Taking a tour bus for a trip or a charter bus for a day-trip to the game with friends and family can be exciting. And children often count down the days until they are old enough to ride the bus to school. Whether it’s traveling to school, going to work, or taking a trip, Americans travel on school buses or mass transit buses every day.
However, when regulations and safety measures are not followed, catastrophic accidents can occur, leaving passengers injured or even dead.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), buses and motor coaches log an average of 28 billion passenger miles annually, making interstate charter bus travel the fastest-growing form of public transportation.
Bus Crash Lawyers
Our catastrophic personal injury attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources to investigate and resolve cases for people who have suffered from serious injury and wrongful death related to buses and motor coaches. Attorney Mary Schiavo, former Inspector General of the Department of Transportation, has extensive knowledge on rules and regulations, and attorney Kevin Dean has experience litigating complex cases involving transportation catastrophes.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a bus crash, you may have a potential claim. For more information, call 1.800.768.4026 or send us an email.
Representing Bus Crash Victims
Motley Rice catastrophic injury attorneys represented five people who were injured in a tragic tour bus crash in Tunica, Mississippi that claimed the lives of three women and injured forty other passengers. In August 2008, a tour bus on its way to the Tunica airport hydroplaned, fish-tailed out of control and rolled over, landing on the side of the northbound lane of Highway 61.
Among the named defendants in the lawsuit were Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.; Harrah’s Tunica Corporation; Casino Express LLC and the bus driver, as well as four other defendants who designed, manufactured, marketed and distributed the bus. The case settled in 2012.
Motley Rice also represented seven victims who were injured Dec. 26, 2010 in a bus crash near Aswan, Egypt. The bus, which was operated by Boston-based tour operator Grand Circle Travel, was carrying 37 passengers who were headed to see the Temples of Ramses at Abu Simbel when the vehicle struck a disabled dump truck on the side of the road. Eight people were immediately killed and 20 others were injured. Motley Rice filed suit in 2011 for seven of the victims. The cases were settled in 2015, roughly a month before a liability trial was scheduled to be heard in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston.
We also represented seven victims injured in connection with another bus crash that occurred Aug. 3, 2011 north of Binghamton, New York on Interstate 81 South. The passengers sustained serious injuries, including one person whose head and neck were pinned beneath the mini-tour bus through an emergency hatch when the vehicle came to a rest on its roof. The bus was owned and operated by Princeton Holdings Inc., doing business as Amerpoltours. The firm filed suit in 2012 and settlements were reached in 2015 and 2016.
We currently represent members of the U.S. Air Force who were injured in a tour bus crash near Florence, S.C., in 2013. The investigation is ongoing.
Bus Safety Concerns
According to a 2013 NHTSA report, an estimated 21 people are killed and nearly 8,000 are injured in large bus crashes each year. While NHTSA increased safety initiatives for large buses by passing a federal rule requiring all new motor coaches and some other large buses to be equipped with safety belts, the rule does not apply to school buses or public transit buses.
Based on 2009 data from the Department of Transportation, the top causes and contributing factors for motor coach crashes, fatalities and injuries include:
- Driver fatigue
- Maintenance issues
- Occupant ejection
- Vehicle rollover
Regulation for motor coaches and tour buses is split between two agencies within the U.S. Department of Transportation:
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for mandating what equipment is installed on newly-manufactured vehicles and for safety recalls.
- The FMCSA is responsible for developing and enforcing safety operational regulating for the interstate motor carrier industry including, freight carriers and passenger carriers, as well as carriers of hazardous materials.