A little more than five years after she was in a serious car wreck and seemed totally disabled, a 46-year-old woman will represent Nevada in the Ms. America Pageant this September.
Tracy Rodgers underwent 29 different surgeries after a June 2011 wreck on Interstate 15. A tour bus illegally pulled out in front of her to reach a highway turnaround, causing Ms. Rodgers to collide with the bus at freeway speeds. She suffered a broken back, broken neck, broken pelvis and numerous other injuries. When she first entered Doug Giles’ physical therapy office on a walker and said that her future goals included walking on high heels and competing in beauty pageants, Dr. Giles believed her objectives to be completely unrealistic given her condition at the time. Now, Ms. Rodgers says she can do everything except walk in high heels, because of a replaced tendon. She is also confident that the judges will not notice that one of her thighs is smaller than the other one if she stands a certain way.
“Life is hard. It’s not for sissies,” Ms. Rodgers remarked.
Tour Bus Crashes
Fatal crashes involving tour buses and large trucks increased 20 percent between 2009 and 2013, and by 2014, there were almost 4,000 of these incidents every year. In a significant number of cases, the bus or truck had been involved in at least one other injury or fatality crash. This statistic indicates that many tour bus companies, and tour bus drivers, do not appreciate the risks involved in this kind of work. In fact, the trucking industry has consistently opposed regulations relating to Hours of Service and fatigued driving, despite the obvious dangers.
Because of the sheer size of intercity tour buses, and even most in-city buses, these crashes nearly always involve extremely serious injuries, including:
- Shattered Bones: Especially in the extremities, bones are often crushed almost beyond repair. To heal, and for the victim to regain mobility, there must be aggressive medical treatment combined with extensive physical therapy.
- Serious Burns: Since gasoline and diesel fuel burn at different temperatures, severe third-degree burns, which require painful skin grafts, are common in tour bus crash cases.
- Excessive Blood Loss: Because of the severe external and internal injuries, and the fact that many victims are trapped inside their vehicles, the victims often lose tremendous amounts of blood.
Damages in these cases usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Third Party Liability in Tour Bus Crashes
The transportation company, shipping company or other owner is nearly always responsible for at least some of the plaintiff’s damages, because of respondeat superior. This theory applies if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was an employee who was acting within the course and scope of employment at the time of the crash.
In negligence law, almost any paid or unpaid worker is an “employee,” even if the person is classified differently for other purposes. Similarly, any act that benefits the employer in any way – no matter how slight – is generally sufficient to meet the “course and scope” element.
Partner with an Assertive Attorney
Negligent tour bus drivers cause some of the most serious collisions on Nevada streets and highways. For a free consultation with an aggressive personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. Home and hospital visits are available.