On February 4th, a bus full of tourists was traveling down a mountain road from Big Bear, California when it slowly began to pick up speed. As the bus driver frantically pumped the brakes he made a terrifying discovery—the brakes had failed. Passengers immediately scrambled to call 911, teenage girls shrieked, and families cried and prayed. Suddenly, the bus rear-ended a Saturn sedan, flipped and slid down the road, and tossed passengers out of shattered windows. The scene looked like something straight out of an action movie, but to the passengers inside, it was all very real.
“Everything happened so fast. When the bus spun, everything flew, even the people.” — Gerardo Barrientos, passenger
When the bus wreckage was cleared, seven people were dead and 17 others were hospitalized in one of the worst bus accidents in recent months. Investigators quickly pointed fingers at the bus company, Scapadas Magicas LLC of National City, California whose record is less than perfect. In fact, their safety record recorded 22 safety violations in inspections in the last year—including brake, windshield, and tire problems. Even though the bus company recently received a “satisfactory” rating from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, their bus maintenance record is under scrutiny. At the moment, the National Transportation Safety Board has sent a special team to help investigators determine whether mechanical failure or driver error caused the grizzly bus accident.
In 2008 alone, over 24,000 people were injured in bus accidents across the United States according to statistics from the FMCSA. Even though safety experts and the FMCSA have focused their efforts on improving the safety standards of buses, injuries and fatalities still occur at an alarming rate. Bus accidents can be influenced by a number of factors including driver error, negligence of other drivers, weather conditions, poor road surfaces, and bus company negligence. A bus company in particular has a responsibility to ensure that their buses are adequately and properly maintained and that all safety inspections are performed. Improperly maintained buses can cause serious catastrophic accidents, such as the one that occurred in Big Bear earlier this month.
Washington Bus Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in a bus accident, it is important to understand all of your legal rights. At Phillips Law Firm, our bus accident attorneys are skilled in obtaining the maximum compensation for all of our clients. If your bus accident was caused by the driver error or bus company negligence, we will work diligently to help you file a lawsuit against the responsible party. We represent injured clients in Seattle and throughout the State of Washington. Call us today at 1-800-708-6000.