Articles Posted in Bus Accident

While many Maryland truck accident cases do not require testimony from an expert witness, some do. Typically, these are the cases that present complex issues regarding causation. When a plaintiff intends on calling an expert, it is reasonable to assume that the defense will also present their own expert. It is important that Maryland personal injury plaintiffs anticipate testimony from a defense expert.

In a recent state appellate opinion, the court discussed the permissible scope of expert witness testimony that was designated as impeachment evidence. Impeachment is a term used to describe a party’s attempt to discredit an opposing witness by showing the jury that their testimony is biased or flawed.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was arrested and placed in a county bus for transport. During the transport, the van struck a concrete barrier and the plaintiff was injured as a result. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the county. The plaintiff had been in one prior accident, and was involved in another accident after the bus accident, but before this case went to trial. The plaintiff provided notice that he was calling a medical expert.

Intoxicated driving is one of the leading causes of auto accidents. Of course, many Maryland DUI accidents are the result of drivers drinking too much alcohol or taking illegal or recreational drugs before getting behind the wheel. However, many prescription drugs impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle as much as alcohol or street drugs.

Under the law, a driver who is intoxicated by prescription drugs can still be negligent and held responsible for an accident victim’s injuries. A recent case discusses a tragic bus accident in which an intoxicated driver killed a young boy.

According to the court’s opinion, a young boy rode his bike into the street without stopping, right into the path of a school bus. The school bus had just stopped, and was proceeding to go through the intersection when the driver heard and felt the bus hit something. The driver slammed on the brakes, exited the vehicle, and learned that she struck the young boy. The boy later died from his injuries,

Bus drivers carry enormous responsibility in that they are trusted to safely transport dozens of people each time they get behind the wheel. Because of this weighty responsibility, bus drivers are classified as “commercial drivers” and must obtain a commercial driving license. And while the vast majority of bus drivers are well qualified and buses are usually relatively safe for passengers, Maryland bus accidents are not uncommon.

When it comes to determining potentially liable parties in a Maryland bus accident, the obvious place to start is with the driver. Bus drivers have a legal duty to safely operate the vehicle at all times. This duty extends not just to bus passengers, but also to other motorists on the road.

Most bus drivers work for a company, whether it be a coach business, tour company, or a government agency. In many cases, these organizations can also be liable for injuries caused by their bus drivers. Under a legal theory named vicarious liability, an injured motorist can seek to hold the employer of a negligent bus driver responsible for their injuries. The theory is premised on the idea that the employer should not be able to avoid liability when a negligent employee causes an accident while acting on behalf of his employer.

The Nation’s Capital draws millions of tourists each year. While the area benefits from the tourism revenue, tourists can also make the city, as well as the surrounding areas, feel overly crowded, especially in the summer months. In addition, the influx of tour buses creates a serious hazard for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists.

While tour buses are probably best known for causing minor annoyances, such as taking up several parking spots on already crowded streets or stopping at inconvenient locations to pick up and drop off passengers, the reality is that tour buses have the potential to cause major catastrophes. Of course, Maryland bus accidents can affect the passengers on the bus, but inattentive bus drivers also put pedestrians and other motorists at risk.

When a tour bus is involved in a serious or fatal Maryland traffic accident, those who were injured in the accident can pursue a Maryland personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties. If the accident resulted in the death, the accident victim’s family members may be entitled to compensation through a Maryland wrongful death lawsuit. Determining which parties are responsible can be tricky; however, this determination is also imperative because serious Maryland bus accidents may result in significant liability that may exceed the insurance limits of just one party. Commonly named parties include:

  • the bus driver,
  • the company that owns the bus, and
  • other motorists who may have contributed to the accident.

Of course, depending on the facts surrounding the accident, there may be additional liable parties.
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Each day, thousands of students ride Maryland school buses to and from school. For the most part, these trips are short and uneventful. However, each year there are a significant number of Maryland school bus accidents. While most of these accidents involve low speeds and do not result in serious injury to the students, that is not always the case.

Student Killed in Bus Accident on the Way Home from Championship Football Game

Earlier this month, a fatal bus accident in Arkansas claimed the life of one student and injured 45 others. According to a local news report, the accident occurred on an empty highway at around 2:40 in the morning.

Evidently, the bus was carrying a youth-football team that had played a championship game earlier that weekend. The bus departed from Dallas, Texas and was traveling back to Memphis Tennessee. After the accident, the driver of the bus told police that she lost control of the vehicle as it drifted off the side of the road. Once off the roadway, the bus rolled over onto its side. One nine-year-old boy died from the injuries he sustained in the accident, and 45 others were injured. Most of those on board the bus were children; however, there were a few adult chaperones.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case that presents an interesting issue that commonly arises in Maryland bus accident lawsuits. The case presented the court with the task of determining if the instructions given to the jury regarding the aggravation of the plaintiff’s pre-existing injuries were supported by the evidence presented at trial. Ultimately, the court concluded that there was no evidence suggesting that the defendant’s actions aggravated the plaintiff’s pre-existing condition, and thus it reversed the jury’s verdict.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was a passenger on a bus when a motorist pulled out in front of the bus, leaving the bus driver with an inadequate distance to stop. The bus collided with the vehicle, and the plaintiff was injured as a result.

The plaintiff complained of lower back pain and stiffness, which he claimed was a result of the accident. Ultimately, the plaintiff was diagnosed with disc degeneration. The plaintiff later filed a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle that pulled out in front of the bus.

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Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a car accident case discussing the admissibility of certain evidence presented by the defense. Ultimately, the court concluded that the evidence was properly excluded and affirmed the $1.2 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The case is important for Maryland public transit accident victims because it illustrates the importance of expert testimony, as well as the importance of keeping potentially harmful evidence out of the jury’s consideration.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was involved in a car accident with a public transportation vehicle. Although the damage to each vehicle was minor, the plaintiff suffered lingering injuries as a result, including bulging discs.

The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the transportation authority, arguing that the negligence of the driver caused his injuries. In its defense, the transportation authority presented the testimony of an expert witness who planned on testifying regarding the “severity of the impact.” Evidently, the expert’s area of study involved the forces that are present in car accidents and how those forces relate to commonly experienced forces someone may experience in everyday life. The expert was not to present any medical evidence or opinion.

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Earlier this week, an accident involving two semi-trucks, two buses, and several passenger cars sent 29 people to the hospital, several with serious injuries. According to a local news report, the collision occurred in the evening hours during a time when roads were slick due to the recent snowfall.

Given the magnitude of the accident, authorities have yet to determine exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the accident. Witnesses told reporters that the two semi-trucks involved in the accident were traveling at a high rate of speed, which resulted in the trucks being unable to stop in time to avoid the collision. Once the trucks crashed into the buses, other motorists nearby got involved in a chain-reaction accident, similar to many Maryland bus accidents that we have seen.

One of the buses was pushed off to the side of the road, where it teetered on the edge of an embankment. Those on board were told not to move until it was safe to do so. Accident reconstructionists surveyed the scene and its aftermath, and the accident is still under official investigation.

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The truth is that most drivers roll through the occasional stop sign. However, the fact that running a stop sign is a common occurrence among motorists does not make it acceptable. Running a stop sign is a very dangerous driving behavior. In fact, drivers who run stop signs cause approximately 700,000 accidents each year. In roughly one-third of these accidents, someone is seriously injured.

When a driver runs a stop sign and causes an accident, that driver may be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result. However, several issues can arise in a personal injury case alleging that a driver ran a stop sign. Initially, the issue of credibility may come up, meaning that unless there are independent witnesses who can testify to what happened, a driver may offer up a self-serving version of what happened in the moments leading up to the accident. With the increase in popularity of private surveillance video, there is a chance that an accident is caught on camera, but that may only be revealed through an in-depth investigation.

Another issue that may arise is the injured motorist’s own role in the accident. In Maryland, any motorist who is even the slightest bit at fault for causing an accident is not permitted to recover compensation for their injuries. This means that a defendant may be able to avoid liability completely by shifting just a small portion of the blame onto an accident victim.

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Over the past several years, technology has advanced to the point at which almost every motorist has at least one electronic gadget with them at all times. Whether it be a cell phone or a GPS system, drivers have begun to rely heavily on these external gadgets to assist them in reaching their destination. While responsible use of a GPS system or a cell-phone navigation app does not necessarily present a safety issue, the reality is that drivers are not always responsible when it comes to using these items.

When a driver’s attention is removed from the road – even for a split second – the chance of causing an accident greatly increases. Indeed, it is estimated that one in four traffic accidents are caused by texting and driving. Some studies suggest that distracted driving is even more dangerous than drunk driving.

Despite the known dangers of distracted driving, motorists continue to use their phones when behind the wheel. In Maryland, it is illegal to talk or text on the phone while driving. Motorists can only use their cell phones with approved hands-free devices. While a violation of Maryland’s texting-while-driving ban will only result in a $40 fine for a first-time offender, there may be more significant penalties if an accident is caused as a result.

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