Yes, Lorenz Bus Service in Minnesota and Wisconsin has been involved in six accidents over the past two years that injured a number of 20 people. The latest of those occurred on the first day of the 2019 Minnesota State Fair on Highway 280 between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Eight people were sent to the hospital.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any Lorenz bus crash, contact Pritzker Hageman law firm based in Minneapolis. Our attorneys represent victims injured in collisions involving motor coaches, semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles. Lorenz is a for-hire bus and motor coach company responsible for the safety of its passengers. It is held accountable by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), State Troopers, sheriff’s deputies, city police and your bus crash lawsuit.
Rear-Ended by Bus
In addition to this year’s State Fair-related bus crash, a Lorenz bus driver was cited by authorities earlier in 2019 for following too closely after a Lorenz motor coach slammed into the rear of a snow plow in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin. This crash, according to FMCSA, injured nine people and it happened just six months prior to the Minnesota collision.
Wisconsin State Patrol investigated and reported that the Lorenz bus rear-ended the plow on Interstate 94 between Osseo and Foster. After the initial impact, the bus angled into the trailer of a semi-truck. A post-crash inspection said the 53-year-old Lorenz bus driver suffered serious injuries and received an “unsafe driving’’ violation — one of three such safety violations against Lorenz drivers in the two years that ended in July 2019. The other violations were for speeding and using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial motor vehicle.
FMCSA keeps detailed records of bus company inspections and publishes safety information on each carrier. Lorenz, based in Blaine, Minnesota, had zero driver fitness issues in a recent two-year period and has maintained a satisfactory safety grade. But in addition to the three unsafe driving cases, federal inspectors found 20 vehicle maintenance violations during 51 inspections of Lorenz vehicles over the same two-year period.
Those hazards included a tire that was flat or audibly leaking air; brake connections with leaks or restrictions and steering system components “worn, welded or missing.’’ Lorenz is a sizable bus company with approximately 200 drivers and 140 transport vehicles. In 2017, Lorenz busses and motor coaches covered 3.5 million miles on the road.
Bus Accident Lawyers
The company made headlines in the Twin Cities on August 22 when a Lorenz bus — unoccupied except for its driver — left the pavement on an entrance ramp to Highway 280 and careened across grass into traffic lanes. It collided with a motor coach from Little Falls, Minnesota, that was carrying fairgoers. The frightening crash blocked the highway for hours. Investigators wanted to know why the Lorenz bus went so far off course near the Larpenteur Avenue overpass.
Bus accident attorneys at Pritzker Hagemen conduct their own, independent crash investigations — sometimes finding mistakes in the conclusions drawn by law enforcement officers who often must work hastily at the scene. Lawyers Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman have reconstructed many crashes involving heavyweight commercial vehicles. In some cases, they have created crash simulations using computer animation video — powerful when presenting a case to a judge or jury.
If you are injured in a bus accident or a loved one dies, the best advice is not to sign any papers presented to you by a bus company or its insurance agency after a crash. Retain a lawyer — and soon — to take over those communications and to aggressively uphold your interests and legal rights. A good bus accident lawyer will know the value of your case and win you the compensation that you deserve.
Bus Safety Precaution
Consider taking precautions before hiring a bus company for charter. Prizker Hageman recommends that you always check the service provider’s registration, insurance status and safety record before booking a trip for your group. Non-exempt carriers are required to keep evidence of financial responsibility on file. Ask for it. Specific safety information is available, too, through FMCSA’s public webpage. Enter the name of the bus company and you’ll be taken to a wide-ranging safety summary. If you see red flags, look around for another option.