Representing people seriously hurt or the families of those killed in bus accidents present their own set of unique challenges, requiring experience in such cases to successfully obtain the full and fair compensation the law permits. Such accidents can involve injuries to passengers on the bus, occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash, or pedestrians struck by a bus.
Common issues that must be addressed in these cases include:
Federal regulations apply to motorcoach companies that engage in interstate commerce which generally occurs when a passenger is transported across state boundaries. Interstate motorcoach companies are required to obtain both USDOT registration and operating authority registration from the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) before transporting passengers for compensation.
Federal law also regulates the number of hours a driver can work within a given period of time. Determining an hours violation, which can be a cause of a serious bus crash due to driver fatigue, requires knowing what records a driver is required to maintain (i.e. driver’s log), as well as experience using the tools of discovery to obtain toll receipts, fuel, and food receipts, to help pinpoint the driver’s location at the times at issue.
Virginia state law also applies to buses. A Charter bus is defined by the Virginia Department of Motor vehicles as a vehicle manufactured with a minimum seating capacity of 32 passengers or more, excluding the driver. If the motor carrier is used for Interstate Commerce, the vehicle is required to have a USDOT Number. Virginia law requires that operators of a motor-coaches provide no less than $5,000,000 in bodily injury coverage.
The Washington metropolitan area and Northern Virginia are popular tourist destinations attracting tour bus operators and drivers from across the country, issues involving jurisdiction often have to be addressed and resolved, again, requiring lawyers, such as Curcio Law who are familiar and comfortable with such issues.
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