The September 17th bus crash in Rock Hill North Carolina that killed four high school football players was a tragedy of enormous magnitude. When anything bad happens, people always try to find a reason for something to blame. The question now is whether it was merely a car accident or if there was negligence that led to the death of the four players.
When 46 young athletes boarded the bus to take a trip to Rock Hill for a football game, they expected to come home safely, but that didn’t happen. It has prompted both private and public investigators to look into what actions led to the accident and whether there was negligence to blame.
An attorney from Texas has already signed up some of the victim’s families and believes that there was negligence that will lead to a personal injury suit. The bus was carrying 46 members of the Ramah Juco Academy team along with two dozen Clinton College Students. The crash documents state that the bus hit the guardrail and then crashed into a bridge located on US 74 in Richmond County, NC.
The bus that was carrying the athletes, however, was owned by Sandy River Baptist Church in Chester and was never registered as a bus for hire. That could mean that the bus carrying the students never had the proper set of regulations attached to it. It also likely was not guided by the same safety requirements or did not have the proper insurance coverage sufficient to be transporting the students.
A Los Angeles motorcycle lawyer reads that the official police statement is that a tire is to blame for the crash, but not everyone involved is convinced that is the case. There have been no suits filed to date, and there is a three-tiered investigation currently underway by the National Transportation Safety Board, the North Carolina state police and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Those connected to the case insist that lawsuits are imminent once the investigation is completed.
The attorney from the Houston area, Shaun Hodge, is an expert in tractor-trailer and bus accident cases. He has already interviewed several of the passengers and has begun to represent them as well. Hodge believes that although still under investigation, there was definitely a certain level of negligence that led to the fatal crash.
At the heart of the personal injury suit, Hodge maintains, is that in crashes, such as this one, proper maintenance likely would have prevented it from happening. Making it public, Hodge insists, he wants to ensure that the tire and its integrity is not discarded or overlooked.
Investigators will need to know how and if the tires were properly maintained. Without the bus being registered for the use it was being used for, it is likely that the right type of maintenance might have been overlooked. Experts in the field of personal injury believe that the tire is going to be the key to a personal injury case being substantiated. It will have to be determined what caused the tire to malfunction.
Rock Hill attorneys and investigators are not happy about the solicitation of the bus victims, but there are no laws in place about advertising. Hodge insists, however, that although it is going to be difficult to prove or to determine why the tire blew, it is important that the victims of the crash be represented so that the case is handled fairly.
In a collision case such as this one, there are likely going to be experts on both sides who will give differing opinions about what caused the tire to malfunction. Unless there is some clear record that the tire was too old or had a defect in the maintenance history, then it is not an easy thing to determine. With four people dead, however, if the case goes to trial, it is likely to be a multimillion dollar one.
With so much at stake, Hodge doesn’t mind that some investigators and officials aren’t pleased with him crossing over into their territory. Feeling that Hodge has the obligation to represent those who are in need of being told the truth, he wants to make sure that no stone is unturned.
Perhaps the reason why personal injury lawyers get a bad reputation for soliciting cases is because, in the end, it is all about protecting those who may not even know they need protection.