The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has published its preliminary findings regarding the deadly bus crash that occurred on January 5th, 2020 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Investigation Into PA Turnpike Bus Crash Continues
In the report released by the NTSB, investigators have provided the following details:
- the bus was traveling through a 70 mph zone, however, a sign prior to the curve where the accident took place indicated the speed should be dropped to 55 mph;
- there were 62 people on the bus, one 58-year-old driver and 61 passengers;
- although investigators are still trying to determine what caused the driver of the bus to lose control, it is clear that the accident began with the bus;
- the bus drifted onto the left shoulder then, when the driver tried to correct the path, veered across all lanes of traffic, hit the embankment on the other side of the highway, and rolled;
- after rolling, the bus stopped on its passenger side, stretched across all westbound lanes of traffic;
- a FedEx Ground truck, a UPS truck, a second UPS truck, and Mercedes-Benz were unable to stop in time to avoid collision with the bus.
Five people, including a 9-year-old girl, were killed in the collision. This includes the driver of the bus and two passengers and both of the UPS drivers. Another 60 were taken to the hospital with a wide variety of injuries.
The NTSB is continuing to investigate the commercial drivers involved in the accident, the condition and performance of vehicles involved, and the Turnpike’s condition, specifically relating to snow and ice.
What Are The Common Causes Of Bus Accidents?
Bus accidents occur for many reasons, the most common of which include:
- Driver Fatigue: Bus drivers have to sit for long hours and often are required to make trips in the early morning or late at night.
- Bad Weather: Buses are expected to operate all year round through all types of weather. Rain, ice, and snow can all create dangerous conditions that could cause a crash.
- Speeding: Even with proper training and licensing, many bus drivers are put under extreme pressure by their employers to ensure that stops are made on time.
- Poor Maintenance: Bus, like every other vehicle on the road, must be checked regularly to determine if any safety issues exist that cause the bus to break down.
- Driver Negligence: Despite knowing the risks, many drivers take their eyes off the road to text, talk on the phone, eat, drink, or groom. When a driver’s eyes are no longer on the road, accidents happen.
- Bus Company Negligence: Bus companies need to keep detailed records on any maintenance performed on the buses in their fleet, the hours worked by each employee, and the licensing and training provided to each employee.
- Part Defect: Manufacturers are responsible for designing and creating parts that will act as expected. Even with proper care, a defect in a part could cause it to break and result in a crash.
When a cause is determined those who were injured by the negligent party have the right to explore their legal options and may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.
What Type Of Injury Qualifies A Victim For A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Any time that an injury causes extreme financial, physical, and emotional distress, the victim can pursue legal action to fight for the compensation that will cover those losses. Common injuries that are noted in many personal injury lawsuits include:
- broken bones;
- traumatic brain injury;
- spinal cord damage;
- nerve damage;
- crush injuries.
How Much Is An Auto Accident Lawsuit Worth?
Whenever a plaintiff is awarded compensation through a successful auto accident verdict or through a settlement, that amount is intended to cover all of their losses. Since no two people will have the exact same losses, the amount obtained will vary from case to case. The experienced attorneys at Schuster Law can review a case and discuss how much a case may be worth.
The Bus Company Has Offered A Settlement – Should I Take It?
It doesn’t matter if it’s the insurance company, the bus company, or another negligent party, if you are offered a check or asked to sign paperwork, don’t do so until you’ve had your attorney review it. You could be signing away your legal rights or accepting payment for much less than what you both need and deserve.
Schuster Law provides free consultations for bus, truck, and car accident victims. Call today to learn more about the legal process and how our legal team can help.