School, city, tour, and church buses are frequently involved in traffic accidents with other vehicles, pedestrians, motorcycles, and trucks. Bus accident victims are often left with serious injuries, emotional pain, and massive medical bills. Fortunately, they may be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages with the help of a personal injury attorney.
How Do Bus Accidents Occur?
Once you begin to work with a personal injury attorney, the first thing he will do is determine the cause of the accident. Some of the most common causes include:
Bus drivers must drive with extreme caution to protect everyone on board, but unfortunately, many drivers do not. Reckless driving, such as speeding, not paying attention to traffic signals, or cutting off other vehicles, often leads to accidents.
Distracted or Intoxicated Driving
No bus driver should ever get behind the wheel while intoxicated or distracted by a cell phone or other device. Intoxicated and distracted driving are both extremely dangerous and can increase the likelihood of a collision.
There are regulations in place that prevent bus companies from overscheduling bus drivers, however many companies fail to adhere to these regulations. As a result, drivers are often fatigued and unable to pay attention to the road.
Condition of the Bus
Bus companies must keep detailed maintenance logs to prove that they regularly inspect and repair their buses. However, some companies choose to skip these inspections or put them off. This is a risky decision that often leads to accidents caused by poorly maintained buses.
Who is Liable?
In car accident cases, it’s fairly simply to prove who should be held responsible for any injuries that occurred as a result of the collision. However, it is a bit more complicated in bus accidents because there are more parties involved. Some of the parties that you may be able to hold liable for your injuries include:
Many accidents are caused by the driver’s negligence. If a driver makes an error, drives recklessly, drives while intoxicated, or becomes distracted behind the wheel, he may be held liable if he causes an accident.
The company that owns and operates the bus is often held liable for bus accidents. Bus companies are responsible for inspecting and maintaining their fleet of buses. They are also responsible for hiring competent drivers and ensuring that they are properly trained before getting behind the wheel of a bus. If they fail to fulfill any of these obligations, the bus company could be held liable for your injuries.
Manufacturers can be held liable in the event that a defective part of the bus was the cause of the accident.
If the accident involved a school bus, the school district may be held liable. It is the school district’s responsibility to hire competent drivers, train them accordingly, and enforce procedures that will keep everyone on board safe. If it can be proven that they failed to do so, they can be held liable in the event of an accident.
Some buses are owned and operated by a government entity such as the city or county. If you were involved in an accident with a city or county-owned bus, the government may be liable for your injuries if the accident was caused by a negligent bus driver.
In some cases, more than one of these parties may be responsible for the accident. But, it can be difficult to prove liability in bus accidents, which is why you should always rely on an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your case.
Seek Legal Representation For Your Bus Accident Case
Bus accidents often lead to devastating injuries for people on board and innocent bystanders and motorists on the streets. If you have been injured in a bus accident, contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, and Rowley today to discuss your legal options.