A Seattle personal injury attorney discusses how brake failure can cause bus accidents—and how bus companies can often be to blame for these deadly crashes.

Seattle Injury Attorney: Mechanical Failures Can Cause Bus Accidents

Andrew Kim
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Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Wrongful Death and Catastrofic Injuries Attorney

Last week, eight people were killed, and dozens more were injured in a bus crash outside of Big Bear, California. The driver of the bus, which was carrying 38 people on a day trip from Tijuana, claims that brake failure was the cause of the deadly accident. 

According to national news sources and the Seattle Times, the bus was traveling along a two-lane highway in the San Bernardino Mountains when the driver shouted for the passengers to call 911 because the brakes had failed. Moments later, the bus rammed a car, flipped, and collided with a pickup truck. The bus, which was operated by Scapadas Magicas, LLC, recorded 22 violations during inspections over the past year, including brake issues. 

The cause of bus mechanical failures 

In the past year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has focused on improving the safety of commercial buses, especially “curbside” buses that cut corners to offer cheap tickets to passengers. One of the issues with these tour buses is that companies often fail to properly maintain the safety of their vehicles. 

Generally, when a bus accident is caused by brake failure or mechanical failure, one or more of the following parties is at fault: 

  • The operator of the bus or the bus company. If the operator of the bus did not maintain the bus properly, ignored safety regulations, or failed to respond to evidence that the bus needed maintenance, they may owe compensation for the injuries and deaths associated with the crash. 
  • The manufacturer of the bus. In some cases, the bus may have defects or flaws that originated with the bus itself. If the bus manufacturer knew about these defects or was otherwise negligent, they may be at least partially responsible for the bus accident. 
  • The bus’ mechanic. Perhaps the bus was manufactured correctly and cared for correctly by the operator—but the mechanic responsible for tuning up the vehicle and fixing any issues is at fault. In this case, the mechanic could have missed an issue with the bus that should have been seen, while in other cases, the mechanic could have incorrectly fixed an issue that presented a danger. 

Seattle bus accident injury attorney 

If you or a loved one have been injured in a Washington bus accident, it is important that you understand why the accident occurred and whether a mechanical issue may have been to blame. To receive a free case evaluation from an experienced Seattle bus accident attorney, call Andrew Kim today at 1.800.636.3676.