Traveling by bus is considered a safe mode of transportation in the United States. Many commuters and school children travel by this convenient means of mass transportation. Buses are an inexpensive alternative to a personally owned vehicle and offer a lot of other benefits as well. They are, however, as susceptible to road accidents as any other vehicle.
A bus accident can result in severe and life changing consequences. If the accident was preventable, you could seek financial compensation for the injuries caused. The compensation will not reverse the injuries and complications that you suffer, but can help to reduce the financial burdens caused by your injuries.
Causes of Bus Accidents
You must fight for your rights when you have been injured in a preventable accident. Here are some of the common causes of bus accidents:
- Drunk driving –If the driver was under the influence of alcohol, they are putting passengers and other vehicles at risk. Drunk driving is a criminal offense, and you can take legal action against the driver. Consult the help of a drunk driving accident attorney who can help file a lawsuit against the bus driver.
- Distracted driving –Distracted drivers are another common cause of bus accidents. In spite of laws that prohibit the use of cell phones while driving, drivers continue to use them. Eating, drinking, or simply daydreaming are some common distractions that lead to accidents.
- Feeling drowsy or fatigued –When drivers are overworked or working long shifts, they can become dangerously fatigued. Driving beyond the point of exhaustion places passenger and pedestrian lives at risk. If a driver is experiencing dangerous levels of fatigue, they should inform their supervisor and get off the road.
- Poor bus maintenance –Bus owners and operators have a responsibility to maintain proper care and maintenance of their buses and equipment. Vehicles should be inspected regularly to avoid dangerous conditions that could lead to malfunctions or accidents.
- Not obeying traffic rules –The driver must not violate the laws and drive carefully. If they are not obeying the laws, they can be held liable for any resulting accident.
- Hiring and poor training –The bus company is responsible for hiring and training their staff correctly. They have a duty to ensure that drivers are licensed and have clean driving histories. You can sue the driver and the company for being negligent and get compensation for your injuries.
Common Injuries in Bus Accident Cases
The following are some common injuries that occur as a result of a bus accident:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Torn ligaments
- Severe skin injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
Who Can Be Held Liable for Injuries?
The following are common examples of those who have been found liable for the injuries caused by a bus accident:
- The bus company or owner
- The bus driver
- Manufacturer of the bus
- Maintenance provider of the bus
- Other drivers who collided with the bus
Sometimes, one or more parties may be responsible for the accident and injuries.
What Are the Damages You Can Recover in a Bus Accident?
You can recover compensation for the following damages in a bus accident. The amount of compensation will vary from situation to situation:
- Medical expenses and hospital bills, including future medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Punitive damages
Protect Your Rights if You Have Been Involved in a Bus Accident
If you have sustained an injury as a result of a bus accident, you have the right to take action against those responsible to recover expenses and other damages related to the accident. At times, injuries may be undetectable immediately following an accident but can affect you later. For this reason, it is crucial to seek medical attention and treatment as soon after an accident as possible. A medical evaluation will not only ensure your health, but can later assist with proving your injuries and evaluating your overall damages.
Buses are also a popular form of public transportation usually managed by the state or municipality in which they are operated. If the driver of a public bus caused an accident as a result of their negligence, then you could sue the government entity.
Suing the government is much more difficult than suing a private individual or business. Many states have strict deadlines to file a civil complaint against a government entity.
If the government denies the claim, only then can a lawsuit be filed. In contrast, a personal injury lawsuit against a private entity has up to two years after the accident to be filed and there is no requirement that a separate claim be filed beforehand.
You must have evidence to prove that the bus driver or the other party was negligent. Bus accidents are complicated because they often involve several parties and the government. Liability can be difficult to prove.
You can consult with an experienced bus accident lawyer to help you navigate the legal process. A lawyer will review your case and help you determine which party or parties are liable to you for damages.
Whether through a third-party insurance settlement or a lawsuit, the attorney will take care of everything. You can focus on your recovery and let the attorney handle the complicated legal work. Contact us today.