Articles Posted in Bus Accident

As we often detail on this blog, Maryland truck and bus accidents can have disastrous impacts, resulting in serious bodily injuries or even death. There is no shortage of examples of this, but take a recent crash, occurring one Monday morning when a bus preparing to let passengers get off was hit by a utility truck. The utility truck burst into flames, and the driver was killed. Additionally, 14 of the 15 passengers on the bus were taken to area hospitals with injuries. This accident is just one of the many truck and bus accidents that occur every day.

Because these accidents can be so serious, they are often followed by Maryland personal injury lawsuits—lawsuits seeking to recover financially from the party who caused the accident, to cover medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. But what happens when the driver who caused the accident cannot cover the full amount owed to plaintiffs, due to lack of finances? Well, for some plaintiffs, they may be able to also sue the negligent driver’s employer, especially since trucks and buses are often driven by drivers in the scope of their employment for someone else, such as a food company or tourism business. The employers may be liable for the damage caused through a doctrine called vicarious liability.

For the doctrine of vicarious liability to apply, the plaintiff must prove all the typical elements of a tort with respect to the driver’s conduct—duty, breach, causation, and harm—and then also prove that the driver was acting in the scope of their employment. A driver who is driving for work is driving within the scope of their employment unless they were engaged in some major detour. For example, if a pizza delivery driver is on their way to deliver a pizza when they get into an accident, then there is likely vicarious liability and the pizza restaurant may be liable. But if the delivery driver delivers the pizza and then decides to not return to work but instead drives their girlfriend around town, then an accident occurring during this detour may not give rise to vicarious liability.

Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers are not the only types of large vehicles that can be involved in dangerous or tragic accidents. Passenger busses are similar in size and weight to some commercial vehicles, and accidents involving busses can be especially dangerous when considering their human cargo. A recently occurring accident involving a school bus with children onboard is a reminder of the risks of being on the road alongside large vehicles, and the importance of safe driving in general.

According to a local news report discussing the accident, a school bus was traveling on the roadway taking children home from a summer program when traffic in front of the bus abruptly stopped. A child on the bus told reporters that the bus driver was unable to stop in time to avoid colliding with the cars in front of it, and the accident occurred. After the initial collision, several cars that were behind the school bus crashed into the school bus. Emergency crews responded to the scene of the crash and at least two people were hospitalized with injuries from the crash. Fortunately, no children were injured in the crash, and nobody was seriously injured or killed.

Maryland drivers are responsible to follow other vehicles at a safe distance. To prevent a rear-end collision, it is generally the responsibility of drivers to leave enough distance in between them and the car in front of them to prevent a crash if any car abruptly stops. Drivers operating large or heavily loaded vehicles that may not stop as quickly as other vehicles have a responsibility to allow enough distance between themselves and other vehicles to account for their own increased stopping distance. In the event that a rear-end accident occurs after a following vehicle fails to stop in time, the driver of the vehicle that didn’t stop can be cited for following too closely.

The inherent nature of driving on public roadways involves some element of risk, as motorists, despite their best efforts, cannot always avoid accidents. This is especially true when the accident is the result of another’s negligence. Although accidents range in severity, Maryland truck accidents tend to result in the most catastrophic injuries to drivers, passengers, and bystanders. Amongst the most dangerous vehicles, 18-wheelers, large semi-trucks, and tourist buses pose the biggest threat to those on the road. The likelihood of serious and potentially fatal injuries significantly increases when two of these vehicles collide.

For example, a prominent news source reported a devastating bus and truck crash that took the lives of 21 individuals. Although the accident took place in another country, it illustrates a situation that can happen on any major roadway in Maryland. According to sources, while a bus overturned while trying to pass a truck. The bus slammed into the truck while negotiating a pass. The collision resulted in an explosive fire, and nearly 20 people suffered complete and fatal burns. Among the deceased were the drivers of both vehicles. State officials explained that the road did not have working traffic lights or signs because it was under construction.

In addition to 18-wheelers and large buses, many other vehicles pose a serious danger to other motorists. Many truck accidents involve dump trucks, tanker trucks, livestock carriers, moving vehicles, and garbage trucks. Moreover, with the overwhelming increase in online ordering and demand for prompt delivery, accidents involving mail delivery trucks have been on the rise. Similarly, emergency responder vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances pose a risk to drivers, as they are generally rushing to their destination.

April is distracted driving awareness month—meaning more than ever, drivers should keep their eyes on the road, focus on driving, and put their phones and devices away while on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019. Unfortunately, no matter how proactive and alert we are on the road, sometimes others aren’t—and when accidents take place as a result of careless distracted driving and cause injuries, those who are responsible must be held accountable.

According to a recent news report, a local bus crash caused by distracted driving left six students and a bus driver injured. There were 24 students on board when the bus stopped at a railroad track, as required by law, and a utility van rear-ended the bus. The students and driver were transferred to a local hospital following the accident, while the remaining passengers were transported by a separate bus back to school. According to the local sheriff’s office, the driver of the van was cited for failure to use care while driving.

As a Maryland driver, the law requires you to exercise reasonable care while driving your vehicle, but also for you to consider every vehicle within a foreseeable “zone of danger” and to other drivers, pedestrians, and passengers. Drivers are expected to drive at a reasonable speed considering how much traffic is on the road and to adjust their driving based on weather conditions. For example, a driver could potentially be liable for an accident for failing to use due care while driving the speed limit during poor weather conditions.

One of the best things about traveling via train or bus is having someone else drive and operate the vehicle while the passengers relax, read, sleep, or even get some work done. For this reason, many Maryland residents may rely on these modes of transportation weekly or even daily, to travel within and outside of the state or to get to work. But while the flexibility and ease of these forms of transportation are nice, passengers should remember that there is still the risk of a Maryland traffic accident. And when a bus or a train hits a truck, the accident can be catastrophic and maybe even fatal.

For example, take a recent truck accident involving an Amtrak train. According to a news report covering the crash, the accident happened around 4:30 PM one afternoon when a truck stopped inexplicably on the train tracks. Amtrak crew members aboard the train told investigators that as the train approached the truck, they blew the horn several times. The train was traveling at high speed, and unable to stop, so it hit the truck, causing a significant crash. The driver of the truck was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation is ongoing, and at this point, it is not clear why the truck driver did not move off of the tracks to avoid getting hit by the train.

It’s not clear from the news report how many others were injured, but in such a serious crash, there is clear potential to cause harm to the train passengers as well as the truck driver. Injured passengers in situations such as this one—in which the train or bus they are riding crashes into a truck—may not think that they have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit and may believe that the train or bus company is the one to handle that. But Maryland state law makes clear that anyone injured in Maryland truck accidents can file a personal injury lawsuit to try and recover for their accidents.

When most people think of filing a lawsuit after a Maryland bus accident, they usually picture that they will just be suing one person—whoever caused the accident. While this is true in some cases, there may be some other cases where it actually makes sense to sue more than just that person. For example, the agency, organization, or company that employed the negligent driver. For instance, negligent bus and truck drivers are often not driving their own vehicle on their own time, but instead are driving an employer’s vehicle as part of their job. In Maryland truck and bus accident cases, it is important to remember this option for suing a negligent party’s employer because often they may be able to pay more in damages than the negligent driver, meaning that Maryland plaintiffs may have more of an opportunity to fully recover for their injuries.

For a recent, high-profile example of when a plaintiff may consider bringing a lawsuit against both an employee and their employer, take a recent crash that made national headlines. According to NBC News, the crash occurred around 12:20 PM one afternoon when a tour bus carrying 48 people was driving to the Grand Canyon rolled and landed on its side. It is not clear what caused the accident, and it remains under investigation. However, what is clear is that one person was tragically killed as a result. Additionally, immediately after the accident, two others were in critical condition, and seven others were injured, such that they had to be taken to the hospital. An additional thirty-three people on the bus had minor injuries not requiring hospitalization.

While it’s not known at this time whether or not there will be litigation resulting from this injury, the accident sheds light onto an important aspect in Maryland truck and bus cases—holding employers liable for their employees’ actions. Maryland state law allows those injured in these circumstances to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver and their employer. So, if the employee was somehow responsible for the crash—if the bus driver was texting while driving, for example—then the driver and their employer may both have to pay the plaintiffs for their injuries. Often, the employer is better able to afford these lawsuits, meaning plaintiffs may have an easier time obtaining full recovery when they include an employer in their suit.

Although public transportation is generally safe, accidents do occur. They can occur on buses, trains, and other forms of transportation. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is the 13th largest public rapid transit system in the country, with buses, trains, and metro service. In the event of a Maryland public transportation accident, there are generally multiple people involved and often multiple responsible parties. In the case of public transportation, such as a city bus or train, injured victims may also run into the issue of immunity. Cities often have immunity from lawsuits unless the legal claim meets an exception. In addition, in cases involving cities, parties may have to act fast and file a notice of the claim to the appropriate authority within a certain period of time. Needless to say, Maryland public transit accident cases can be exceedingly complex.

If you have been injured in a Maryland public transportation accident, the first thing is to seek medical attention if you are injured. Injuries may also manifest after some time so it is good to get evaluated by a doctor after an accident even if you feel fine. Once you are safe and able to do so, if possible, it is important to document the scene, as well as your injuries and property damages. It is also important to get the names and contact information of involved parties as well as witnesses at the scene who may be able to testify in support of your case. Getting insurance and policy information from involved parties is also a good idea. You may need to file a claim with the insurance company before you can file in court.

Public Bus Accident Leaves Many Injured

Public transportation is becoming more and more popular for Maryland residents. Buses and trains offer many benefits—they are cost-efficient, environmentally friendly, and lessen the stress some may feel navigating Maryland highways. These forms of transportation are typically safe for passengers, but like any means of transportation, there are risks involved, and these vehicles do occasionally get involved in Maryland traffic accidents. Some passengers may find themselves injured after riding on a bus or train and may be wondering if there is any path to recovery.

For instance, take a recent accident from mid-August. According to a local news report covering the incident, a man in his early 60s was exiting the back of the bus when the door closed on his arm. As a result of his arm being stuck in the door, he fell to the ground, suffering a hip injury. Fortunately, the injury was not life-threatening, but hip injuries can be quite costly, painful, and inconvenient at that stage of life.

Following incidents such as this one, it is important for Maryland residents to know that they may have a path to recovery. Maryland state law was developed to provide those injured by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or mistakes the option to file a personal injury lawsuit. Typically, these lawsuits must prove four things: 1.) the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, 2.) the defendant breached that duty of care through a specific act or an omission, 3.) the defendant’s breach caused the injury or incident, and 4.) the plaintiff suffered real harm as a result.

Summer is a popular time for people to get out of the state and take a vacation, either on their own or with their families. While vacations are meant to be relaxing and idyllic, it is important to remember that they, unfortunately, are not immune from the hazards of everyday life, including Maryland bus and truck accidents. Many vacationers will find themselves on a bus to get to their final destination, or as part of a tourist activity. However, a recent bus accident is a sobering reminder that accidents can happen, even during vacations.

The New York Times reported on the recent tragic accident, which took place in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada, just last month. A tour bus in Jasper National Park was specifically designed to carry visitors onto one of the continent’s largest glaciers. The bus was equipped with oversized tires for driving on ice and was climbing a rocky, steep road up to the Columbia Icefields when it rolled and plunged down an embankment. Emergency workers responded quickly, using helicopters and air and road ambulances to transfer the injured. In all, 27 people were on board, and 3 were tragically killed. In addition, 14 people were taken to nearby hospitals in critical, life-threatening condition, meaning there may, unfortunately, be more deaths resulting from this tragedy.

Those injured, and the family members of those who were tragically killed, may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the tour bus driver, or the vehicle manufacturer, or even the state park. Personal injury lawsuits can be incredibly complicated to pursue, even in the most straightforward of circumstances, and they become even more complicated in situations such as this one. For example, it is not clear what caused the accident, or whose fault it was. Additionally, it is common for agencies and organizations serving tourists to ask them to sign liability waivers. It could very well be that every visitor to the park, or at least those who get on the glacier tour bus, signed a waiver agreeing to waive all liability for any incidents that occurred. Sometimes these waivers are not enforceable, but it is difficult to know that ahead of time. Additionally, even if an individual does have the ability to file a suit, questions can arise about where to file suit—the plaintiff’s home state or where the accident took place? Because there are so many factors that go into these personal injury lawsuits, and because they can be incredibly confusing, Maryland plaintiffs who are injured whilst on vacation should contact a dedicated personal injury lawyer right away who can help them through the process.

Public transit is becoming increasingly popular in Maryland and across the United States. Public transportation options such as buses, trains, and subways allow people to travel relatively quickly and inexpensively, and is better for the environment than driving an individual car. However, just like any form of transportation, accidents can occur on public transit, and can lead to severe injuries or even death. In some cases, Maryland public transit accidents may be even more dangerous, because of the number of people in a vehicle.

For example, recently a bus crash made headlines when multiple people were injured. According to a local news report covering the collision, a bus was driving along its normal route when a tow truck driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle. The bus driver swerved out of the way to avoid an accident with the tow truck, but in doing so caused the bus to crash into a building. Fortunately, no one was killed, but six individuals were injured and had to be hospitalized after the crash.

The crash illustrates that no vehicle is immune from getting into a Maryland traffic accident. In the aftermath of an accident such as the one above, it can be difficult for injury victims to understand how the accident occurred, who is at fault, and whether or not they have a path to recovery.

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