When it comes to bus accidents, transportation authorities and cities are usually the parties scrutinized for responsibility. However, here in the Bay Area, even tech companies can be responsible for crashes of this nature. One such crash could soon lead one of Silicon Valley’s largest companies to the courtroom.
Can Victims Hold Silicon Valley Company Buses Responsible for Accidents?
Buses for Silicon Valley tech companies are not an unusual sight for the Bay Area. They transport workers to and from destinations rather than carrying public riders. This has made these vehicles the target of controversy. These tech buses have been blocked, vandalized and attacked by protestors that consider them a symbol of gentrification. Despite this extra attention, these vehicles are still a form of mass transit, but can they be held to the same standards?
An 83-year-old woman was crossing an intersection in North Beach. Witnesses say the crosswalk light was signaling her to cross when a Google bus approached. The bus allegedly hit the woman, knocking her to the ground before dragging her underneath the vehicle. She sustained a dislocated shoulder as well as injuries to her hand, face and hip. The estimated cost of her medical treatment was over $47,000.
The driver of the bus told the police that he had not seen the woman, and that he stopped immediately when passengers told him he had run over someone. On their report, officers assigned blame to the bus driver, but the woman received a surprising response from the driver’s employer.
The tech giant refused to pay the 83-year-old’s medical expenses, forcing the woman to file a lawsuit. Now, a court must decide what liabilities Google holds in this case. Depending on the circumstances, liability could fall on a private contractor if they were hired by Google, but certain circumstances could also see the tech company responsible.
Who will be held responsible? Was the bus operating under proper safety standards? The public transportation lawyers at Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. will continue to watch this case to find out. Depending on the outcome, there could be lasting effects on how tech company buses are held liable for the damages they cause.
Source: Mary Alexander