A FedEx truck crashed into a tour bus Thursday, killing 10 people and injuring 34 others.
The fiery crash occurred on Interstate 5 near Orland, California, about 100 miles north of Sacramento. The California Highway Patrol and National Transportation Safety Board are now trying to determine what caused the FedEx tractor trailer to cross the median and collide with a bus full of high school students, reports The Sacramento Bee.
As the details of the FedEx truck crash unfold, many legal questions will need to be answered.
Cause of Crash Is Unknown
Any major crash can take time to investigate its causes, but figuring out what caused the FedEx truck crash may take especially long. CHP Lt. Commander Bruce Carpenter warned the investigation could take as long as six months because of "the complexity of the whole incident itself and the number of fatalities," the Bee reports.
Like a victim would do when involved in even a minor truck accident, CHP and NTSB officials want to document injuries and damage, interview witnesses, and collect evidence.
Although 10 people have been pronounced dead following the incident, Carpenter told the Bee that most of the injuries to the survivors appeared minor.
Liability Questions Remain
As more details come to light about the cause of the crash, the following questions will become more relevant:
- Was the FedEx driver negligent? The FedEx driver died in the crash, so it may be difficult to find out the reasons behind the truck driver's swerving into oncoming traffic. Violating traffic laws creates a presumption of negligence, but there may be an intervening cause (like a sudden heart attack) to explain the FedEx truck's dangerous maneuvers.
- Will FedEx be held liable in any way for the crash? Assuming that the FedEx driver was acting in the scope of his employment -- for example, delivering packages for FedEx at the time of the crash -- FedEx could potentially be held liable for any job-related negligence on the driver's part that caused the crash. The company could also face liability if it's determined that a failure to properly maintain the truck contributed to the crash.
- Will the families of the victims be able to collect damages? There are likely to be several wrongful death suits filed for those killed in Thursday's crash, with FedEx and any available insurance companies potentially footing the bills.
These are just a few of the legal questions raised by the fatal FedEx truck crash. Because commercial truck crashes can differ in many ways from car crashes, an experienced truck accident attorney may be invaluable in helping victims get the compensation they deserve.
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