Arizona – February 5, 2021

A woman from Indiana was killed and multiple people were injured when a tour bus bound for the Grand Canyon crashed last January in northwest Arizona, according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. The bus, managed by a Las Vegas-based company, was carrying 48 people including the driver to Grand Canyon West when it rolled and landed on its side near milepost 5 on Diamond Bar Road.  Several passengers filed a lawsuit against the tour company in late January, alleging the driver was negligent and traveling above the speed limit.  After a tour bus accident, victims should consult with a bus accident attorney to guide them through possible damage recovery for latent injury from the crash, a severe injury, or wrongful death claims.  A wrongful death action can be filed in court when a person dies because of the negligent, reckless, or deliberate act of a bus driver, or a bus carrier.

Parties to legal action.

The persons that can be sued in a bus accident scenario are:

  • Owner(s) of bus as employer,
  • Driver of bus,
  • Commercial insurer of bus,
  • Regulatory agency supporting bus safety on issues of bus manufacturer and parts manufacturer,
  • Licensing agencies of privately owned and public transit vehicles, city, county, or state.

Common carrier duty of care.

If an individual is hurt, or a loved one has been harmed because of a tour bus accident, an experienced bus accident attorney can build a winning case for damage compensation.  Public entities and private companies offer carrier services and are regulated by local, state, and federal laws, but the federal government regulates carriers that transport passengers across state lines under the Interstate Commerce Act and individual state law regulates travel within a state. Legal responsibility for common carriers mandates a higher level of care because of paid  services to the public.  When bus drivers, or companies do not observe the higher duty, it can be considered an act of negligence when injury, or property damage occurs.  An Arizona accident attorney will be able to outline the special rules that apply when a passenger is injured as a result of a bus accident.   When acts of negligence are caused by the carrier due to reckless driving, speeding, driver fatigue, driving under the influence of drugs, tire damage, company maintenance failure, or insufficient driver training and screening for proper licensure, the carrier may be liable for a plethora of damages under a Arizona’s personal injury and wrongful death tort laws.  An attorney will be able to initiate legal action within the two-year time period required under law.

FMCSA insurance requirements.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), if a bus carries over 15 passengers, the bus must carry at least $5,000,000 in liability insurance coverage. Buses carrying fewer than 15 passengers must carry at least $1,500,000 in insurance coverage. While these amounts are considered to be the minimum limits, it is rare that buses will carry more than $5,000,000 in insurance.

Seek legal counsel.

A personal injury lawyer who has experience with complex insurance claims and tour bus accident litigation settlements can assist victims toward relief in the form of damage compensation. USAttorneys.com is a great resource to put individuals in touch with experienced bus accident lawyers who can answer questions and initiate legal action when it is required.

Sources.

https://www.azleg.gov/ars/12/00542.htm

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/22/us/arizona-grand-canyon-bus-crash/index.html

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-breaking/2021/01/29/lawsuit-filed-against-las-vegas-bus-and-driver-over-crash-arizona/4314209001/

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/413361/fmcsa-pocket-guide-2018-final-508-compliant-1.pdf

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ourroads/large-trucks-and-buses-numbers

https://www.napt.org/

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