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First claim filed in deadly charter bus accident

The first lawsuit regarding a deadly charter bus accident in March 2018 has just been filed.

The accident, which took place in Alabama, involved a charter bus company that had suffered four other crashes in two years and had been previously cited due to unsafe driving practices -- once in Texas and once in Louisiana.

The bus involved in the accident went over a guardrail and into a deep ravine, plunging dozens of feet in the dark. Several adults and over 40 teenagers, mostly members of a high school group, were inside.

The bus driver was reportedly killed from the trauma he suffered in the fall. It's uncertain if the bus driver had any health issues that might have contributed to the accident or not. It's suspected, however, that the bus was traveling at too high of a speed for the road at the time of the accident. When the company was cited in Texas, the driver was traveling at least 11 miles over the posted speed limit.

This first lawsuit, which asks for $1 million in compensation, was filed by the mother of one of the injured students on behalf of her son. The defendants in the lawsuit include both the bus company itself and the driver's estate. The teenager suffered a serious "scalping injury" to his head and now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Under the law, tour buses are "common carriers" in the business of transporting people around the country. Similar to airplanes and taxis, bus companies owe passengers a very high duty of care. Any failure to act with the utmost regard for a passenger's safety -- including speeding -- is considered a negligent act that confers liability for any injuries or damages.

Personal injury claims involving bus accidents can be complex. Since the investigation into the accident is still ongoing, it's important for a lawsuit to consider all potential defendants. In this case, that means including the driver's estate. There may be money in the estate that can go to pay part of the damages the victims suffered from the accident. Damages are likely to be extensive -- especially as more victims file.

Source: www.chron.com, "Lawsuit filed in fatal crash that injured Channelview ISD band students," accessed April 20, 2018

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