Negligent Hiring Can Be Considered for Bus Accident Deaths
The following is a guest post by the Chicago wrongful death attorneys at Dolan Law Offices.
People often will say something akin to “I might get hit by a bus tomorrow,” when referring to the fragility of life and the unknown moment when death may strike. For a number of Denver area families, that saying recently became all too much of a reality.
In April 2010, at least four people were killed and many more injured in accidents involving Regional Transportation District (RTD) buses.
- A 42-year old man on a bicycle who was struck by an RTD bus as it turned left into an intersection.
- A man and woman, 28 and 29 years old, who were hit by an RTD bus when it ran a red light. A dozen other people were also injured in this accident.
- A 78-year old man who was hit by an RTD bus and left in the gutter. He later died from his injuries. The driver was unaware he had hit anyone and continued driving for at least two more miles.
Charges in the cases include careless driving resulting in death, a class one misdemeanor traffic offense.
Concerned, the bus company has mandated that all drivers, including private contractors, are to take a refresher training course.
That is good, but is that enough? The families of the victims additionally may be able to file for wrongful death lawsuits if the drivers were found to have been reckless, careless, negligent, or if inadequate supervision contributed to the deaths. Negligent hiring may even be a consideration. For instance, the bus driver who hit and killed the bicyclist had prior convictions for driving while impaired and for sidesweeping another bicyclist.
In Colorado, an employer will be found liable for negligent hiring if it:
- should not have hired an employee in light of his or her dangerous propensities; or
- failed to exercise a degree of control over an employee to avert him or her from causing injuries to persons whom the employer owes the duty of care.
Buses are considered a “common carrier” and owe their passengers a greater duty of safety and protection than a private driver. An injured party must give prompt notification of claims, sometimes in as few as 180 days. The notice must include name and address of claimant and that of the attorney; a statement of the circumstances of the accident; name and address of public employees involved; a statement of the nature and extent of injury; and the amount of monetary damages requested. There must be strict compliance with this notice requirement, or the claim can be lost.
Because of the complexity of these types of cases, an experienced wrongful death lawyer can help guide you through the process and preserve your rights.
Dolan Law Offices is a Chicago law firm that is committed to providing excellent legal services to its clients. Its wrongful death attorneys represent families of wrongful death victims in Chicago and in the entire state of Illinois.
Dolan Law Offices
10 South Lasalle Street #3712
Chicago, IL 60603