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Delays in fatal accident investigation may affect victims

When people are involved in serious car accidents, they have the right to file claims against those responsible for causing harm. In California and other states around the country, the results of a wrongful death suit can depend on successfully proving how and why an incident occurred. The only way to prove that someone or something is responsible for causing an incident is to conduct a timely and thorough investigation. Unfortunately, though, sometimes accidents do not receive the attention or scrutiny they deserve. A full investigation has yet to be completed on a recent fatal accident, which may compromise victims’ potential wrongful death claims.

The fatal multivehicle collision took place near Knoxville, Tennessee, and involved a church bus that struck a semi truck and van after crashing through a road median. While the exact cause of the accident is not yet known, authorities claim that the bus lost control because of an issue with one front tire.

The accident resulted in 14 people sustaining various injuries and 10 deaths. Three of the fatality victims were in the van, one was the semitruck driver and six others were riding in the bus. Of the 18 bus passengers involved in the collision, it’s unclear how many were wearing seatbelts.

The accident investigation has been complicated by the fact that several victims have yet to be identified and the truck was severely damaged by fire after the impact. Staff cuts at the National Transportation Safety Board due to the government shutdown have also affected the situation, as the agency isn’t able to conduct its own investigation.

Unless the exact cause of the accident is determined, victims and their families may not be able to successfully prove personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Source: USA Today, “IDs of bus crash victims hampered by ‘horrific’ scene,” Doug Stanglin, Oct. 3, 2013

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