The sudden loss of a loved one is a devastating experience but is almost unbearable for families who are far from the scene of the accident. As families attempt to cope with the tragedy, they may only get half the story about the cause of the crash, denying them the information they need to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death on Long Journeys or Public Transportation
If your loved one was killed on vacation or while traveling long-distance, you should speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney to find out what really happened and to get your family the compensation you are owed under the law.
It’s not uncommon for victims to suffer fatal injuries on:
- Road trips. Whether they are for work or for pleasure, long drives increase the risk of an accident with every mile traveled. It can be difficult to tell whose negligence caused the injury, especially if your loved one was traveling as a passenger with another driver. A work trip taken in an employer’s vehicle could give rise to the employer’s liability, while a drunk or distracted driver may also be at fault for causing the crash. If the accident occurred in a rental car, RV, or camper van, the rental company might be responsible if it failed to maintain its vehicles. It’s important that families work with a trustworthy representative after an out-of-state accident, such as a lawyer who has contacts in the area where the accident occurred.
- Buses. Thousands of people are injured every year as a result of bus crashes in the United States, and approximately 300 people lose their lives in these accidents. Unfortunately, the majority of these accidents are entirely preventable and wouldn’t happen without negligent drivers, improper training, poor maintenance, design flaws, or faulty parts. The city or state government could be responsible for injuries to passengers on city buses or shuttles, while private owners are answerable for deaths on charter buses, Greyhound buses, tour buses, or party buses. The people most at risk of fatal injuries include children and the elderly, both of whom regularly rely on bus travel for education and social activities. Manufacturers and drivers may be held liable for senior service and church bus crashes, while cities and school systems should be investigated for negligence following a school bus accident.
- Boats. Boats allow us to see the world, enjoy a summer’s day, and trade with almost every country on earth. However, operating a boat is very different from driving a car—and negligent operation is a primary factor in most boating accidents. Amateur boat operators are a constant danger on lakes and rivers, especially since watercraft lack seat belts, brakes, and airbags. Another boat owner or operator of a smaller craft could be liable for the injuries they cause, while relatives of a victim traveling by ship may have a claim against the ship’s owner.
- Trains. Train accidents are much less common than road accidents, but when they do happen, they usually have a high number of casualties. The key to getting closure and compensation after these incidents is to determine exactly what (and who) caused the crash. Was the engineer distracted or drowsy? If two trains collided, were they given conflicting information from the terminal? Was the train traveling at too high a speed, causing it to derail? Was the railroad aware of defects on the track but failed to fix them? Did the company that operates the train line do everything it could to prevent a crash? If the accident happened during a work trip or while a family member was on vacation, you should consult with a local lawyer to make sure no evidence is lost.
- Planes. Like buses and trains, commercial airlines are governed by common carrier laws or statutes outlining the duty of a transportation provider to keep passengers safe. After a crash, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the incident to see what went wrong and how similar accidents can be prevented. However, families of injury victims soon discover that they are shut out of the NTSB investigation and may not get any answers about the cause of the crash. If a relative is killed in an aviation accident, your attorney can help determine whether the pilots, airline, owner of the aircraft, manufacturer of the plane or its components, or air traffic controllers are liable for your damages.
If your loved one was killed due to someone else’s negligence, the legal team at GriffithLaw would be honored to fight on your behalf. Simply fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (615) 823-8233 so we can explain your options to you.