Recently, our Illinois trucking accident blog reported a devastatingly fatal bus accident that resulted in four fatalities and over 50 injuries. The accident in question, which transpired on May 31, 2011, resulted in criminal charges against the bus driver, as well as, the bus’s dispatcher for involuntary manslaughter.
It was reported that the bus dispatcher ordered the driver to drive on the day of the accident even though the driver insisted that he was too tried to drive – ultimately resulting in the bus driver falling asleep behind the wheel shortly before the fatal accident. The bus driver was arrested shortly after the fatal crash, while the bus dispatcher’s arrest was delayed due to the inability of authorities to identify and subsequently locate him.
In an updated news report, posted on TimesDispatch.com, our Chicago trucking accident lawyers learned that a passenger who was aboard the bus on the day of the tragic accident has filed a negligence lawsuit against the bus driver, as well as, the bus company. The civil claim marks the first in a series of lawsuits that will be filed against the company for the crash.
According to court papers, the plaintiff asserts that she suffered serious injuries, as well as, significant emotional and mental distress as a direct result of the accident. Additionally, the plaintiff contends that she has been permanently impaired and has “experienced and will in the future experience anguish, suffering, inconvenience, and pain.”
The negligence lawsuit’s three count complaint asserts that the bus driver’s companies allowed the bus driver to drive an overnight trip the night before the accident and did not allow the driver adequate rest. It is held that the bus driver violated state law by operating more than 13 hours in a 24-hour period, as well as, operating a commercial bus recklessly. The woman seeks compensation for damages totaling $500,000.
Shortly after the fatal accident, our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that federal motor carrier regulators shut down the bus company. The United States Department of Transportation’s secretary released a statement in response to the accident and held that the bus company should have been shut down much earlier given the company’s numerous violations.
Complex commercial vehicle accidents, such as this one, require experienced, as well as, knowledgeable legal aid. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident or have lost a loved one, please contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer to see what legal rights, relief and representation may be available to you.