Reports indicate that a tour bus lost control and crashed on a mountain road, citing unsafe speed as the cause of the accident. In all, 16 people reported injuries, with 15 of those injuries described as minor to moderate. The passengers on the bus were members of a tour group coming back from Yosemite National Park – the driver of the bus was the only person not hurt.
The crash was reported sometime around 6 p.m. Highway Patrol officials went on to report that the impact of the collision caused most of the passengers to be thrown to the driver’s side of the bus, before the bus struck a tree – had it not been for the tree, the bus would have no doubt fallen into a nearby ravine. The area where the crash occurred is a winding road with speed limits that seem to drop to 35 mph with little to no warning.
Officials from the California Highway Patrol indicated that while unsafe speed appears to have been the main contributing factor to the crash, the incident remains under investigation while potential other causes are looked into. The driver was not arrested, and drugs or alcohol do not immediately seem to have played a factor.
Rules of Law
Under the law, victims of injuries caused by the intentional, negligent, or reckless conduct of another person may seek fair and just compensation for their injuries, and certain other damages, through the courts. In addition to damages like pain and suffering, the victim may also seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages if the victim is employed, lost future earnings if a formerly employable injury victim becomes unable to work, as well as any property damage that may have been sustained in the accident.
Another rule of law allows the employers of employees, like tour bus drivers, to be held liable for the conduct of employees while in the performance of their duties. This means, a tour bus driver found to have been traveling at unsafe speeds before ultimately having an accident opens up his or her employer to the risk of litigation for injuries and damages sustained.
Of course, every case is different, and certain exceptions to the rules may prevent an injury victim from collecting certain damages and even from bringing an employer into court. For this reason, an experienced bus accident lawyer in Los Angeles should be consulted who can review the facts of a case and make a determination as to what parties it would be fair to seek compensation from, and precisely how much compensation it would be fair to pursue.
Tour Bus Safety
In the case mentioned above, reports indicated that the area of road where the incident occurred was a winding road, and that speed limits tend to drop to 35 mph without much warning. While this may be a fact that would perhaps minimize the liability of an at-fault driver involved in a car vs. car collision, the fact that the driver was a dedicated one for a tour bus company is something that the courts will no doubt consider. Typically, tour bus drivers are trained on their routes, or at least warned of the dangers on certain unfamiliar routes. If this accident is eventually found to have been avoidable, this fact will be of much importance when it comes to determining fault and apportioning damages.