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8 Dead In Bus Crash On I-40 In Tennessee, Several Injured Sent To Local Area Hospitals

Last Wednesday, a church bus carrying seniors back to North Carolina was tragically involved in a fatal car accident on I-40 near Knoxville. Eight people died and several others were injured.

According to an article in the Knoxville News Sentinel, the church bus was coming from a Christian festival in Gatlinburg when the front left tire blew out, causing it to cross a median and collide with a Chevy Tahoe and then a tractor-trailer. Of the eight passengers killed, six were on the bus, one in the Tahoe, and one in the tractor trailer.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville received 12 of the accident patients. The recent government shutdown affected the accident, as the The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates bus accidents, was not able to investigate the accident.

Bus accidents do not occur as frequently as other types of accidents; however, they can be more tragic and heartbreaking. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s study reported that 254 people were killed in bus accidents in 2009. All types of accidents can cause some kind of harm and grief. While there is no significant reporting of bus accidents in Tennessee, a July 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study reported that 946 people were killed in car accidents in Tennessee.

Bus accidents have the potential to be deadly claiming the lives of passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of other vehicles. Bus passengers risk being tossed around or thrown from a bus since most buses don’t have safety belts. Buses house large glass windows that can cause life threatening lacerations. The size and weight of a bus can cause a significant amount of damage to other vehicles. The center of gravity makes them peculiarly susceptible to rollovers. Bus accidents can be caused by negligent drivers, defective bus parts, or improper bus maintenance.

When someone is seriously injured or killed in an accident that was caused by another’s negligence, a victim or their family may seek compensation through a negligent driver or wrongful death lawsuit. Bus drivers or bus companies have a higher duty of care to protect the safety and lives of their passengers. Under the law, a bus is legally classified as a common carrier. Common carriers are required to exercise extreme caution since a lower amount of fault will result in legal liability.

Bus companies or their maintenance companies may be liable if they failed to adequately maintain a bus involved in an accident. According to a recent Knoxville new story, churches are under the same requirement to make annual inspections as private bus carriers. When passengers entrust their safety to a bus company while travelling, they should not have to worry about whether the bus they are on is in safe working order.

When defective products are placed into the stream of commerce and cause an unreasonable risk of harm, the manufacturer or supplier of the part may be liable for damages that resulted from the defective part. A blown tire can be the result of a defective product. A defective product on a vehicle can lead to serious injury or death, and a manufacturer or supplier may be legally liable for the damages caused by the defective products.

Bus accidents can be very traumatic experiences. Any car accident where one is severely injured or killed can be physically, emotionally, and financially difficult. An experienced accident attorney will be able to gather evidence related to the accident and can review all of the elements of your case. If you are involved in an accident, we can ensure that you do not settle for less than the compensation you deserve.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of boating accident, you may be able to pursue remedies in a civil lawsuit. Please contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. at (865) 524-5657.

Additional Resources:
Knoxville News Story

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2009 Accident Report

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2011 Study

More Blog Entries:
Tennessee Supreme Court Rules Bus Accident Victim May Pursue Injury Claim Appeal May 15, 2013, Knoxville Injury Lawyer Blog

Tennessee Boating Accident Risks Skyrocket through Summer May 29, 2013, Knoxville Injury Lawyer Blog

Tennessee School Bus Accident Injures 20 Sept. 20, 2012, Knoxville Injury Lawyer Blog

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