Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

Before we meet with a prospective client about their potential car accident injury case or truck accident injury case, we will have already obtained and reviewed the crash report.  We will then go through the crash report with them and identify whether the officer determined anyone was the primary cause of the accident and whether there were any contributing factors. Sometimes the investigating officer has made a definitive decision as to the primary cause. Other times we find the officer was unable to determine what was the primary cause of the accident and has provided an “either or” type answer. Ultimately, we are asked what will the insurance company or trucking company do with the officer’s findings? Unfortunately, like many answers in the law, it depends.

An Indiana Officer’s Standard Crash Report must be completed by the investigating police officer when a car accident causes an injury or death or property damage greater than $1000. The most significant portions of the crash report for personal injury cases are the check-the-box section on contributing circumstances and the section where the officer is to provide a narrative/diagram of the incident.

The check-the-box section on contributing circumstances includes a variety of options for the investigating officer to list for the “Primary Cause” and for the other vehicle(s) involved. Options for the officer include such human factors as alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, unsafe speed, failure to yield, disregarding a signal, improper turning, using a cell phone, passenger distraction and pedestrian’s actions. Options also include mechanical factors such as brake failure, accelerator failure, tire failure, and tow hitch failure. Finally, the options include environmental factors such as glare, roadway surface, severe crosswinds, roadway construction, an animal or object in the roadway, utility work, or the view was obstructed. The primary cause is the officer’s strongest suspicion as to what caused the accident. Contributing factors are other issues that may have caused or contributed to the accident.

Megabuses have become a popular mode of transportation for individuals throughout the nation including in the state of Indiana. The large buses transport many people from one location to another for a reasonable cost.

Unfortunately, as is the case with any vehicle on the road, it is possible that a megabus could be involved in a traffic accident. In the state of Indiana, four such incidents have occurred since October of last year. Two of those incidents involved the bus tipping over. The most recent incident happened earlier this month. It is currently unclear if there are similarities between the crashes.

At the time of the early morning crash a 49-year-old woman was behind the wheel of the large vehicle. According to authorities alcohol did not play a role in the crash. In addition, the driver was not charged with violating any traffic laws. Just what the cause of the crash was will likely be uncovered in the course of an investigation.

Anytime anyone is struck by a vehicle, the potential for injuries is great. When that vehicle is a bus, the injuries can be massive if not fatal. In fact, one incident recently unfolded outside of an Indiana elementary school in which a principal was fatally injured and the incident may possibly open the door to a wrongful death suit.

The accident occurred as school was being dismissed. The principal, who had been at the school for 22 years, was with students when a bus jumped a curb and came toward her and the children. The principal reportedly pushed children out of the way before she was struck.

Medics treated and rushed two children to a nearby hospital for treatment of serious injuries. Those children were said to be stable. The principal died at the scene of the incident. Police are still investigating what caused the bus to jump the curb and a fatal alcohol and crash team is involved.

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