1 Killed, Dozens Injured in Kramer Junction, CA, Tour Bus Accident
Kramer Junction, CA -- February 27, 2017, one person was killed and dozens were injured following a crash between two cars and an A&F Tour bus.
The collision happened just after noon, said California Highway Patrol investigators. The crash took place along Highway 58 just east of US 395.
According to preliminary investigations, an A&F Tour bus was traveling eastbound on Highway 58. It was carrying around two dozen tourists at the time. For reasons that aren't yet clear, the driver lost control and veered off the highway, across the center line.
This led to a head-on collision between the bus and two cars, a Subaru Outback and a Chevy Spark. All three vehicles ran off the road, and the tour bus overturned, eventually landing upright.
Following the accident, emergency services rushed to the scene. They say that the driver of the Subaru suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. At least nine people sustained life-threatening injuries, and around 17 others had less severe injuries. Emergency services called in several ground ambulances, as weather prevented air transport.
At this time, authorities have not said if any charges will be filed. The exact cause of the accident is still being investigated. No additional details are currently available.
Map of the Area
We looked into the company that appears to be involved in this accident, A&F Tours, Inc., and found they have $6 million in insurance coverage. A lot of people are going to see that figure and say, "Well that's a lot of money, so everyone should be covered for the accident." When you're dealing with death and destruction on the scale of this bus accident $6 million disappears in a hurry.
Look at who was affected by this crash. You've got one driver who was killed, and you've got at least nine people with critical injuries. Critical could mean lengthy stays in the hospital, permanent impairment that requires extended medical care, and people who can't work in the future. Add on top of all that nearly two dozen people with ER bills. You can see how things are really starting to stack up, and what used to seem like plenty of coverage is diminishing quickly.
Everyone hears about victims getting these multi-million dollar verdicts from civil juries, but the reality is that the money has to come from somewhere. After insurance is used up, the only thing left is a company's assets. Quite frankly, a small tour company like this likely isn't going to have much more than their insurance policy to cover the damages of an accident like this one. Because of this, an accident like this often becomes a race to the courthouse, and those who end up at the end of the line often have to deal with the financial consequences out of their own savings.
There are no set rules written down anywhere that certain injuries get a certain amount of compensation. It all depends on what a plaintiff proves their injuries are worth and ultimately what a jury decides they're worth. Of course, a jury verdict is worthless if the defendant doesn't have the money to pay it. The value of the insurance policy is the only guaranteed source of funding for any jury verdict. However, insurance policies aren't bottomless wells. Once the value of the policy has been paid out, the well runs dry.
People who wait too long to take action could find that they're trying to draw water from a well that has long since been exhausted. They'll be left with nothing.
At the end of the day, an accident like this one leaves a lot of people suffering and in dire need of assistance. In order to get that assistance, and in order to get a fair amount of it, anyone pursing compensation will have to get on the ball as soon as possible.
--Grossman Law Offices