Our International Personal Injury team secured a settlement for a family who were left stranded in the Nevada desert after their coach crashed on the way to Las Vegas.
The family were enjoying a holiday together in the USA. They were staying in Las Vegas but had taken a trip out to the Grand Canyon for a day along with a group of other tourists.
On the way back from the iconic site, the drive suddenly fell asleep at the wheel, suffering from a suspected heart attack.
The coach plunged 30ft down an embankment and crashed, killing the driver. Mrs L, a nurse and the mother of the family, attempted to perform CPR, but unfortunately nothing could be done.
They were left stranded along with over 40 other passengers near the Nevada state line. They had no idea where they were and no other staff aboard the coach to help them. Thankfully no one else had been seriously hurt in the crash, but everyone had cuts and fractures and was in considerable shock.
It was almost an hour before the emergency services eventually found them. They were taken to a local hospital for treatment where they were diagnosed with anxiety and shock, as well as their physical injuries.
When they got home from their ordeal, the family wanted answers. They got in touch with our International Personal Injury team to see if they could find out whether Silverstate, the organiser of the trip, should have done more to ensure an event like this didn't happen.
Our investigation raised considerable concerns about the company's safety protocol. The driver was the sole member of staff on the coach for a 15-hour round trip, while also acting as a tour guide. Not only did this place enormous strain on one person, it also meant that if anything happened to them - as it did in the crash - there was no one else to help the passengers.
In August 2016 we negotiated an out-of-court settlement with Silverstate. The compensation will help Mrs L and her family with rehabilitation and counselling following this traumatic event.
Mrs L has been unable to return to work due to the psychological effects of the incident.
She said: "We know things could have been much worse, and we are thankful our injuries were not more serious but it's the psychological impact the crash has had on all of us that is taking the longest time to heal".
Mrs L added: "I just hope lessons are learned by the excursion organiser to prevent other passengers going through a similar ordeal. Obviously nothing could have prevented the driver falling ill but if another member of staff had been present, the aftermath would have been easier and we wouldn't have all been left helpless in the middle of nowhere."
Kylie Hutchison, of our International Personal Injury team said: "This was a tragic accident that sadly resulted in the death of the coach driver but it is very fortunate that more passengers were not seriously hurt."
"We hope Silverstate will now work with us quickly and amicably to ensure our clients receive the justice they deserve following this terrible ordeal. We are also keen to hear from any other passengers who travelled on the coach as they may be able to help with further information."
If you or a loved one has had an accident whilst abroad, our Accident and Illness claims team could help you to secure compensation. See our Holiday Accident Claims page for more information.
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