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65K Injury verdict for School Bus Crash into Sinkhole in Providence, RI

In 2006, a Providence School Bus driver drove a school bus into a sinkhole. Thankfully no children were injured in this crash. The Injured Victim later hired a Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the City of Providence to recover for her injuries.

Causing the front wheels of Morel’s bus to fall in

The Providence Journal reports that The Insurance Companies Attorneys argued that they should have been able to confront the bus accident victim regarding RI Workers Compensation that she obtained as a result of the accident. WPRI reported that “According to evidence presented during a 2010 trial, the hole was created during a rain storm in April, 2006 when a patch placed on the road after some construction work failed, causing the front wheels of Morel’s bus to fall in.”

The Rhode Island Superior Court Justice ruled in favor of the bus accident victim and awarded her approximately 60k in damages to compensate her for her injuries. The RI Supreme Court upheld the negligence verdict in favor of the injured Plaintiff. The Case is MOREL v. NAPOLITANO

The RI trial justice ruled that evidence concerning receipt of workers’ compensation was inadmissible

Supreme Court reasoned: “In Bookbinder, 109 R.I. at 357, 285 A.2d at 393, this Court held that the collateral-source rule was not an absolute bar to the introduction of evidence that the plaintiff was paid by an employer during a period of disability when the evidence was offered to show that the plaintiff was not disabled or was, in fact, working. In the case under review, the record indicates that the trial justice ruled that the evidence concerning Morel’s receipt of workers’ compensation benefits during her time out of work was inadmissible because it was not offered to disprove her disability or to establish that she was in fact working”

Bus crashes can occur in various ways

Bus crashes can occur in various ways, and the severity of the crash can depend on factors such as speed, road conditions, driver behavior, and the type of vehicles involved. Here are some common types of bus crashes:

  1. Head-On Collisions: Occur when the front of the bus collides with the front of another vehicle. These crashes often result in severe injuries and fatalities due to the high impact.
  2. Rear-End Collisions: Happen when a bus strikes the vehicle in front of it. This type of crash can be caused by tailgating, distracted driving, or sudden stops.
  3. Side-Impact Collisions (T-Bone): Occur when the side of the bus is impacted by another vehicle. Intersections are common locations for side-impact collisions.
  4. Rollovers: Buses, especially high-profile vehicles like charter buses, can be prone to rollovers, especially during sharp turns or if the driver loses control.
  5. Single-Vehicle Crashes: Involve only the bus and can happen due to various factors such as driver error, mechanical failure, or adverse road conditions.
  6. Multi-Vehicle Pileups: Involve multiple vehicles, including buses, in a chain-reaction collision. These often occur on highways and can result in widespread damage and injuries.
  7. Jackknife Accidents: Typically associated with articulated buses or buses towing trailers, a jackknife occurs when the vehicle folds at the hinge, resembling a partially open jackknife.
  8. Run-Off-Road Crashes: Happen when a bus leaves the roadway, potentially colliding with obstacles, trees, or other vehicles. These crashes can result from driver fatigue, distraction, or poor road conditions.
  9. Pedestrian or Cyclist Collisions: Involve buses striking pedestrians or cyclists. These accidents may occur at bus stops, crosswalks, or other areas with high pedestrian or cyclist activity.
  10. Overturns: Similar to rollovers, overturns involve the bus tipping onto its side or roof. This can happen due to factors like excessive speed, uneven road surfaces, or driver error.
  11. Brake Failures: If a bus experiences brake failure, it can lead to difficulty stopping the vehicle, increasing the risk of collisions.

Preventing bus crashes

Preventing bus crashes involves a combination of proper driver training, regular vehicle maintenance, adherence to traffic laws, and the implementation of safety measures on the roads.  you can find up-to-date and specific information on fatal bus crash statistics from reliable sources such as government transportation agencies, road safety organizations, or official accident databases.

To access the most recent statistics, consider checking websites like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States, the European Road Safety Observatory (ERSO) in Europe, or similar organizations in your specific region. They typically provide detailed reports on road safety, including statistics on bus accidents and fatalities. Additionally, local law enforcement agencies or transportation departments may have relevant data. Remember to use reliable and official sources to ensure accuracy and credibility when researching statistics on fatal bus crashes.

Article by Rhode Island Bus Accident Personal Injury Lawyer, David Slepkow 


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