As a bus accident lawyer, I read about a lawsuit that was recently filed regarding a turnpike accident involving two trucks that struck a tour bus on a turnpike. This lawsuit was interesting for a couple of reasons. First, the tour bus was struck by multiple vehicles. Under most states’ laws, when 2 different wrongdoers contribute to an accident, they share in the liability caused by injuries resulting from the crash. State law varies in how the wrongdoers apportion fault between themselves. This determination is usually made by a jury. In some instances, the fault is apportioned by percentage is attributable to each wrongdoer, say 75% and 25%. In other states, if the wrongdoer’s percentage of fault is greater than 50%, they can be held liable for the full 100% of damages. In other states, if the wrongdoer’s fault is less than 50%, they cannot be held liable at all. You must talk to an experienced personal injury or wrongful death lawyer to determine your rights in this regard.
This accident was also interesting in that both trucks struck the tour bus were operated by large delivery services, FedEx and UPS. The number of collisions caused by FedEx, UPS and Amazon drivers has increased exponentially as the size of their fleets and the number of deliveries has increased, particularly during the pandemic. The same can be said for accidents caused by UberEats, DoorDash, and other food delivery services.
This lawsuit also involves a history of prior accidents by two different drivers involved in the collision. In some states, a history of negligence is not admissible in court. This is frustrating for a bus accident lawyer because such evidence can be very compelling for a jury. A judge will determine if this evidence is admissible.
Another interesting aspect of this bus accident is that it occurred early in the morning. Early morning collisions always raise the possibility of fatigue as a factor in the collision. While a bus accident lawyer need not prove that fatigue or distracted driving was a factor in a collision, it certainly helps to establish who is at fault, particularly in a multi-vehicle collision. Further, if the fatigue is a result of unsafe practices or violations of federal or state standards, fatigue can be used as a basis for collecting punitive damages.
Finally, this pileup was interesting in that so many individuals were injured. According to news accounts, “in total, 59 passengers were injured and 5 people were killed in the accident….” Some passengers were thrown from the bus, which raises the possibility of comparative or contributory negligence, depending on the applicable state’s seatbelt laws and bus regulations. Many buses are not even fitted with seatbelts. It will be interesting to see how this bus accident lawsuit plays out. Contact a bus accident lawyer from a firm like Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. today.