Greyhound Bus Accident in Florida Results in Two Fatalities
A recent vehicle crash near the state borders of Georgia and Florida left two dead, as a driver traveled down the highway in the wrong direction. According to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, an Atlanta-based Greyhound bus was traveling on I-75 in Hamilton County, Georgia when the driver came upon a 1984 Century traveling against traffic on the highway. The car missed the bus, instead crashing into a Ford Expedition that was traveling in an adjacent lane. However, in an effort to avoid the wrong way driver, the bus driver and the operators of two other cars swerved into other highway lanes. One witness reportedly described the scene as a mess, stating “vehicles were striking other vehicles or they were getting struck by debris.”
The Greyhound bus driver escaped without injuries. However, of the 42 passengers on the bus, 13 were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries. One of the accident vehicles was carrying five children, but reports state that none of them were injured by the crash. Authorities are not yet stating whether alcohol consumption contributed to the accident, but news reports state that the wrong way driver is 91 years old.
Bus Accident Liability
Incidents like this exemplify the complex issue of liability in Florida bus accidents. The driver is only one piece of the puzzle and blame rarely lies solely with the operator. When driver negligence or conduct contributes to an accident, the bus company also bears some responsibility as the employer. Investigations may uncover flaws in the company’s operator hiring practices or unsafe scheduling of bus routes. Generally, in a Florida bus accident, the owner company will likely face some liability.
A bus liability case may also include the vehicle manufacturing company. A poor design or improper manufacturing may have contributed to the accident itself or these problems may have led to more serious injuries than what would reasonably occur. With regular maintenance schedules, there may be an automotive repair company involved in the investigation, particularly if the repairs were done just prior to the accident.
Lastly, as in this incident, the actions of other drivers on the street are also at issue when determining liability. The actions of the wrong way driver, as well as other drivers near the bus, may have contributed to this accident and the seriousness of resulting injuries.
Comparative Negligence in Florida Law
When there are numerous parties contributing to an accident, determining liability can be a chore. Section 768.81 of the Florida Code states, “Any contributory fault chargeable to claimant diminishes proportionately the amount awarded as economic or uneconomic damages.”
This means that Florida courts follow a pure comparative negligence standard. Even if a party’s action contributed to an accident, he or she can still pursue a personal injury claim. The court reviews all of the case facts and determines what percentage of fault belongs to the party. Then, the awarded damages are reduced by the percentage of fault. It can be a difficult concept to understand, but an experienced Florida bus accident lawyer or Miami personal injury lawyer can successfully guide you through this challenging process.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, contact the Miami based legal team of Pita and Del Prado for knowledgeable and skillful representation. Call the office today at 305-670-2889 for a free consultation.