:30pm Saturday evening, a passenger van was traveling outbound near Ohio Street in the left center lane when another van tried to change lanes. The other van sideswiped the passenger van, sending it spinning into a car. A total of 14 people in the passenger van were hurt and had to be transported to area hospitals. Two of the victims were listed in serious-to-critical condition, and a small child was reported to be in fair-to-serious condition. The van which caused the auto accident fled the scene, and its driver is still at large.
The occupants of the passenger van were from a church in Milwaukee. If and when the driver of the offending van is identified, all of the injured would have the opportunity to file personal injury lawsuits against the hit-and-run suspect – although the suits would have to be filed in Cook County, not Wisconsin. Because so many people were injured, there’s a strong possibility that the insurance coverage belonging to the fleeing van’s driver will not be ample enough to address all of the medical bills incurred by the victims. But personal injury lawsuits could allow the plaintiffs to be reimbursed for those health care charges, as well as for lost wages from missing work due to the auto accident.