Tour buses are generally a safe way to transport a large tour group. However, tour bus accidents do happen. This may lead to a lawsuit or an insurance claim. Determining liability requires the services of an experienced attorney in these types of incidents. Cases may go to court and compensation may be awarded to the plaintiff for injuries, medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. In the case of a fatality, a wrongful death claim may be instituted to claim compensation for the surviving family members.
A tour bus falls under the category of ‘bus as common carrier’. This is according to federal law and is also applicable in most states. Common carriers are defined by their job to carry goods and people in return for a fee. Common carriers include:
- Tour buses
- Charter and commercial buses
- Some trucks
- Public-school buses
- Private buses
- Commercial airliners
- Cruise ships
A duty of care is the legal requirement to ensure the safety of passengers, and it applies to bus drivers, such as tour bus drivers. Harm must be averted by using all measures of reasonable care to protect passenger safety. When a common carrier gets taken to court, it is usually for being negligent or, sometimes, for committing willful acts that imperiled passengers and other road users, such as cars on the road, or even pedestrians.
Courts determine liability using a standard of reasonableness. If a proper duty of care was not exercised, the common carrier may be charged for negligence and have to pay all the plaintiff’s costs and losses. An example of negligence is operating a tour bus without wearing glasses when the driver is nearsighted. The condition of the road can play a role in accidents. However, accidents are commonly caused by carrying out risky maneuvers, not abiding by the traffic laws, and failing to stop safely for passengers to embark or disembark. Of course, there are many cases where another driver is responsible for the accident, such as by driving under the influence of alcohol.
Liability for Tour Bus Accidents
The liability for tour bus accidents can be difficult to determine initially. More than one party may be held liable on the grounds of contributory negligence. Parties who may be considered are:
- The tour company if they failed to hire a bus company with a good safety record.
- The bus company if it has not maintained and serviced its vehicles or allowed an unsafe bus out on the roads, or potentially the company and a negligent driver.
- The manufacturer of the bus if a malfunction occurs.
- The owner of a venue where an accident occurs due to unsafe conditions, e.g., oil spillage.
Hiring an Attorney
If you are involved in a tour bus accident, contact us at Binder Law Group, LA. These incidents can cause serious injuries that you deserve to be compensated for. The layperson does not have the experience to handle such claims.
Visit our offices at: 16633 Ventura Blvd. #602 Encino, CA 91436.
Call now for a free consultation on (818) 659-8588.