4 Passengers File Personal Injury Lawsuits Against Megabus

Megabus

After Megabus Accident, 4 Passengers File Personal Injury Lawsuits

MegabusOn Tuesday morning, October 14th, a Megabus bound for Chicago suffered a severe crash that left at least 26 of the 56 passengers injured, with 6 of those injuries considered serious. A total of 18 people had to be taken to area hospitals after the crash.

Investigators blamed the Megabus accident on driver inattention, and more recently have pinpointed the cause of distraction to be malfunctioning windshield wipers.

On Wednesday, October 15th, four of the passengers on the Chicago-bound Megabus filed a personal injury lawsuit against the company. The passengers filing against Megabus suffered numerous different injuries, including a separated shoulder, lost teeth, and facial cuts requiring stitches.

“The passengers reported hearing the bus driver complain that the windshield wipers were not working, and it was difficult to see the road in the rain,” a prosecutor said in the statement on behalf of the personal injury plaintiffs. “We suspect a malfunction in the windshield wipers prevented the bus driver from adequately seeing the road and contributed to the crash.”

“It’s a very traumatic event for them to wake up from a sleep having the bus turn over, you’re face-down in broken glass and you have bodies flying down on top of you, causing physical injury.”

The plaintiffs claim in their personal injury lawsuit that the driver announced to passengers on the Megabus that the windshield wipers were not working. That distraction, along with driving too fast, and improper driver training, led the passengers to file their personal injury lawsuit against the company.

Investigators with Indiana State Police, who were at the scene of the Megabus accident, said that there did not appear to be any mechanical problems with the bus itself that would have caused the accident.

This is not the first bus accident issue that Megabus has faced. The service has quickly spread across the US and remains popular because of its low cost. However, the company has had several high-profile accidents in the past few years.

In August 2012, for example, a Megabus on route to Chicago blew out a tire which led to dozens of injuries and one death. Although the driver was credited for not reacting in a way that would have caused further severe injuries, the bus itself suffered from lack of maintenance. One week later, however, another Megabus in downtown Chicago struck and killed an elderly woman. The day after that, a Megabus headed to Charlotte, NC caught fire.

“All Megabus.com companies have had a DOT audit within the past 6 months and all have been given the highest rating achievable by the DOT, which is satisfactory,” spokesman Sean Hughes said in a statement. “The trip had two drivers, which is a normal Megabus safety procedure and above the federal requirement for overnight trips. The drivers signed on at 10 pm the night before, and were on duty for a total of 6 and a half hours when the incident occurred.”

Although the company has not suffered an accident this serious in at least two years, Megabus drivers have been cited for 7 traffic violations, and 6 violations of hours of service on the road – meaning the drivers could be tired or poorly trained, which would lead to terrible accidents, personal injury, and death for passengers and drivers alike.

The Strom Law Firm Represents Those Suffering Personal Injury from Road Accidents

If you have suffered a serious personal injury or the wrongful death of a loved one due to another person’s negligence, including in a car accident or DUI case, contact our South Carolina Accident Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss the facts. 803.252.4800

SC Orders Uber to Halt Services in State

As Uber’s Legal Woes Continue, South Carolina Demands Mobile App Cease and Desist

UberOn Thursday, January 15th, the Public Service Commission of South Carolina ordered popular and infamous ridesharing service Uber to stop its operations in the state.

Uber has faced numerous accusations, including personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, as the mobile app company expands rapidly across the globe. One of the most common accusations has to do with the company’s employee screening process: although Uber company spokespeople have repeatedly claimed that the rideshare startup company screens its potential drivers as thoroughly or even more thoroughly, than state regulations require, many passengers have said they were victimized.  Allegations include assaults, such as sexual assaults and rapes, as well as other types of personal injury, and even wrongful death accidents.  Many believe that these issues have arisen because the drivers are not screened carefully enough to keep passengers and pedestrians safe.

For example, Uber faces a wrongful death lawsuit in San Francisco, in which a driver who was using the mobile app to pick up a fare while operating his vehicle, struck and killed a 6-year-old girl on New Year’s Day 2014. He hit two other members of the family as well, who survived. The driver himself faces criminal charges for vehicular manslaughter and distracted driving, but the family also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the ridesharing company because they claim the mobile app nature of the business encourages drivers to use their phones while operating a vehicle.  It’s this mobile nature that can be a deadly combination.

In Chicago, a 22-year-old victim has filed personal injury charges against the company after her Uber driver drugged and sexually assaulted her while she was drunk.

Ridesharing companies like Uber, and its major competitors Lyft and Sidecar, also face accusations that the businesses rely on individual drivers’ personal insurance, which does not provide adequate, if any, coverage for passengers that suffer personal injury in the event of a car crash. These companies recently changed their driver policies to pay for insurance to cover cars while they are working for the rideshare service, but some opponents of the ridesharing services question if the coverage is enough, when these companies still try to dodge responsibility for personal injuries and wrongful deaths, often pointing to the drivers themselves, who are independent contractors with the companies, not full employees.

South Carolina demanded that Uber cease and desist operations in the state because the company refuses to register as a taxi service, which could help customers and drivers in the event of a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

“Consumers benefit from, and deserve choices in, the marketplace,” the directive states. “However, those choices must be consistent with state law intended to protect the public.”

“Despite working closely with the PSC for the past several months on a permanent solution for Uber in South Carolina, today’s actions are unexpected and not reflective of the progress made thus far,” Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said. “We will challenge the order and remain committed to providing South Carolinians with greater opportunity and choice.”

Uber faces similar regulatory questions in its home base, San Francisco, as safety regulators in the city try to decide who can inspect Uber’s vehicles for safety and emissions regulations.

“We believe the vehicle inspections mentors conduct are very rigorous,” said Chelsea Wilson, a Lyft spokeswoman. “They’ve gone through training and have an exhaustive checklist. We very much stand behind the safety of those inspections.”

However, safety inspections for taxis are much more rigorous than the self-appointed inspectors for Uber and Lyft, so many states have raised concerns about vehicular safety.

The Strom Law Firm Defends Victims of Distracted Driving in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed because of an accident, whether it was caused by distracted driving or DUI, the South Carolina personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. The sooner you hire one of our accident lawyers, the sooner we will be able to investigate your case and the stronger your case will be. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to call us. 803.252.4800

Personal Injury Case Involves FitBit Data for First Time

Wearable Tech like FitBit Could Revolutionize Personal Injury Case Discovery

FitBitA law firm in Calgary, Alberta has announced that it will use information collected by the popular wearable tech device FitBit as part of the discovery process for a personal injury case involving a car accident.

Wearable technology like FitBit is used to track fitness information and location, using heart-rate monitors, calorie trackers, and GPS information. These types of fitness trackers are normally used by the population to track positive fitness changes. However, the Canadian law firm says it will use the FitBit to track a downward trend in their client’s overall health.

The McLeod law firm represents a personal injury case from a young woman who was, prior to her car accident, a personal trainer. Although her accident occurred before FitBits were widely used and affordable, attorneys at the firm believe they can, based on her profession, state that she was in better general health than the overall population. They plan to measure her current physical health with a FitBit and submit the evidence to the court in her personal injury case.

“Till now we’ve always had to rely on clinical interpretation,” Muller says from his office in Calgary. “Now we’re looking at longer periods of time though the course of a day, and we have hard data … We’re expecting the results to show that her activity level is less and compromised as a result of her injury.”

“Wearables are yet another example of how technology may be a gold mine of potentially relevant [electronically stored information] for use in litigation,” says legal expert Neda Shakoori. “Take, for example, a personal injury case where a plaintiff is claiming the injuries he sustained in an automobile accident prevent him from participating in physical activities, such as running. Suppose further that the plaintiff has worn a fitness tracking device which has been recording every one of his five-mile runs during the past three months. The data generated by the plaintiff’s wearable device may be discovered in litigation and, as a result, completely discredit plaintiff’s case for damages resulting from the accident.”

Previous court cases, both personal injury and criminal, have already laid a foundation to acquire digital information from platforms like Facebook to track a suspect or plaintiff’s whereabouts, opinions, mood, and health claims. Using wearable devices can show clearly to a court physical changes over time, and imply – though not prove – the extent of the personal injury.

“There is a huge digital footprint generated by these device,” writes Matthew Pearn on Claims Canada. “Weight loss, weight gain, heart rate, blood pressure, diet, exercise and mood can be diarized by users to help keep track of their health. Certain companies have even launched social networking sites to allow their customers to share fitness goals and their progress with friends and strangers alike.”

The Strom Law Firm Defends Victims of Car Accident Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed because of an accident, whether it was caused by distracted driving or DUI, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. The sooner you hire one of our South Carolina accident lawyers, the sooner we will be able to investigate your case and the stronger your case will be. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to call us. 803.252.4800

Walmart Disputes Tracy Morgan’s Trucking Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit

personal injury lawsuit

Tracy Morgan Filed Personal Injury Lawsuit After Trucking Accident, Walmart Claims Morgan is At Fault

personal injury lawsuitAfter a terrible trucking accident involving comedian Tracy Morgan’s limousine and a Walmart truck, which severely injured Morgan and killed one of his friends, the comedian filed a personal injury lawsuit against the retail giant.

Now, Walmart claims that the personal injury lawsuit is unfounded, because Morgan and his friend were not wearing seat belts at the time of the trucking accident.

About 1 AM on Saturday, June 7th, Tracy Morgan’s limo van was hit by Roper’s truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. The collision killed one of Morgan’s fellow comedian passengers, James McNair, who performed under the name Jimmy Mack. Reportedly, 35-year-old truck driver Kevin Roper had been awake for 24 consecutive hours before causing the tractor trailer accident.

“The driver of the tractor-trailer failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead,” said Sgt. Gregory Williams of New Jersey State Police. “At the last minute, he swerved to try and avoid the Mercedes limo bus but struck it from behind, forcing the limo to rotate and overturn.” Roper also faced criminal charges for causing the trucking accident.

Morgan argues in his personal injury lawsuit that Walmart was culpable because Roper had been awake for 24 hours, which is often a truck driver’s response to company pressure. His commute of 700 miles – from Georgia to Delaware – was “unreasonable.” Morgan suffered a broken leg and broken ribs, and reportedly needed several weeks in a hospital and a rehabilitation facility to recover.

In their response to Morgan’s personal injury lawsuit on Monday, September 29th, however, Walmart denied that the crash injuries were due to negligence on their part.

“Upon information and belief, plaintiffs’ injuries, if any, were caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seat belt restraint device,” Walmart’s court papers said.

“By failing to exercise ordinary care in making use of available seat belts, upon information and belief, plaintiffs acted unreasonably and in disregard of plaintiffs’ own best interests,” the defense’s response continued. “Accordingly, all or a portion of the injuries could have been diminished or minimized by the exercise of reasonable conduct in using the available seat belts.”

Trucking Accidents Can Cause Serious Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles such as semi tractor trailers, flatbed or tanker trucks, buses, or construction accidents can often result in a serious injury or death.

Many times truck drivers cannot see in certain blind spots around their large 18 wheeler.  You will also find that many truck drivers do not follow the speed limits and rules of the road.  They are pressured by deadlines and DOT regulations are often racing to get to their destination.

Tractor trailer accidents can also occur as the result of driver fatigue.  Drivers may get distracted or even fall asleep at the wheel, leaving them unable to avoid a trucking accident.

Injuries sustained in these types of accidents can be disabling. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles can cause:

  • traumatic brain injury,
  • paralysis,
  • severe disability, and
  • even death.

The Strom Law Firm, LLC can help you if you have been injured in a trucking accident. With careful analysis and investigation we will look at critical factors including:

  • maintenance and equipment records for the truck;
  • whether the truck load was appropriate, properly sized and within the weight limit;
  • Weather, road, and grade conditions;
  • whether the driver was operating within DOT regulations.

If you or a loved one has been such a victim, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC trucking accident lawyers.  Whether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial vehicle accident, we can help.