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Driver found guilty of many charges in school bus crash

Drivers who cause serious injury, permanent disability or death in a motor vehicle accident may face criminal charges from county and state prosecutors as well as civil lawsuits for personal injury or wrongful death. A driver from Chattanooga has been found guilty of criminal charges and may have brought more than 30 civil lawsuits upon his employer at the time of the crash.

A Hamilton County jury found the 25-year-old driver guilty of criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and use of a portable device by a school bus driver. Six students were killed and 37 more injured when the driver's bus overturned and crashed into a tree.

Prosecutors say that the accident happened while the bus was traveling 50 miles per hour in a 30-mph zone and the driver was on the phone at the time. The driver claimed he was driving 35 mph at the time and that he was no longer speaking on the phone at the time. Excessive speed and use of cellphones while driving are both risk factors in collisions.

The company that provides most of Hamilton County's bus services may be liable for several lawsuits filed against them. Employees often transmit culpability to employers if they cause serious accidents on company time and with company property.

The survivors of car crash fatalities or people killed in workplace accidents have the right to claim financial damages from the parties at fault. This can provide reimbursement for end-of-life expenses as well as compensation for pain and emotional suffering.

An attorney can help victims and their families determine the best way to move forward and make their lives whole after a tragic accident.

Source: The Times-Free Press, "Jury finds Woodmore bus driver guilty on lesser charges in fatal 2016 crash," Zack Peterson, March 01, 2018

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