Georgia Charter Bus Accident Injury Lawsuit Lawyers
Charter buses transport thousands of people across Georgia and throughout the United States each year. Charter buses travel about 750 million passenger miles per year in the U.S. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) touts motor coach travel as one of the safest means of transportation used in the U.S. today. However, tragedy can occur and rip the hearts of out the families of passengers involved in a charter bus accident.
The bus accident that killed 14 people in early April of 2018 in Canada is evidence of the possible devastation that is possible in a charter bus accident. The coach bus involved in the crash carried 28 people excluding the driver. The passengers were hockey players aged 16 to 21, along with their coaches and other team associates. The bus was en route to a playoff hockey game in Saskatchewan when a tractor-trailer truck collided with the bus in what authorities described as a "t-bone collision."
The crash severed the top of the bus off and flipped the tractor-trailer. Fourteen people from the bus survived the crash, although many were severely hurt. One player had a broken back and was suffering paralysis from the waist down. Others were in cervical collars and suffered numerous physical injuries. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Although there is little connection between the state of Georgia and a bus crash in Canada, the tragic story illustrates the potential for disaster one could experience in a charter bus crash. After all, statistics generated by the FMCSA and other federal agencies demonstrate that there are 17 fatal bus crashes per year in the U.S.
In the U.S. the FMCSA is the federal agency responsible for enforcing regulations designed to ensure charter bus safety. The FMCSA determined after analysis of motorcoach crashes that ten safety factors caused charter bus accidents. Some safety shortfalls are completely within the control of the bus driver. Other safety concerns involve passenger behavior. Notwithstanding, the safety of the occupants of the bus and others on the road must come first. The failure of the bus driver to put safety first endangers everyone. The factors the FMCSA found in recent accidents are:
- The FMCSA imposes strict hours of service regulations. These regulations are designed to ensure that the driver is not excessively fatigued while driving. Excessive fatigue can cause the driver to nod off while driving. Also, being too tired to drive has a deleterious effect on the driver's judgment, vision, and reaction time. Accordingly, the bus operator may not drive for more than ten hours after eight consecutive hours off or after having been on-duty for 15 or more hours.
Charter bus companies can be liable for injuries apart from the driver's negligence. The bus company must maintain buses properly. Additionally, bus companies must not retain drivers that the company knows are incapable of performing the job competently.
Motorcoach companies are known as "common carriers." Common carriers transport people or goods for compensation. As a result, common carriers owe their patrons the highest duty of care imposed by Georgia law. A failure to satisfy that lofty standard will result in legal liability attaching to the bus company for substantial damages.
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If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 37 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333