The New Year was barely a week old when it was marred locally by a truck accident involving two big rigs and a tour bus. The wreck put 13 people in the hospital and involved a bus company with a history of allegedly unsafe operations.
KTLA reported that the crash occurred near the eastbound 60 Freeway and Seventh Avenue in Hacienda around 9:40 a.m. on Wednesday, January 7. One truck hit a second big rig, which in turn veered toward the center divider and collided with the tour bus, the California Highway Patrol told the TV station.
The collision was only a “glancing blow,” according to the report, so the bus occupants who were hospitalized largely escaped with minor injuries. But it could certainly have been worse. Truck and bus accidents can cause catastrophic injury and death.
Other details in KTLA’s report depict one aspect of the problems injured passengers, drivers and others can run into after a commercial motor vehicle wreck – lack of cooperation and disclosure by the company that owns the vehicle.
The bus involved in the crash was labeled “Bus Limo Express,” but in much smaller letters said “operated by Da Zhen,” KTLA says. Da Zhen Travel, the report says, operated the bus in an August 2013 crash in Irwindale that left dozens injured after what authorities alleged was an “unsafe lane change.”
But KTLA says when it called Da Zhen Travel Agency in Monterey Park for information, the company would only confirm the bus’s route.
We’re skeptical about how much more forthcoming the company will be when those have been injured or their insurance companies call to ask what Da Zhen is going to do about their hospital bills. A tour bus company or a trucking company has lawyers and insurance agents at their disposal. Most passenger car drivers don’t have those resources, and that can make it difficult if not impossible to collect on an insurance claim after an accident involving a bus or semi-truck.
At Avrek Law, we always counsel clients that truck and bus accidents are much more complex than passenger car accidents. They’re usually more serious, and the company that put the truck or bus on the road has a large investment to protect.
Larger companies will use their lawyers to protect them after a crash, and smaller companies will simply stonewall or otherwise avoid contact. Some small companies even declare bankruptcy or go out of business, only to reincorporate under a new name that has no obvious link to the old company.
If you were injured in the 60 Freeway crash in Hacienda or have been hurt in any truck or tour bus crash, your best move is to contact a personal injury attorney experienced with commercial motor vehicle accidents as soon as possible.