It’s Not Just Cars That Cause Injuries On The Road
When people think about auto accidents on the road, it’s normal for thoughts to turn to collisions between two drivers in two different cars. But of course, there are many more vehicles on the road than just cars, which is why there are different legal specialties in auto accidents for things as specific as motorcycle accidents and even confrontations with trucks , or even vehicles carrying oversized loads like mobile homes.
One of the other accidents that people must sometimes contend with can be far more serious, not just because of the size of the vehicle, but because of the number of potential victims that may be involved. It’s one thing when a driver, in a moment of inattentiveness, loses control and collides with another driver in another car. It’s quite another thing, however, when an accident occurs with public transportation, such as a bus, that is carrying many, many times more passengers.
A Serious Miscalculation
In the capital city of Canada, Ottawa, a tragic accident with a bus occurred when a serious lapse in driver error caused a major tragedy for the passengers. A double-decker bus, that is a public bus with a second floor for additional passengers, drove through an overhang that the bus was too tall to pass under safely. The passengers on the second floor were, tragically, unable to avoid being hit by the overhang.
Three people died as a result, with numerous additional injuries, including one woman who’s legs were so badly damaged that she required amputations above the knee. As a survivor of the accident, she has enacted a lawsuit for CAD$19 million. Others, especially surviving family members of the three passengers that lost their lives in the accident, are taking similar actions.
Negligence Has A Cost
In a case like the above, the injuries sustained by the passengers are not their fault. None of them were at the wheel of the bus; they weren’t distracting the bus driver by running up and down or performing acts of harassment. They were victims of a moment of inattentiveness, forgetfulness, or, in the worst-case scenario, extremely poor judgment.
As a result, it’s no wonder that lawsuits for negligence are being carried out. When a life is irreparably altered by the negligence of someone else, at best, it can result in injuries that might be fully recovered from. In more serious cases, it may result in a permanent injury with permanent side-effects, such as the woman in the story above who must now undergo physiotherapy and be fitted for prosthetics, and/or start using a wheelchair. At the absolute worst, lives are lost, throwing a family in turmoil with both the emotional loss and the very real financial consequences of a breadwinner suddenly removed from the family financial equation.
There Is A Legal Alternative
While negligence that results in injury is against the law, in most cases, it is not considered a criminal offense, and thus not subject to a criminal trial. There are some exceptions to this, such as drunk driving being classed as a criminal act. But in most cases, such as premises liability or car accidents that don’t involve an intoxicated state, the law can only punish the people responsible financially.
For people who are injured, this is a more productive alternative. After all, if someone is injured and the person responsible faces only criminal punishment, this means the party that has caused this is incarcerated, while the victims are left to fend for themselves and manage their recovery.
However, with a lawsuit or out of court settlement, the financial burdens that have a suddenly entered the picture are taken care of not by the victims but the party responsible. This is why it’s important to talk to an auto accident lawyer in such a situation.