1 Killed, 10 Hospitalized In Polk County Bus Crash
In early April 2023, a tanker truck and a passenger bus collided head-on after the bus crossed the center line of I-98 in Polk County. According to law enforcement, the bus had been carrying migrant workers to pick strawberries in Plant City, when the driver lost control for some unknown reason. 1 person was killed, with 10 injured. The tanker truck driver sustained less serious injuries, and may have a claim to make, should he be inclined.
Bus Crashes Are Serious
Accidents on Florida roads involving large vehicles are relatively common, with Florida’s Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) estimating that large trucks and buses were involved in approximately 40,000 crashes in 2021. While the relative injury and fatality numbers may seem low, they are disproportionately higher than in many other states, and given the weight of such vehicles, the injuries tend to be more severe. Accidents involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) like buses and large trucks are also required to be documented.
Bus accidents, in particular, occur much less often than crashes involving large trucks, but the injuries sustained can be quite serious. That said, it can be difficult to determine how to proceed if you have been injured in a bus crash, simply because you may not be able to determine whose fault caused the crash (and thus, your injuries). You have the right to seek compensation for your injuries if you believe that another person was negligent in causing them.
Can An Undocumented Person File A Negligence Claim?
If any of the injured migrant workers wanted to make a claim for damages, they would likely be able to do so legally if they were able to show that the driver of their bus directly caused their injuries. In addition to the driver, a person can sometimes hold the driver’s employer liable if they can establish that the driver was acting within the course of their employment at the time of the accident. This theory is referred to as vicarious liability.
A fact that some may not be aware of is that neither Florida nor federal law restricts the right to file a civil lawsuit on grounds of citizenship. Many migrant workers are undocumented – as many as 75 percent, depending on the study – and while many choose to stay out of the proverbial spotlight, they have just as much right as any U.S. citizen or documented immigrant to file a claim if they have been injured by another person’s negligence.
Call A Tampa CMV Accident Attorney
While time will tell with regard to any claims coming out of this incident, it is important to know that you have the right to seek damages if you have been injured in a commercial motor vehicle accident. A Tampa truck accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help to get your questions answered. Call our office today for a free consultation.