California – August 4, 2022
A Greyhound bus driver suffered major injuries and was hospitalized. Twenty-four passengers suffered mild to moderate injuries, and several were taken to the hospital. The accident occurred when the bus traveling from Los Angeles to Fresno went off a highway, broke through a chain link fence and came to a rest on its side in a parking lot. The crash is being investigated by California Highway Patrol, but the bus driver tested negative for drunk driving. The National Highway Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting Systems (FARS) defines a bus as a motor vehicle designed primarily to transport nine, or more persons, including the driver. The size of a bus and the passenger capacity increases the catastrophic outcomes when a bus is involved in an accident. Experienced bus accident attorneys can build winning cases to support damage compensation through their knowledge of the laws that regulate inter and intrastate travel, including driver screening and proficiency to ensure passenger safety.
Common carrier buses.
Buses that offer a service to communities and charge a fee for the transportation service fall under federal common carrier laws. 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.
Possible bus accident causes.
- Poor training of bus drivers,
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
- Distracted driving,
- Limitations to bus driver visibility,
- Aggressive driving techniques, speeding, or dangerous maneuvering,
- Sudden acceleration, or braking,
- Poor bus maintenance,
- Fault of other vehicle drivers.
Bus drivers have different demands by regulation as to their safe ability to operate a passenger carrier. There are specific medically disqualifying conditions that would keep a driver from commercial driving employment including hearing loss, vision loss, epilepsy, and insulin use, with certain exemptions. Most commercial bus drivers are required to have commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL). The CDL regulations provide that “no person shall operate” a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)s before passing the written and driving tests required for that vehicle.
Accrding 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 the minimum limits, it is rare that buses will carry more than $5,000,000 in insurance.
An experienced bus accident attorney will work with insurance companies after an accident, to determine fair valuations of property, residual bodily harm, and wrongful death, and make certain the insurance company’s offer represents resultant compensatory and punitive damages to cover all victim’s losses.
Hire an attorney.
Seek legal counsel immediately after a bus crash involving injury, or the loss of life. A lawyer who is familiar with Federal and California common carrier laws can be reached at the Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, and can be resourceful in the personal injury case against a negligent party.
Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation
501 West Broadway, Suite 1650
San Diego, CA 92101
- Passenger Carrier and Bus Safety | FMCSA (dot.gov)
- What medical conditions disqualify a commercial bus or truck driver? | FMCSA (dot.gov)
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