The City Of Seattle And State Of Wa Reach Settlements In 12 Cases From 2015 Ride The Ducks Crash
After three years, a settlement agreement has finally been reached for 12 lawsuits that were filed on behalf of the victims of the 2015 Ride the Ducks crash in Seattle. The traumatic accident occurred on the Aurora Avenue Bridge and involved a duck boat amphibious vehicle and a Bellair Charter bus carrying international students. The occupants on the bus consisted of both employees and students who were involved in the international program at North Seattle College. North Seattle had more than 1,000 international students from over 50 countries back when the incident transpired.
KIRO 7 reported that after the front axle assembly on the duck vehicle failed, the driver lost control and crossed the center line, causing it to crash into the bus carrying the students. The accident left several students and employees suffering from severe injuries. Within hours after the accident, officials determined that at least 44 people had been hospitalized, 12 of which were listed in critical condition. Those who had sustained the most serious of injuries were transported to Harborview Medical Center. Others who sustained minor injuries were treated at the scene of the crash.
In total, five people died as a result of this accident and 62 people were injured. Those who passed away were all students who had been riding on the bus. And because of the severity of the accident, many of the victims along with the families of the deceased chose to file suit against the company, the city, and the state. So far, Ride the Ducks was able to reach a settlement agreement with seven plaintiffs. A law firm representing 40 other victims has not yet had luck at reaching a settlement in those cases.
However, it was just recently announced that the City of Seattle and the State of Washington each agreed to pay about $2.2 million which would be spread out over nine different cases. The source also stated that the city agreed to make smaller payments to three more people, however, those amounts were not disclosed.
Prior to the settlement agreements being reached, both the City of Seattle and the State of Washington both felt they were not responsible for the accident. However, the judge overseeing the case determined that both played a role in managing and operating the bride where the accident occurred and is holding both responsible along with the company. And speaking of accountability, it was also determined that the duck boat vehicle should have been recalled by the Missouri company that manufactured it as it was evident that “metal fatigue led to the cracking of the left steering knuckle that broke off just before the duck swerved left into oncoming traffic [Source: King 5 News]. Had the vehicle been properly inspected and maintained, this would have been acknowledged.
Cases like these that involve multiple parties can be rather complex and generally take a significant amount of time before a settlement agreement is reached. This is why anyone who has been involved in a crash is urged to contact a bus accident attorney in Seattle, WA immediately following the accident as they can begin the initial paperwork to start your claim. Because these accidents generally lead to pain and suffering and a buildup of medical bills, it is important you do all that you can to ensure you are properly compensated for the injuries and/or damage you have incurred.
If you are the victim of an unfortunate bus accident in WA and need help locating a bus crash attorney in Seattle, WA, contact USAttorneys.com today.