Several people were injured and a 14-year-old girl was killed in a bus accident in upstate New York on July 18. A lawyer representing a number of the victims believes that the bus driver fell asleep at the wheel, but the incident is still under investigation.

The crash occurred on Interstate 87 near North Hudson where the bus apparently drifted off the roadway and rolled before coming to rest in the median between the northbound and southbound lanes. It had been transporting passengers as part of a tour and was owned by one Canadian company and operated by a second. The lawyer for the plaintiffs plans to bring a lawsuit in New York, however, in part because New York law may allow for greater recovery than Canadian law.

In Canada, non-economic damages are reportedly capped at $326,000. The victims in this case are expected to ask a New York court to award as much as $100 million. The plaintiffs’ lawyer plans to file a mass tort lawsuit; this is in some ways similar to a class action, allowing shared representation for multiple plaintiffs. The 61-year-old man driving the bus at the time of the accident was not seriously injured. He reportedly had decades of experience driving buses before the fatal accident. Authorities from both New York and Canada continue to investigate the accident.

A personal injury lawyer may be able to help injured parties evaluate their recovery options. For example, those who were hurt in the crash may elect to join the mass tort case or may choose to separately pursue their own actions. Injured parties in a case like this may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages or other economic damages, along with non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Source: The Montreal Gazette, ” Victims of fatal bus crash in upstate New York plan lawsuit in U.S.”, Monique Muise, July 31, 2014.

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