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Bus driver charges in wrongful death of 4 passengers

Criminal charges may be only the beginning of the trouble ahead for the driver of a tour bus that met a deadly end one year ago this month. A district attorney in California recently announced a string of charges against the man at the wheel when the bus veered off the road, killing four. It is not uncommon for the families of those who lose their lives in commercial vehicle accidents to investigate the options for filing wrongful death lawsuits against those believed responsible for the tragedies.

The charter bus was passing through California on its way to another state when it left the roadway and plowed into a telephone pole, nearly slicing the vehicle in half. Four of the 26 passengers were crushed as the pole passed through the bus, and dozens others suffered injuries, including limb amputations. Witnesses say the bus had been weaving across lanes for several miles before it crashed.

The investigation by California authorities revealed two factors that may prove useful to anyone seeking legal recourse against the driver. Records indicate the driver was likely using his phone repeatedly as he drove. Those records also suggest the driver's log, which chronicles the drivers hours of service as well as the number of hours the driver has slept, may have been falsified to show that he had gotten the number of hours of sleep required by law for drivers of commercial vehicles.

While financial compensation will certainly not replace the loss the families have suffered, it may help them cope with some of the expenses related to the injuries and deaths of their loved ones. A wrongful death claim provides a way to seek this compensation if the loved one's death was the result of the negligence of others. A personal injury attorney is a helpful resource when considering the alternatives available for holding others accountable for their careless actions.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Driver Charged in California Bus Wreck That Killed 4 People", Aug. 1, 2017

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