People who choose to use bus transportation are properly expecting to arrive at their destinations safely. It’s the responsibility of the company providing the service to ensure drivers are capable and the vehicle is mechanically sound to the extent possible. While it’s frustratingly true that accidents will happen on occasion for unavoidable reasons, usually a highway crash can be attributed to negligence, distraction, impairment, driver error or a parts malfunction.
Milwaukee travelers may find interesting a story from another state regarding a lawsuit recently filed seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a bus accident. This type of situation can happen anywhere, to anyone. Reportedly, claiming equipment failure and lack of driver supervision as the cause of action, the suit is seeking damages in excess of $100,000 for a group of four plaintiffs. They were injured, along with 14 other passengers, when the bus tipped over on an interstate highway.
According to police, it was about 4:35 a.m. and raining when a car heading north veered into the median. The 22-year-old driver was allegedly driving distracted. Hitting the barrier cables, facing east, the car’s rear end stopped encroaching into the right lane. A passerby stopped to assist just as the bus hit the car sending it into a ditch. The bus careened into the median, and the cables caused it to overturn.
Holding the bus company accountable is reportedly based on allegations that the 37-year-old driver had been complaining aloud that the windshield wipers were not working, causing him difficulty in seeing the road. If proven true, the business may be held liable. Altogether, 18 passengers were injured in the collision and taken to local hospitals. Thankfully, there were no reported fatalities.
Medical expenses, lost earnings, emotional trauma and any other aspect of recovery will be faced by each victim in this unfortunate situation. It may be that this case becomes more complicated if the car driver is made a party to it by the bus company. It’s possible others will file suit as well. Even with straightforward facts, litigation can be complex no matter what state is involved in the proceeding. Dealing with insurance companies and investigators needs strong negotiation skills and legal experience when a significant settlement or positive trial outcome are the goal.
Source: The Chicago Tribune, “Lawsuit claims malfunctioning wipers contributed to Megabus crash” Liam Ford, Oct. 16, 2014