Recent Texas Church Bus Crash Highlights Dangers of Texting, Medication on the Road
At the end of March, 2017, 13 people were killed in a bus accident involving a pickup truck driver who crossed into the opposite lane of travel on I-83. The 20-year-old driver of the pickup truck collided head-on with a church bus, and allegedly admitted to texting and driving. Police say they also found prescription drugs and marijuana in his car. Moreover, before he crossed the grass median and collided with the bus, at least three eyewitnesses reported to 911 that the pickup was driving erratically and repeatedly leaving the road surface.
When something like this happens, it is a terrible tragedy. If you have been in a bus accident, or were the victim of a distracted or drugged driver, talk to our Dallas personal injury attorney. A wrongful death in a car accident is heart breaking. If you lost a loved one in an accident, you might also have a strong case for compensation. The Dallas car accident attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm might be able to help you with your case.
Bus and Van Accidents
The bus involved in this accident appears to have been a converted van used as a bus for a church. While many buses take the passengers’ safety as a strong concern, this is not always the case. Many large buses, like those used by city transportation authorities, do not have seatbelts for their riders. At low speeds, this may not be a concern, but when a bus suddenly stops or is struck when traveling at speed, the passengers can be thrown around the vehicle.
In larger charter busses, like those used by interstate bus companies, the passengers may have seatbelts and individual seats. Sometimes, especially on long trips, these buses are less than ideal for safety. Bus drivers may be distracted or tired during long trips, leading to crashes. In accidents caused by bus drivers, the bus company can often be held liable for injuries or deaths – for both passengers and the occupants of other vehicles.
It is unclear whether this “bus” was a true bus, or whether it was a modified van. Many vans are designed on pickup truck frames, and are good at carrying cargo that is positioned low and flat in the vehicle. Fifteen-person passenger vans, on the other hand, are some of the most notoriously unsafe vehicles. Their modified frames carry the weight of up to 15 people plus their seats in a high position, over the wheels. This means that over one ton of weight can create a high rollover risk. Plus, since they have under 16 passengers, drivers are not required to have the higher training required for bus drivers’ licenses.
If any of these factors contributed to the accident, there might be other parties partly responsible for your injuries.
Distracted and Drugged Driving
The pickup truck driver in this case allegedly admitted to checking a text while driving and was allegedly found with prescription drugs and marijuana in his truck. At this time, he has not been charged with any crimes for this accident, but the potential charges for distracted and drugged driving could be severe. In any case caused by drugged or distracted driving, victims and their families may be entitled to compensation.
Every driver on the road owes a duty to drive their vehicle in a reasonable manner. Causing an accident is often a breach of that duty, and could make them liable for any injuries from the accident. Taking these dangerous drivers to court may be the best way to get compensation for your injuries.
When you are injured by a drunk driver or a drugged driver, proving your case may be simplified. Because police collect evidence, perform blood tests, and may even convict the driver of the crime of DWI, these facts and evidence may simplify your case. You might be able to use police evidence, police testimony, lab results, and the evidence of the conviction to prove a personal injury case against the driver. Just because there is a criminal case does not limit your right to file a civil, personal injury lawsuit, too.
Distracted driving, like texting while driving, is also a very serious breach of a driver’s duty on the road. When texting and driving causes an accident, proof may be easy to attain. The phone itself and the phone company’s records will provide a time when the text was received, which, if it matches with the time of the accident, helps prove that the distracted driving caused the crash.
Contact Our Texas Car Accident Attorneys
If you were injured in a car accident with a drugged driver, a distracted driver, or an accident involving a bus, there may be many legal options open to you. Especially if you have lost a loved one or sustained serious injuries, you might be entitled to high compensation. Talk to the car accident and personal injury attorneys in Arlington, TX at The Queenan Law Firm today for a free consultation. Call (817) 476-1797 today.