As previously discussed, accidents involving busses can be especially tragic. Because these vehicles are designed to hold a multitude of passengers, when an accident ensues, numerous passengers could become victims. Additionally, most buses are not equipped with seatbelts. This can be the cause of passengers being tossed around and thrown about the bus during a collision, resulting in serious and even fatal injuries. Those harmed in a bus accident as well as the loved ones of those killed in a bus crash have recourses available to them if the accident was caused by the negligence of another party.
According to recent reports, a judge made a ruling on the available damages in a lawsuit stemming from a bus accident occurring in Seattle in September 2015. In that accident, a Ride The Ducks amphibious bus was in an accident with a tour bus on the Aurora Bridge. The accident resulted in the death of five passengers and dozens of passengers suffering injuries.
Those harmed in the crash as well as the loved ones of the deceased passengers filed a lawsuit against Ride The Ducks claiming negligence. The plaintiffs also sought punitive damages to punish the owner for failing to conduct known and necessary maintenance and repairs to the vehicle.
However, the judge recently ruled that punitive damages could not be sought in this case. Because punitive damages would go beyond compensating the injured passengers, the judge found that punitive damages were not appropriate in this case. Punitive damages are used to punish a defendant for acts that are more than just negligent. It was further argued that the accident was caused by negligence and thus does not call for punitive damages to be awarded. This ruling does not alter the monetary award they could receive at the completion of this case.
A civil action, such as a personal injury claim or wrongful death suit can be a complex matter. Because of that, victims and their loved ones need to be prepared to go through the process, understanding what steps are necessary and what can be done to ensure they get the monetary award they deserve.
Source: King5.com, “Judge rules no punitive damages in Ride the Ducks crash,” Elisa Hahn, Liza Javier and Travis Pittman, Oct. 6, 2017