Some of the most enjoyable activities are those you can access by tour bus. A tour bus not only relieves you of the stress of traffic, dealing with parking and finding your way, it can also allow you more time to relax and enjoy the companionship of your fellow travelers without having to limit the amount of fun you can have for fear of driving fatigued or after consuming alcohol.
Whether you join a tour to one of the nearby vineyards or breweries in Texas, take a trip to the casinos or rent a party bus for a special occasion, you want to have confidence that your trip will be carefree and safe. However, if this is not the case, whom can you hold responsible?
Who is accountable?
Texas and federal laws govern the use of common carriers, which are any vehicle used to transport goods or people from one destination to another. Your tour bus is a common carrier, as is your child's school bus, a taxi cab, airplanes and many trucks. If you were injured in an accident on the tour bus, it may have been for reasons similar to those that would cause an accident with any other vehicle. Some of the entities that may be liable for your injuries include:
- The company that owns the bus if it fails to maintain its fleet, hire qualified drivers and meet other reasonable standards of care
- The touring company if they failed to adequately investigate the record of accidents or violations the bus company may have had
- The tour destination if their negligence contributed to conditions that resulted in the accident
The most common factor in tour bus accidents, however, is the bus driver. A driver entrusted with your life and perhaps dozens of other lives is expected to exercise extreme caution in obeying the rules of the road and maintaining control of the vehicle. A driver who fails to get adequate rest or who consumes alcohol before getting behind the wheel may face the tragic consequences of an accident that leaves people suffering with injuries or families mourning the lives of their loved ones.
Even if the bus driver is clearly negligent, part of the blame may fall back on the bus company if they were aware of the driver's history or other factors that made the driver unfit to operate a common carrier. Determining the liability of all those involved may be a complex undertaking but one that is crucial to seeking the maximum compensation possible.