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Assigning liability after a tour bus accident

During the summer months, it is common for residents in Massachusetts and across the nation to go on vacations and site see. In some situations, vacationers may go on guided tours at historic sites or attraction sites, which might require chartering a bus or riding on a tour bus. While this is a great way for individuals and groups of tourists to see an attraction without having to drive his or her own vehicle, riders on a tour bus face the same dangers and risks as any vehicle does on the roadways.

In the eyes of federal law and most state laws, buses are considered a common carrier whose business is to transport people or goods from one destination to another for compensation. Common carriers are required to exercise a high degree of care when it comes to the safety of its occupants. If a tour bus accident were to occur as a result of a negligent bus driver or bus company, injured victims could file an action against the negligent party.

But like other motor vehicle accidents, another driver could be at fault in the accident. While it is common to assume that the bus driver might be liable for a bus accident, a negligent or reckless driver could have collided with the bus. This would place liability on the other driver. In some matters, multiple drivers could be at fault, leading to contributory negligence.

Because liability could take several forms, investigation following a bus accident is crucial. This not only determines cause and fault but also helps victims with any actions they might seek to file. A bus accident could result in serious injuries to several passengers. Those harmed might seek compensation for his or her injuries, losses and damages and could obtain a monetary award through a personal injury claim.

Source: Findlaw, "Tour Bus Accidents and Liability," accessed June 29, 2015

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