Private Bus Accident Injury
Generally, buses are involved in fewer accidents than cars and motorcycles. Even so, dozens of people are injured in bus accidents every year. These accidents can result in broken bones, neck injuries, bruising, bleeding, concussions, internal damage, and in severe cases, death. Buses may pose additional risks because of their high center of gravity making them more prone to rollover accidents. They may not have seatbelts or require passengers to keep their items on their laps. The risk of projectile objects in an accident is larger for a bus accident than a car accident. The bottom line: while you are less likely to get into a bus accident, the injuries you sustain can be much more serious.
Your options in bringing suit depend on the circumstances of the accident and what type of bus you are on. Plaintiffs in bus accidents are presented with different challenges than those in car accidents. They are not covered by their own auto insurance so often claimants will have to hold a third party liable for their injuries, for example another driver that hit the bus. If you succeed in proving the third party is at fault, you will likely be able to recover from the driver’s insurance. In many cases, however, the bus driver may be at fault for the accident. The plaintiff would likely have to bring a claim against the entity that employs the driver. In cases involving private buses, this would be the airport or company that charters the bus. These suits are complicated if the driver was a volunteer or if you signed a waiver prior to boarding the bus. Bus companies obviously have an interest in escaping liability. It is in your best interest to hire a skilled personal injury attorney to assist you with your claim and maximize your recovery.
Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Driver fatigue. Bus drivers work long shifts often beginning early in the morning and ending late in the evening. They are often placed on many routes each day. Fatigue impairs their decision-making and makes drivers less alert to road conditions around them.
- Driver drug or alcohol impairment. An extremely disconcerting number of accidents are the result of a driver under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This hinders their judgement and can lead to serious vehicle accidents.
- No matter the type of vehicle, speeding increases the chances of an accident. Driving too quickly minimizes the reaction time of both the speeding driver and other drivers on the road. Pressure to meet timeframes can lead to the speeding of bus drivers.
- Inadequate bus maintenance. Even the most attentive and able driver cannot prevent an accident if a bus is not in working condition. Faulty brakes and blinkers are common causes of bus accidents.
- Inadequate driver training. Driving a bus is different than driving a passenger vehicle. Drivers much be experienced in dealing with a larger vehicle. Improperly trained drivers may make turns that are too wide, take curbs to quickly, or fail to slow down in time.
In most cases, a personal injury suit will not be necessary. After we determine who is at fault, we can file a claim for compensation with their insurance company. While an insurance company may try and deny the claim, it will at least open the door for settlement negotiations. If negotiations do not present any fair settlements, we will not hesitate to take your case to court. You are entitled to past and future medical expenses, lost wages, future lost income, pain and suffering, and any other costs resulting from the accident.
At the law firm of Altman & Altman, we pride ourselves on accessibility. The telephones at the law office of Altman & Altman are answered 7 days a week – 24 hours a day. In addition, all emails to the firm are answered within 4 hours, often sooner.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, please contact the law firm of Altman & Altman to speak directly with one of our talented bus accident attorneys. All initial consultations are free of charge.