Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are saying that all brakes on a tour bus that crashed in February near Yucaipa, were defective, the Los Angeles Times reports. The fatal bus crash occurred Feb. 3 on Highway 38 when the tour bus careened off the roadway, killing seven passengers. NTSB investigators said 100 percent of the bakes on the tour bus were defective in some way. Investigators also determined that if the bus had been stopped for a roadside inspection, it surely would have been removed from service.

NTSB’s Findings

Shortly before the crash, in January, the bus operator, Scapadas Magicas, was scheduled for an annual inspection. However, that did not happen. The California Highway Patrol found that each of the six brakes on the bus had at least one condition. Safety officials have criticized the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for failing to catch these offenders and get them off the roadway. Officials said some of the poorly performing companies have been on the FMCSA’s radar for violations, but were allowed to continue operating and were not closely scrutinized until they had been involved in deadly crashes.

Mechanical Failure

One of the most common causes of bus accidents is mechanical failure. Tire failure and brake failure often result in catastrophic bus crashes. It is the legal responsibility of bus companies to ensure that their vehicles are in proper condition. When bus companies fail to properly maintain their vehicles, they put passengers in grave danger. Bus companies have the highest duty of care to their passengers. This means that they are legally responsible for the safe transport of passengers.

Compensation for Victims

In cases where negligence on the part of the bus company caused the crash, injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for their losses as well. Injured victims or their families would also be well advised to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled bus crash cases and helped hold negligent bus companies accountable.