Recently in Tour Bus Crash Category

April 23, 2013

Ride-On Bus Crash On Rockville Pike---Make sure you put Montgomery County on Notice!

Although nothing in this post creates an attorney client relationship, here is some free advice to anyone injured in the Ride-On Bus Crash on Rockville Pike and Nicholson Avenue in Rockville, Maryland on April 22, 2013: Make sure you consult with an attorney and put Montgomery County on "Notice" of your claim as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer can be helpful in making sure this is done correctly. Ride On Crash 4.22.13.jpgOur law firm is handling claims arising from this bus accident and our preliminary opinion is that the crash was the result of the negligence of the bus operator and/or other employees of Ride-On (possible brake failure/negligent maintenance claims).

Call us at 301-589-2999 for a free personal injury consultation.

Ride-On is owned by Montgomery County Maryland. Therefore, injury claims against Ride On (or the bus operator) will fall under the Maryland Local Government Tort Claims Act which requires that proper notice be sent to the Montgomery County Executive by certified mail within 180 days of the bus crash.

Those injured in the crash should also notify their own automobile insurance company of the incident as there is a cap on claims under the Local Government Tort Claims Act of $500,000.00 per incident (for all claims) See Section 5-304 of the Maryland Local Government Tort Claims Act. . Since there were apparently about 12 vehicles involved in the collision, and likely numerous bus passengers injured as well, it is quite possible that the total value of all of the personal injury claims from the collision could exceed $500,000.00. In that case, those injured can make a claim with their own uninsured motorist carrier. Those injured in the crash should also make a claim for personal injury protection benefits (usually $2,500.00 but up to $10,000.00 in Maryland). A claim for Personal Injury Protection Benefits, also known as PIP benefits, requires that an application be filed with your own insurance company within a year of the incident. Our website has detailed information about Maryland Personal Injury Benefits and Maryland Uninsured Motorist Benefits.

Our law firm is handling claims arising from this Ride ON Bus Crash and we are happy to discuss your potential claim with you. We provide a free phone consultation, and if you hire us, there is no attorney fee or costs owed if there is no recovery in the case. You will never receive a bill from us. We only get paid if there is a recovery in the case. For more information call us at 301-589-2999 x102.

Nothing in this blog post creates an attorney client relationship. Our firm cannot and does not represent you in your particular claim unless and until a retainer agreement is signed with our law firm.

December 30, 2011

Metrobus Crash on Rockville Pike

metrobus-crash-closeup_296.jpgOn Wednesday December 28, 2011 there was a terrible car accident involving a WMATA Metrobus driven by Lenitta Bryant, a resident of Silver Spring. The driver of the pickup truck--Nkonou Ayaovi Edorh-a resident of Silver Spring, MD was tragically killed in the crash. The Washington Post reported that an accident reconstruction crew was t the scene and portions or Rockville Pike were closed until about midnight. Numerous passengers on the Metro Bus were injured and taken to the hospital.

Anytime a bus is involved in an accident, it is important to determine whether the bus or WMATA was at fault. In this case, apparently the pickup truck crossed the median and struck the bus causing the bus to run off of the roadway. At first glance, it seems that the pick-up driver was at fault for this incident. If that is the case, and the pick-up driver is the only at fault responsible party, then many of those injured will likely not be compensated for their injuries if they do not have uninsured motorist coverage (and the fact that they were bus passengers makes it likely they do not own cars and may not have UM or UIM coverage). You see, the pickup truck likely has limited insurance coverage of $100,000 or less (it could possibly be more). This amount is likely all that would be available to those injured and/or killed in the crash. That is why it is very important that an expert in car accidents determine whether WMATA and/or the Metro Bus Operator was at fault for this crash. Unfortunately, WMATA Metro Busses do not carry PIP and/or Medpay and/or Uninsured Motorist Coverage for its passengers. If the passengers have private auto policies that they are covered under, they can likely make PIP/UM claims on those policies. It is important ot know that uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage applies not just to the owner of the an insured vehicle, but also typically it applies to all household relatives. The lawyers at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester are experienced at investigating serious bus accidents and can help families of those injured or killed in any bus accident determine if there may be pip or medpay coverage available.

If it is shown that WMATA and/or the bus operator was even 1% at fault then under Maryland law WMATA would be jointly and severally liable for all the damages to the passengers on the bus. Thus if any of the metro bus passengers in the crash have serious injuries it will be very important to determine what, if anything, the bus operator could have done to avoid the collision. Perhaps the bus operator could have avoided driving the bus off of the roadway. Our law firm has litigated many cases against WMATA and I can tell you that they fight hard and don't pay settlements unless is is established that they are at fault. I am sure WMATA has its own crash investigators at the scene. These internal crash investigators and accident reconstructionists can be biased in favor of WMATA. Therefore, it is important that anyone who has serious injuries from this crash hire a good personal injury law firm to help determine whether WMATA has any responsibility for this crash. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and charge a fee only if there is a successful recovery in the case.

In conclusion, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those injured and/or killed in the crash.

July 18, 2011

Bedore Tour Bus Crash in Western New York Impacts Washington DC Residents

Unfortunatley there was another terrible tour bus accident in New York this weekend that has killed and/or injured residents of the Washington, D.C. area. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those involved in the crash. The purpose of this blog post is to provide some preliminary information to the Washington, D.C. Victims of the bus crash that may be helpful. This does not create an attorney client relationship though. If you are interested in hiring a lawyer for the crash, call us at 888-213-8140 or email me at kgoldberg@gfmjustice.com. Whether victims of the crash hire our firm or another firm, I strongly suggest that the victims and families of those killed hire a lawyer promptly for this kind of serious accident case.

The Bedore tour bus was carrying passengers from Washington, DC to the Niagra Falls area of New York. Two passengers were killed and 35 other Bedore passengers suffered injuries---news groups have reported that the passengers were mostly from India. The accident happend in Steuben County, NY on Interstate 390. While the cause of the crash is still under investigation, preliminary indications are that it was caused by either a tire blow out or by the tour bus driver falling asleep (a passenger has reported that the driver fell asleep).

Our law firm has been actively involved in prosecuting and investigating the May 31 tour bus crash in Virginia. The tour bus industry is under intense scrutiny by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as there have been a huge uptick in fatal accidents on tour busses. Frankly, the tour bus industry needs to do a much better job of regulating itself, making sure that its busses are safe and properly inspected, and making sure that the drivers are not overworked and have adequate training and supervision. At first glance, it appears that the company that owned the tour bus, Bedore Tours (DOT # 16811) out of North Tonawanda, NY, has a satisfactory safety record (satisfactory as of 2/10), further investigation is necessary to confirm this. To learn more about the safety record of Bedore Tours, you can look on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Website, or click here to see the relevant reports Bedore Tours FMCSA.pdf.

Although we do not know for sure, it seems that the bus crash was likely caused by driver inexperience, the driver falling asleep at the wheel, failure of Bedore to conduct proper safety inspections and maintenance of th bus.

Public Records indicate that the Bedore Tour Bus that crashed in New York had only $5,000,000.00 in insurance coverage to cover alll claims relating to the crash. While $5 Million Dollars sounds like a lot of coverage, this is basically the minimal limits for this kind of tour bus, and unfortunately, may not be enougth to properly compesate the Washington, D.C. District of Columbia individuals and families off of those injured and/or killed in the crash. The insurance policy probably also has MedPay and/or PIP coverage that may cover up to a certain amount of medical bills and/or funeral expenses (often with this kind of insurance policy it is a low amount of Medpay Coverage---likely $2,000.00-$5,000.00 per passenger). The Washington, D.C. victims of the Bedore Tour Bus crash should notify their auto insurance carrier of the bus crash and talk to a lawyer about possibly making a claim for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in case the liability coverage on the bus/driver is not adequate to cover all losses. Also, the Washington, D.C. victims may have PIP coverage on their auto policies that may cover medical expenses but making a PIP claim in Washington, D.C. can be tricky, must be done within 60 days of the loss and you will possibly give up your right to pursue a liability claim. Victims should speak to a lawyer before making a PIP claim on any auto policy issued in the District of columbia. For more information you can call us at 888-213-8140.

Again our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those affected by this tragic accident. My advice is that anyone injured in the tour bus crash, and the families of those killed in the crash should hire a lawyer who can hold those responsible for the crash accountable and make sure that the victims are properly compensated. We are here to help and the consultation is free. 888-213-8140 or check out our website www.gfmlawllc.com or email me at kgoldberg@gfmlawllc.com.

Kevin I. Goldberg
Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC