Witness testimony against bus driver results in $15M verdict
Passengers injured while riding commercial transportation have a right to file a legal action for compensation. Surviving family members can also recover from their loss of a loved one.
A jury trial generally reveals whether a commercial driver operated a vehicle negligently or with carelessness. To prove a vehicle operator caused a crash, parties who suffered injuries may need to present their evidence in court.
Testimony provided under oath may describe the events leading to an accident. Aggrieved parties detailing how the accident affected their families could help compel a jury to award damages over the loss of a loved one.
Expect an aggressive defense from a commercial transportation company
When a company owns the vehicle involved in an accident, injured parties may hold both the company and the employee operator responsible for expenses, including funeral costs and loss of wages. Companies, however, typically have an abundance of resources and can hire legal teams to fight claims of a negligent or reckless driver.
In one such defense, a bus carrying at least 40 passengers slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer on a Pennsylvania highway. The impact harmed passengers and fatally ejected a 37-year-old woman from the bus.
The surviving family members of the deceased woman, as well as 21 injured passengers, filed a lawsuit against the bus company. The passengers testified in court that the bus operator fell asleep at the wheel and did not follow the company’s rule requiring drivers to take a break after 150 miles.
As reported by The Patriot-News, a jury awarded the plaintiffs $15 million in damages. The company appealed, however, claiming the tractor-trailer caused the crash. The appeals court judge rejected the argument, citing that the bus’s speed of 67 mph was higher than the state’s limit.
A lawsuit may replace an inadequate settlement offer
A transportation company may also use aggressive tactics to settle through an insurance carrier. The amount, however, may not provide sufficient compensation to cover all expenses. While it could take more time, an effective legal action may bring harmed parties the more appropriate and deserved amount of compensation.