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The Five Deadliest Bus Crashes in the U.S.

Were You Hurt in a Bus Accident? Call Us Today

If you take public transportation to work, school, or your holiday travels, you expect a safe journey. The person driving your bus should be trained and in possession of a commercial driver’s license. The vehicle itself should be well-maintained and fit for service. A lack in any of these areas can lead to catastrophe. If you have been hurt, then you have a right to compensation. You should contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney to help you build a case.

The 5 Deadliest Bus Crashes in U.S. History

Deadly bus crashes are rare, which is why we rarely hear of one. But when they do happen, they tend to shock the conscience of the public because of the lives lost. Here are some of the most horrific collisions in modern American history:

1. Mother’s Day crash in 1999

On May 10, 1999, Mother’s Day, a charter bus carrying forty-six people was on its way from New Orleans to a Mississippi casino. At some point the vehicle rolled over three lanes of traffic, smashed through a guardrail, went off the road, and crashed into an embankment.

The investigation into the crash revealed that the driver was high on Marijuana and drowsy from Benadryl. There were no serious consequences for the company aside from a hefty fine.

2. Carlton bus crash in 1998

On May 14th of this year, twenty-seven people were killed on a church bus near Carrollton, Kentucky. A Toyota pick-up truck driven by a person with a blood alcohol count of .21, double the legal limit at the time, causing a head-on collision. The crash punctured a hole in the fuel tank and a subsequent spark sent the bus up in flames.

The driver was tried, convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to 16 years in prison. The only other actions taken were reforms to make school buses safer, including the installation of multiple emergency exits and flame-retardant seats and floor coverings.

3. Prestonsburg bus crash in 1958

Twenty-seven people were killed on the 28th of February of this year. Forty-eight school kids were on board when it hit the back of a wrecker on U.S. Highway 23, which sent it over an embankment and into a river. The accident was a result neither of poor or un-sober driving nor of failed equipment. It occurred because the wrecker suddenly and unexpectedly slowed, and the bus driver had few good choices to avoid an accident.

4. Yuba High School bus crash in 1976

This tragedy was the result of equipment failure. The brakes did not work when the bus driver attempted to slow the vehicle in order to make a sharp turn. The driver turned frantically, and tipped over the rail landing, sending 29 people to their deaths.

5. Chualar bus crash in 1963

This is the deadliest bus crash in modern American history. It occurred outside of Chualar in Salinas Valley, California. A makeshift bus was carrying 53 farm workers, who were brought in to harvest crops, when the driver drove across a train track—right in the path of an approaching train. Thirty-two people were killed.

At the time, there were no crossing gates or warning lights. A subsequent investigation revealed that the driver was at fault. He apparently did not notice the oncoming train.

Your Rights

Less serious bus accidents occur all the time. Even if an accident has not taken your life, it can leave you seriously injured. If the crash was severe enough to send you to the hospital and force you to undergo extensive and invasive medical treatment, you are well within your rights to make a claim against the company.

You will have medical bills, which will include the ambulance ride to the hospital, the cost of the treatment, the medications that you will need to take, and the rehabilitation that you will need to go through.

You will also have to contend with being out of work while you are not well. This can lead to a financial catastrophe. When you are ready to go back to work, you may not need to cut back your hours. A permanent disability will put you at an even greater disadvantage.

Fortunately, tort and civil law have advanced considerably since many of the accidents described above. If you have been injured in a bus crash, it is much easier to pursue a successful lawsuit against a bus company that has been found responsible for the crash. An experienced and dedicated lawyer can help.

The Law is on Your Side

If you have been injured in a bus accident, you should know that the law is on your side. California makes it easy for accident victims to get their own back.

Law firms that specialize in public transportation cases can build a case that proves that the bus company was at-fault for the accident and that it is liable for the injuries you have sustained. Your Los Angeles bus crash lawyer will put together the facts needed to demonstrate the validity of your claim.

Well-established law firms have access to the kind of people and resources that are required to get you an adequate settlement. The firm you work with will employ an investigation team that will gather the statements of the other accident victims, look into the background of the driver, and gather other information and evidence that will strengthen your case. Your lawyer will also bring in an accident reconstruction expert who will develop a computer simulation of the crash based on the evidence.

Your lawyer will also speak to your physician and review your medical records to determine your prognosis. They will speak to your family members to better understand how the accident and your injuries have affected them. All this will be done to make the strongest case possible for a high settlement.

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