When you’re in Las Vegas, there are all kinds of tours waiting for you. Gaming tours, sightseeing tours, and even tours to the Grand Canyon are all just a bus ride away. Tour buses are big business. But what happens when you’re in a tour bus accident? Here’s what you need to know about tour bus accidents and legal liability from our Las Vegas car accident attorneys.
Tour Bus Accident Liability
If you’re hurt in a tour bus accident, the bus company may be liable for your injuries. Because the bus driver is an employee and representative of the bus company, the bus company is liable for their actions. To win financial compensation for a bus accident, you must show how the bus company didn’t take sufficient steps for the safety of their customers. If you win your case, you may receive compensation for a range of damages that include medical bills, lost pay, property damage, physical pain, mental suffering, and emotional anguish.
Legal Standards for Tour Bus Lawsuits in Las Vegas
The companies that own and operate tour buses are in business and trying to make a profit. Because they are commercial operators, the companies have very high standards to take care of the safety of others. An injury that occurs because of the negligence of the tour bus company makes the company legally liable to the victim for their damages.
A tour bus company isn’t a direct insurer for its customers. In other words, they’re not necessarily financially on the hook for every accident that occurs. The accident must be traced to the negligence of the tour bus company. But the tour bus company has a very high legal duty to seek out dangers and resolve them before they cause an accident.
Causes of Tour Bus Accidents
There are several ways that a tour bus accident can create legal liability for the company. Here are some ways that tour bus accidents can occur:
- Overcrowding – The bus company must ensure that its tours are not overcrowded. Too many people on a tour bus can prevent seat belt use and cause jostling among passengers.
- Poor maintenance – A commercial bus company must take proper care of their fleet. When accidents occur because of poor maintenance, the bus company has a legal liability to the victims.
- Fatigued driving – Tour operators often work long days. When fatigue contributes to an accident, the bus company may owe the victims for their damages.
- Distracted driving – A tour company often requires the bus driver to also speak to the customers during the tour. They may even have to answer questions from guests as they drive. Distracted driving can contribute to an accident.
- Unqualified drivers – The company that offers the tours must hire only qualified drivers. If they don’t take the time to background check the people that they hire carefully, they may be at fault when a crash occurs.
- Aggressive driving – Drivers want to stay on schedule. They also want to give the best tour possible. Too often, the result is that drivers try to cut others off in traffic, speed, or drive recklessly.
How Do I Sue a Bus Company?
To sue a bus company, you prepare a legal complaint for compensation. The complaint must state the facts and your legal theory of the case. You file the complaint along with a summons in the appropriate court. Next, you serve a certified copy of the complaint and the summons on the bus company. To win your case, you must prove each element of your claim against the bus company.
Tour Bus Accident Liability Insurance
United States law requires tour bus companies to carry high amounts of liability insurance. Companies that offer for-hiring driving services with a vehicle that holds 16 passengers or more must have at least $5 million in liability insurance. If the largest vehicle in the fleet carries less than 16 passengers, they must have $1 million in liability insurance. Taxicabs and school districts are exempt from this requirement.
If you’re injured in a tour bus accident, the tour bus company will most likely look to their insurance to pay a judgment. If you’re hurt in a tour bus accident, it’s important to know that this insurance exists and seek information about it during the discovery process. The law that requires tour bus companies to carry high insurance policies is Licensing and Insurance Requirements for For-Hire Motor Carriers of Passengers parts 365 and 387.
Tour Bus Crash Settlement
One tour bus crash settlement is the case of a California teenager who lost his life while riding on a Starline tour bus. The teen was on the tour bus with dozens of other teenagers for a party. The children stood on the open, upper deck of the bus while it traveled under overpasses. The victim struck his head on one of the underpasses and lost his life. The teen had been drinking before the accident.
The jury found that that the tour company was 70 percent responsible for the accident. They said that the tour company should have told the teens to sit in their seats and wear seatbelts. They found the parents hosting the party 25 percent responsible for providing alcohol and failing to supervise the teens. Finally, they found the teen victim five percent responsible for choosing to drink. The jury returned a verdict of $26 million.
Contact Our Nevada Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured in a tour bus accident? Are you wondering if a Nevada tour bus company has legal liability for a crash that occurred? Our Nevada car accident attorneys are here to help. If you’re injured in a tour bus accident, you have rights. You may deserve financial compensation from the tour bus company or even from the bus manufacturer.
To receive payment, you must bring a claim. Our attorneys for tour bus accidents in Nevada can handle every part of the claim on your behalf. We offer aggressive, determined representation aimed at ensuring that you receive fair payment for your damages. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation about your case.