A Texas jury heard the case filed by the surviving family members of a young man fatally crushed by a commercial bus. After determining the company’s negligence in placing an exhausted and irresponsible driver on a route, it awarded the family $20 million, as reported by KDRV-TV.
While this particular wrongful death lawsuit took approximately two years to resolve, it is not uncommon for complicated cases to take several years. A lawsuit may take time to work its way through the legal system because the court provides each party with the opportunity to present evidence to prove their side of the argument.
Evidence may help prove negligence
In 2017, the victim boarded a commercial bus headed to San Francisco. When it made a stop at a Texas gas station, the 25-year-old exited the bus, but could not get back on. The bus operator reportedly pulled away from the station and struck the victim while he pounded on the bus in an attempt to catch the attention of its driver.
Several passengers provided eyewitness testimony to investigators stating that the man had been “banging on the bus” as it pulled out of the station. The driver, however, refused to allow the man to get on.
During the trial in 2019, the evidence introduced to the court indicated that the driver did not accurately count the number of passengers on board before he steered the bus out of the gas station. Evidence also revealed that he drove off earlier than the bus’s scheduled departure time. The bus driver did not face criminal charges over the passenger’s death, but the civil jury found in favor of the grieving family.
Circumstances may contribute to a verdict amount
A jury’s award may include compensation for medical bills, unexpected funeral expenses and the pain and suffering that a victim or his or her family endured. Some factors that determine an award may include the deceased’s age, health, spouse, dependents, education, career and loss of potential earnings. The court may have a professional evaluate how much income the deceased may have expected to earn during his or her lifetime.