A Bus Driving California Catastrophe

Buses can usually cause the most catastrophic accidents because they can weigh approximately sixteen thousand pounds. These vehicles weigh even more if carrying passengers or property.  Therefore, death, injury, and severe damage usually results.  This incident occurred in the County of Merced in California and involved a bus traveling on Highway 99 from Mexico.  The bus was reported to be traveling through California to reach its Washington destination.

The driver was employed by a company called Autobuses Coordinados USA, Inc. which operates out of Los Angeles.  Apparently, the registration of the vehicle was valid.  This fifty-seven year old bus driver allowed the bus to crash into a pole which split the bus in two halves.  The pole that was stuck held the exit sign to Hammatt Avenue.  At approximately half passed three in the morning, the bus violently continued to spring forward, despite the collision.  It took approximately four hours to remove the passengers who were still alive.

Many individuals were seriously hurt, leaving five dead.  The driver was also seriously injured and required critical care.  Firefighters risked their lives as they tried to help the thirty individuals on the bus and managed to climb through the vehicle’s windows.  Many were flown directly to the emergency room in critical condition.  However, like in many accidents, the cause of the collision in this instance was left unknown. What recourse does that leave injured parties?

There are separate obligations and liabilities associated with “non-commercial drivers” versus “common carriers.”  A bus is a common carrier because it “transports people, goods, or services for a fee, and offers its services to the general public under license or authority provided by a regulatory governmental body.”  Generally, if a fee is involved, a common carrier may owe “a higher duty of care” to the public, and if the duty of care is not met then there may be a finding of negligence.  Moreover, depending on the type of passengers involved, such as a disabled individual or child, there may be specific rules that apply to them.

If you were injured in a bus accident in Northern or Southern California, the law firm of J&Y can evaluate the circumstances of the accident and help you obtain compensation.