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California Tour Bus Accident Injures Dozens, Kills at Least Eight

Craig McClellan

Yesterday, a tour bus crash in Southern California killed at least eight people and injured more than 42. According to the California Highway Patrol, there may still be people on the bus, many hours after the 6:30 p.m. accident. The National Transportation Safety Board is on the scene, but the cause of the bus accident is still unknown.

The bus rear-ended a car, rolled onto its side and then hit a pickup truck. Witnesses claim that the bus was speeding and there was smoke coming out of the back. The driver, who survived the crash, said he had trouble braking.

An NTSB investigation will determine whether mechanical failure, weather conditions or driver error caused the accident. Determining the cause is especially important to individuals who were injured or who lost loved ones in the tour bus crash. They may be able to bring personal injury lawsuits against the bus driver, the bus company and/or the company that manufactured a defective part.

While the bus was carrying passengers from Tijuana, Mexico, the bus company -- Scapadas Magicas LLC -- is based in National City, California. Therefore, victims and their families can bring lawsuits in U.S. court under U.S. law.

Bus accidents have made the news frequently in the last few years. Just a few days ago, a bus accident injured 35 high school students in Boston after a bus driver ignored a height limit and ran a bus into an overpass. These accidents also bring to mind the 2011 tour bus accidents on the East coast. After those accidents, the federal government scrutinized tour bus companies and took action to put stricter regulations in place.

There is still much that could be done, however, to prevent driver error and ensure proper bus inspections. Our hearts go out to those injured in the California bus accident and their families.

Source: ABC News, " At Least 8 People Killed in Calif. Bus Crash," Associated Press, Tami Abdollah, Feb. 4, 2013