Life Threatening Head Injuries Follow Horrific Bus Crash Reports Austin Personal Injury Lawyer
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 1, 2011 – A charter bus rolled over in Austin, with early reports indicating all passengers onboard are injured and may have catastrophic head injuries.
“Brain injuries are one of the worst personal injuries a victim can sustain as the result of an accident,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P. “Often they are life-altering and the person’s life will never be the same again. In this case, it all happened in the blink of an eye. One minute the bus was on the road, and the next minute, it rolled and flipped over on its side.”
The bus, owned by charter outfit Mares Tours, was on its way to Dallas when it rolled. Reports from the scene of the accident suggest that the bus left the highway, overcorrected, rolled and landed heavily on its side. The scene will be complicated to process, and many of the passengers have a claim against the bus company for the negligence of the driver in over-correcting. The real question will be what caused the bus to drift off the highway, resulting in the driver frantically over-correcting.
A crash like this is not like a car wreck case. It is a commercial case, meaning there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration. For example, the defendants in a case like this would involve the driver, the owner of the bus, the tour operator (if they were not the owner of the bus) and several insurance companies.
“What caused this crash? That’s an unanswered question for now, but the reason the bus left the road is a critical fact that victims will need to know to file a personal injury lawsuit. One likely factor is fatigue. This accident happened at 4 a.m. It’s not too much of a stretch to suspect the driver drifted off to sleep at the wheel. In fact, this is one of the biggest factors in truck and bus wrecks,” Schuelke said.
“The next questions will be if the company did anything to contribute to driver fatigue, like over schedule him? Did they tell him he could not have his required breaks? Or did they book a driver they knew had a history of falling asleep?”
If the cause of this horrific crash was not driver fatigue, was he then driving while distracted? Texting? Talking on a cell phone? Playing a game on his phone? Sadly, truckers and bus drivers do use their cell phones to text while driving, even though they know it is not safe.
“Another possible factor is the distractions offered by various gadgets on board the bus that are designed to help a driver on the road. If he took his eyes off the highway to check one of them, it could explain this awful accident,” Schuelke said.
Time and a proper investigation will sort out the causes of this wreck. Investigators may find the driver was inexperienced, did not have enough training or had a lousy driving record. Anything is possible. “They may also discover that the bus was not outfitted with an electronic system designed to reduce the risk of rollovers – an Electronic Stability Control system. If the bus was not equipped with this, injured passengers may have additional claims for not having this safety device installed,” he said.
No matter what the bottom line is in this case, passengers will need to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Even if they have seemingly minor injuries, they have the potential to escalate into something far more serious. “For those victims with life-threatening injuries, you need to know your legal rights and how to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your medical and other accident related bills. I would be pleased to speak with you about your injuries, or about any other accident that you may have been in. It’s my job to help you get fair and equitable compensation for injuries that are the result of the negligence of others,” Schuelke said.
Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP
206 East 9th Street, Ste. 1511
Austin, TX 78701
Call (512) 476-4944
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