Many Reno residents were horrified recently by news reports about a fiery crash between a FedEx truck and a chartered bus full of high school students. Ten people died in the accident, five of them young students on their way to a college visit at Humboldt State University in California.
Now, the family of one of the students killed in the tragic accident has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against FedEx. The family argues that negligent truck maintenance was behind the crash. The lawsuit claims that FedEx trucks had a history of catching on fire and that FedEx failed to address the problem. Witnesses said the FedEx truck was on fire before it jumped a median and crashed into the bus.
The bus company and the estate of the FedEx truck driver are also named as defendants in the lawsuit. The family seeks $100 million in damages.
Lawsuits involving truck accidents raise some legal issues that are unlikely to come up in lawsuits involving accidents between two cars. Nevada law provides that those who have been injured by another driver’s negligence may be compensated for medical expenses and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit. In the case of a fatal accident, the family of the victim may be compensated through a wrongful death lawsuit.
The difference in a truck accident is that parties other than the negligent driver may be held liable for damages. In some cases, the trucking company may be held liable simply because the driver was working as an agent of the company at the time of the accident. In other cases, the trucking company may be held liable because it was negligent in maintaining its vehicles, or because it violated federal trucking safety regulations.
A Reno attorney with experience in truck accident lawsuits can help the injured or their families to understand how the laws may apply to their unique set of circumstances. The injuries and the monetary damages from a truck accident are likely to be severe, and a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can help the injured or their families to cope with the aftermath of a terrible accident.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Mother of student who died in fatal bus crash sues for $100 million,” Christine Mai-Duc, April 23, 2014