Fatal accident raises questions about liability.
A devastating bus accident on I-70 in Licking County has left six people dead and many more injured. The charter bus was transporting students from a school in eastern Ohio to a conference outside of Columbus when the tragedy happened.
Ohio State Patrol said the "chain-reaction crash" involved two commercial vehicles (semi-trucks) and two passenger vehicles, along with the bus, news media reports. The crash resulted in the deaths of three teenagers and three adults. At least 18 seriously injured people were transported to hospitals.
While the community grieves, questions have arisen about how bus crashes happen and how victims can seek justice.
Why do bus accidents happen?
It's unclear what caused the Nov. 14 crash, but there are many circumstances that may result in a bus accident. Common causes include:
- Bus driver fatigue
- Mechanical failure, faulty equipment, poor vehicle maintenance, tire blowouts
- Negligence, drunk driving
- Medical emergencies
Why are bus accidents different from car accidents?
Bus accidents are often very complex cases. Unlike crashes involving passenger vehicles, bus accidents often involve multiple parties that may be held liable. These parties can include the bus company, the bus driver, maintenance contractors, or even manufacturers in cases of mechanical failure. Determining liability in bus accidents requires a thorough investigation of multiple factors such as driver qualifications, maintenance records, and any potential manufacturing defects.
The high number of victims in a bus accident changes the compensation dynamics as well. The increased number of claimants can lead to a more intricate process for determining liability and distributing compensation. Individual policy limits can restrict settlement amounts to less than a victim needs. That's why, to recover maximum damages, it is important to identify multiple liable parties and file calculated claims with each one.
An Ohio truck accident lawyer with experience handling bus crash cases can help victims get the compensation they’re entitled to by relentlessly advocating for their rights.
What to do if you were injured in a bus crash
Injured bus accident victims must take fast action to ensure they are in the best position to recover compensation. Urgent steps must be taken to preserve important evidence and protect their rights. Consulting an experienced Ohio bus accident attorney after a crash helps victims understand the value of their case and their potential legal options. They can send legal notices to preserve evidence and deal with the insurance companies.
While a lawyer will do most of the work, there are things injured victims can do at the scene of a bus accident to improve their case, such as:
- Ensure safety. Go to a secure area at the crash site and call 911.
- Take photos and videos. If your health allows, take photos and videos of the vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and the overall scene.
- Seek medical attention. See a physician as soon as possible for a thorough medical examination. Even if you feel okay, you may have severe or life-threatening injuries without symptoms that are being masked by adrenaline.
- Consult a lawyer. At Merriman Legal, LLC, we are prepared to handle complex, large-scale bus accident claims and lawsuits. Our Rapid Response Team can be on the scene of an accident within 24 hours of a crash to investigate and preserve critical evidence.
- Don't talk about it. Do not post about the accident on social media or discuss it with friends, family, or anyone else. Anything said or posted online about the crash can be used against victims to reduce settlements and reject claims. A lawyer can typically handle difficult conversations for their clients. However, in situations where a victim must speak with the police or an insurance agent, they should stick to the facts - date, time, place, etc. - and refer questions to their lawyer.
A bus accident lawyer can fight for accountability
If you were injured or a loved one died in a bus crash, our dedicated legal team can help you demand justice. Through claims and lawsuits, Merriman Legal, LLC can hold negligent parties accountable. This may include the bus driver, bus company, manufacturers of defective parts, and other drivers on the road, among other potentially responsible parties.
Make my team your team. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation to see how we can help you.