This year’s Burning Man festival (traditionally held in the Nevada desert) is marked with one tragic event – a woman, who attended this festival, was killed in a bus accident. Her identify remains unknown (notification from her relatives is still pending).
Burning Man Blog reports that the woman fell under a bus where several festival attendees were.
One question is being asked here – does woman’s family has some legal options and what are they?
In situations like this (where someone was intentionally or negligently killed), family has right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This lawsuit is basically trying to compensate family members who are financially suffering after their family member’s death. Wrongful death lawsuit tries to find out ways to compensate family for their (financial) loss. This is done by compensating them damage in small amounts enough to cover support, service and income they lost. Family can also be provided with the money needed for medical and funeral expenses.
Of course, festival organizers can also be sued here, but only for negligence. This can be possible if legally organizers have duty to act responsible (and they fail in that, injuries happen). Here the family can sue the festival organizers for not installing safe equipment on the festival grounds and they can claim that that caused this woman’s death.
Not only festival organizers, but bus drivers and bus owner can also be sued for negligence. Buses need to respect very high safety standards (because they are considered to be common carriers). Driver doesn’t need to make a big mistake – just a slight, minor disrespecting of this duty to act safely is enough for liability for negligence. This, in general, applies only to injured passengers. Of course, the bus owners can be (or are) liable for any negligence of the driver. This is because bus owners are respondent superiors. If a bus driver was unfit for the job, or he was a bad driver, and the bus owner knew that – the owner is liable in this situation, too.
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