The Dangers of Bus Accidents
In April 2013, a bus filled with senior citizens on a day trip to an Oklahoma casino crashed on a Texas highway, killing three, including two at the scene. This June, a preliminary investigation of the accident found that driver error was responsible for the crash. Specifically, the driver failed to maintain his lane position before the vehicle veered off the road into a concrete barrier and then tipped over. The driver told authorities that he might have blacked out while driving.
The same driver reportedly was involved in another fatal accident nearly 15 years ago. In that case, another bus company was judged negligent for hiring the driver. The Texas-based bus company involved in the current case, Cardinal Coach Line, said its drivers are subject to in-depth background checks. To date, at least three victims have filed suit against the company. The litigation may have just begun.
Buses must be driven carefully and properly maintained, in compliance with federal regulations. A bus driver needs to be clear-headed and attuned to the road, and the buses must have regular inspections. Some causes of bus accidents include:
- Careless driving by other motorists
- Negligent hiring, supervision and operation by the bus company
- Drunk, preoccupied or tired drivers
- Malfunctioning equipment, like brakes and tires
- Seasonal road hazards, like extreme weather
Bus accident litigation is often complicated, involving multiple parties, multiple victims and severe injuries. Defendants will likely include the bus driver and the bus company — in many cases manufacturers, other drivers, and municipal, state, or federal bodies may also be involved. Multiple insurance companies for the numerous parties can increase the complexity of the case. As in any roadway accident, vital evidence is usually cleared away quickly and witnesses may be impossible to locate or particularly hard to track.
Bus companies often have limited insurance coverage. Due to the potential number of injured passengers in any one accident, having counsel with a successful track record of getting maximum compensation amount from an at-fault bus company and locating all other potential sources of compensation for your injuries is vital to your collecting appropriate compensation.
If you or a loved one was injured in an Oklahoma bus accident, contact one of our experienced Tulsa lawyers at The Barkett Law Firm for a free consultation.