A major bus accident on December 9th, 2019 left five people seriously injured and one with minor injuries. The crash involving a school bus, city bus, and a pickup truck took place on the H-1 Freeway in Kalihi just before 7:45 am. The accident happened at a spot right before the Likelike Highway off-ramp.
The accident caused major delays on the H1 eastbound. Emergency Medical Services said a total of six people were treated and taken to the hospital. Among the injured was a school going teenager as well.
Old Passengers Hurt the Worst
Majority of injuries occurred in the city bus passengers. Old people were hurt the worst due to sudden braking and crash. Among the seriously injured were a 56 year old woman, 62 year old woman, 74 year old woman, and a 76 year old woman.
There was also a 26 year old woman who was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. A 17 year old girl in the school bus was treated for minor injuries and was later released.
Police confirmed that the accident left three lanes on the Freeway closed for traffic. But, the site was cleaned up and the lanes were reopened the same day after a few hours.
Multiple Parties Can Be Liable in a Bus Accident
It is generally assumed that the bus operator or negligent third parties are financially responsible for any bus accident. But, there are various technicalities associated with such accidents that make them more complicated than regular car accidents.
Any bus accident attorney will explain that Hawaii is a no-fault state. This means that the insurance company will primarily be responsible for covering any damages or injuries after the accident.
However, this also means that there are other parties that can be involved in a bus accident claim. This includes anyone from major organization, to bus companies, local government branches, and even school districts.
Legal Action Needs To Be Prompt
Bus accidents are treated differently under the law depending on whether they are privately operated vehicles or “common carriers”. City and public buses form part of America’s large mass transportation network. They are regulated specifically by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
These buses are required to carry a much larger insurance coverage and observe higher safety standards. However, the statute of limitations for public bus accidents is different as well. In Hawaii, public transportation accident needs to be promptly filed within two years of the event. Generally, a bus accident lawyer would be required to file a claim of personal injury.