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Is the driver or employer responsible for the fatal crash?

A recent bus accident that left 3 people dead and 40 injured has some questioning whether the bus driver or the company he worked for should be held responsible. For Chicago residents, the fatal accident as a whole provides a glimpse into the confusion that can set in after a crash.

The accident happened earlier this month. The bus driver was transporting a group of seniors to a casino. On the way, something went terribly wrong and the bus ended up leaving the roadway and crashing into a concrete barrier.

After the fatal crash, the bus driver told authorities that he believes he might have blacked out right before the bus left the roadway. If this is true, this points to a possible medical condition, which brings up questions surrounding if his employer knew anything about his condition. Did physicals point to a possible issue? Did Cardinal Coach Line continue to employ a driver with a known medical condition? Could the employer therefore be responsible?

The fact that this same 65-year-old bus driver was involved in another fatal accident while working for another company also raises some red flags. In that case, he hit a pedestrian who was helping others at the scene of an accident. Afterwards, a lawsuit was filed against the driver and the company he worked for. A jury did find the company negligent for hiring the driver, but no damages were awarded to the family as it was determined the 22-year-old was at fault as he did jump onto the road. The brakes on the bus were also not working properly.

In this most recent fatal accident, a preliminary report handled by the state's department of public safety found there to be nothing wrong with the actual bus. Rather, the 65-year-old bus driver was cited for failure to maintain his lane and inattention while driving.

Looking at this case, this is a perfect example of the fact that certain driving jobs -- including trucking -- require health screenings and monitoring. In cases where there is an accident, and it is believed to be related to the health of the driver, an attorney should be contact to further investigate.

Source: ABC News, "Report: Bus Driver Says He May Have Blacked Out," David Warren, AP, April 22, 2013

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