A recent accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike resulted in at least five deaths and more than fifty people with injuries. Many of those injured were on a tour bus. Tour bus accidents raise special issues in the law. Typically, in a two-car crash, the person responsible for the crash is held accountable (or, more likely, their insurance agency is held responsible) for the damage caused, including medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages (including overtime), medical equipment, and pain and suffering. When a tour bus is involved in an accident, however, things can become more complicated. There are a series of people and entities who may be responsible for the injuries or deaths of persons on a tour bus.
The Responsibility of the Tour Company
Tour companies have a responsibility to their passengers who ride their tour buses. Many casinos, for example, offer tour bus service to and from their casino. Other popular points of attraction do the same. In addition, tour companies arrange tours of places of interest. In each case, the company may hire a bus company to provide bus service. Tour companies have a duty to make certain the bus company has a good safety record and has programming in place to assure itself and the tour companies that they can provide tourists a safe ride.
The Responsibility of the Bus Company
The bus company itself also has a duty. They must make certain that their buses are on a proper maintenance schedule and are in good working order. Checking brakes, tires, and the inner workings of the buses on a regular schedule is a must. Additionally, bus companies have a duty to hire drivers that are properly licensed to operate their vehicles, have a safe driving record, and are qualified to provide the service. Ignorance is no excuse in this regard. If a bus company chooses to take a driver at their word about their qualifications or their driving record, they do so at their peril. They have a duty to their passengers and an obligation to confirm any potential driver's representations.
The Responsibility of the Bus Manufacturer
Sometimes, there is an equipment failure that cannot be attributed to a lack of proper maintenance. Just as certain Boeing planes have been grounded due to safety issues, buses can also have safety issues. If the bus manufacturer (or a manufacturer of parts for a tour bus) produces a faulty product, they can be held responsible if people are injured due to the faulty product.
Injured In a Tour Bus Accident?
Any time you or a loved one is injured, it can feel overwhelming. The good news is you don't have to figure out who may be liable for your bus crash. Instead, you can turn this over to the lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian. Our attorneys know what questions to ask to get the answers we need. We can determine whether you have a case. In some instances, you may have a case against multiple parties. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 800.529.6162.