According to a study published by the National Safety Council (NSC), there were 117 people killed in school bus related accidents in 2018. Of those 117 fatalities, 70% were not in the school buses, but in other vehicles impacted by the school bus.
School buses, commercial buses, and public transit buses are critical transportation for many people. Yet, they can be deadly if handled recklessly. This is why bus drivers are held to higher standards of vehicle safety in every industry and are specifically licensed C.D.L. drivers.
When an accident does happen, the results can be devastating. If you have been injured and plan to take action, commercial carrier law can be complicated. First you must attempt to determine and apportion relative fault.
Is it the driver? The bus manufacturer? Or the company that owns the bus?
Because of this complexity, a skilled personal injury lawyer is essential. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Cravens and Noll.
Different Types of Buses
Before you pursue a personal injury case for a bus accident, you need to understand the different types of buses. By understanding these differences, you can begin to build a strong case for your defense. There are 3 main types of buses:
- Commercial Buses:
- These buses are owned by private companies, like Greyhound and MegaBus.
- They are used to transport paying customers across the country.
- They are regulated by federal and state law because people pay to use them.
- These bus drivers are held to a higher standard than most vehicle drivers.
- Public Transit Buses:
- Buses used for public transport are owned by the local or state government.
- As these are public transportation vehicles, they often fall under special exemptions and government immunity doctrines.
- It can be difficult to know exactly which entity is responsible for the damages or whether immunity applies. If it does apply, you have to determine the amount and circumstances of the claim.
- School Buses:
- Buses used to transport students are owned by the school district.
- They pose a more serious threat to passengers since there are no seatbelts on a school bus.
- School bus drivers are considered government employees, meaning you have to decide if fault lies with the driver or the education department which purchases and maintains the buses.
Each bus type has its own host of parameters and specifications.
While this can muddy the legal process, there is one thing that is clear: these vehicles can create horrible consequences when involved in accidents if handled recklessly or at great speed.
Common Reasons for Bus Accidents
Just like any other vehicle, bus accidents are caused for a variety of common reasons. While these drivers are often held to higher standards, either by government regulation or private companies, drivers can still make mistakes or act negligently or recklessly.
Common causes of bus accidents:
- Distracted driving (texting while driving, talking to passengers)
- Reckless driving (going too fast, not slowing down in time; intoxication or driving under the influence of drugs.)
- Mechanical failure (brakes don’t work, flat tire)
- Reckless driving by another driver of another vehicle on the roadway
Bus operators are held to a higher standard of safety. Since buses take up more space on the road and have to consider the wellbeing of their passengers, bus drivers need to be reliable and focused at all times and operate their vehicles in a safe manner under the conditions present.
If the driver is easily distracted or the bus itself is prone to breaking down, it can pose a more serious threat to passengers and the other drivers on the road. Bus accidents cause more severe injuries due to their larger size and heavier weight. If you or your vehicle are hit head-on by a bus, the likelihood of fatality or serious injury is greatly enhanced.
Common injuries for bus accidents include:
- Back, neck and spine injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Cuts and bruising
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
What You Can Do After a Bus Accident
If you or a loved one have been affected by a bus accident, either as a passenger, driver or bystander, you need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
No matter your injury, you deserve compensation for the damages you’ve had to experience.
You should first meet with your attorney to discuss your case. It’s important to identify who is responsible for the accident.
Depending on what type of bus caused your accident, you could be filing a case against an individual or an entity, like a private company or a government body.
These details determine the viability of your case and the likelihood your lawyer will be able to achieve a monetary recovery to adequately compensate you for your injuries.
This discussion will further illuminate the damages you need to be compensated for. A bus accident can lead to many injuries, which can cause great stress and pain or even completely alter your life.
Damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Emotional trauma
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
A driver’s negligence or an inspection oversight can have permanent and devastating effects on someone’s life. That’s why it’s important to hold these drivers and their companies accountable. Safety regulations are designed to keep everyone on the road safe from harm, and when these rules are not followed, tragedy can strike. We help you strike back and get the compensation you deserve.
You deserve to live your life again, and our personal injury attorneys at Cravens and Noll want this for you.
That’s why we will use all of our experience and determination to defend your rights in court if necessary, or in the claims process if adequate settlement can be negotiated.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Cravens and Noll
When you need an experienced team of compassionate attorneys for your bus accident case, contact the attorneys at Cravens and Noll.
Our attorneys have an edge in terms of negotiating and litigation. We are experienced as defense counsel in bus accident litigation, we know where to look to find evidence of liability, and insurance coverage and we know how the other side will approach the litigation. Our attorneys have represented insurance companies, municipalities and bus companies previously, as well as literally hundreds of bus accident victims and claimants.
We also are dedicated to serving you and your needs. Your health and wellness comes before all else.
We want you to view us not only as your lawyers, but as citizen lawyers who care about your safety. We will listen to your story and fight tirelessly to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Going up against bus companies and their insurance carriers is no small task — you need every advantage possible. You need the attorneys of Cravens and Noll. Get in touch with us today for your initial consultation.