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Who can be held liable in tour bus accidents?

Commercial vehicles are typically used to transport goods, livestock or people from one location to another anywhere across the country, including Oklahoma. Trucks, taxis, vans and buses are among the most common commercial vehicles. What about tour buses? The answer is yes, these are also commercial vehicles, and their drivers are expected to act responsibly because the lives of passengers depend on how they operate their vehicles.

In terms of total miles driven each year, accidents involving tour buses are relatively rare, but when they do happen the results are often catastrophic because of the numbers of people on board, many of whom are not restrained by seatbelts or shoulder harnesses as they would be in most passenger cars. Anyone riding a tour bus should always watch the driver to see if he or she is obeying traffic rules. In the event that driver negligence leads to injuries, the injured victims may be entitled to damages.

So, who is liable for any injuries you might sustain in a tour bus accident? In general, the party most responsible for a crash. First, determine which party was negligent. For example, if an accident happened because a drunken driver struck the bus, then he or she may be held liable in both criminal and civil proceedings. If the accident resulted from the bus driver's negligence, then you may be entitled to higher awards and damages because commercial vehicles must carry more insurance than common passenger vehicles like cars.

If you are involved in a tour bus accident, you can file a claim against both the bus and tour companies. The terms of the contract between the bus company and the tour company may allow you to maximize the amount of compensation you are seeking.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Tour bus accidents and liability," Accessed on Aug. 19, 2014

Source: Findlaw.com, "Tour bus accidents and liability," Accessed on Aug. 19, 2014

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