As a St. Louis semi truck accident lawyer, I was interested to see a report about a bad trucking accident down in Louisiana. According to the Associated Press, 21 children and two adults were injured Dec. 3 when a truck driver slammed into the back of a school bus in Port Barre, a small town west of Baton Rouge. The crash left the bus driver — a substitute who is also the town’s mayor — and the trucker with minor injuries. Among the students, 18 had minor to moderate injuries and three students, ages five to 15, were critically injured. Both vehicles were heavily damaged in the crash. A spokesperson for the Louisiana State Police said the truck driver had not yet been cited, but an investigation continues. The driver’s trucking company, J.B. Hunt, had no comment for the AP.
The bus was being driven by Port Barre Mayor Gil Savoy, a retired bus driver who was filling in for the regular driver. According to the Louisiana State Police, Savoy had the stop signs extended and lights flashing when the crash took place. Savoy’s wife told a local television station that he told her he saw the truck coming in the rearview mirror and yelled at the students to brace themselves. The school bus had no seat belts, as is standard for their school district and many others. Savoy’s wife said he managed to keep the bus on the road throughout the crash and stopped a few hundred feet away. However, the back end of the bus was badly deformed and one child was trapped until rescuers could cut away a bus seat. The front of the tractor-trailer was also badly damaged; the cab had to be towed away.
As a southern Illinois 18-wheeler accident attorney, I’m not surprised to hear that the trucking company declined to comment. In this situation, the trucker is almost certainly at fault, which means both he and the trucking company would be liable in any trucking accident lawsuit the victims and their families choose to pursue. In fact, given the number of victims in this crash, they could be sued multiple times, or hit with a class-action lawsuit costing millions of dollars. A lawsuit may not be on the minds of these families right now, but in the future, the costs of their injuries could become a serious consideration — especially for the students who were most seriously injured. Those kids are likely to have very high medical bills, and if the injuries are permanent, they may continue needing care far into the future.
All of these financial costs and many others are absolutely no fault of the children’s own, or of their parents. When serious injuries, and the steep medical bills for treating them, are caused by someone else’s negligence, that person can be held legally and financially responsible with a lawsuit. At Carey, Danis & Lowe, we represent clients who are fighting trucking companies and truck drivers for fair compensation for their injuries. In fact, trucking companies carry insurance for precisely this kind of accident — because it’s a normal part of their business. But when accidents happen, some of them work very hard to avoid paying, even when that means blaming the victims. Our Missouri tractor-trailer accident lawyers level the playing field for our clients, ensuring that they get the money they need for medical treatment and more.
If you or a loved one was hurt by a trucker who wasn’t paying attention, you should talk to Carey, Danis & Lowe as soon as possible. To learn more or set up a free consultation, call us today at 1-877-678-3400 or send us a message online.