What Is a Bus Accident Personal Injury?
Rather than an auto accident, you were involved in a bus accident. While you can sustain the same injuries in a crash with a larger vehicle as with a personal vehicle, you must approach bus accidents differently. Know the factors and various parties involved in bus accidents. This can help you secure the compensation you need for your resulting medical bills, lost wages and mental anguish. Enlist the help of a reputable bus accident attorney to help make sense of your situation and safeguard your rights.
What Are Risks Unique to Buses?
On their own, busses are not known as being hazardous vehicles. However, because of their height, they have unique risks that other forms of transportation do not. For instance, much like large trucks, buses need more space to start and stop, a fact that puts them at great risk of certain collisions. Another special consideration for buses is that in a crash, the large vehicles are more likely to roll over than smaller vehicles. Loose objects in a bus become dangerous projectiles during some accidents, putting passengers at risk for injury.
Unlike passenger vehicles, buses often have several passengers. During a single event, dozens of passengers can sustain injuries, which increases the total cost of damages. Depending on the incident’s circumstances, those boarding, waiting or exiting the bus could be at risk during an accident. Also, pedestrians, bikers and drivers could become accident victims. With so many lives at stake and factors to consider, handling a bus accident on your own may quickly become confusing and frustrating.
What Are the Common Causes of Bus Accidents?
Knowing why the accident happened in the first place can help you understand where to focus your efforts in building a case and pursuing compensation. One common reason for bus accidents is speeding. Bus drivers must stick to a route schedule. This may lead them to drive faster than is safe to remain on schedule when traffic or inclement weather slows them down. Even if the bus you were on had a speed monitor to keep it from driving over a certain speed, it may not work as effectively within city limits.
Like truck drivers, bus drivers may operate their vehicles while overly fatigued to make a living. There are fatigue monitors that alert drivers when they blink too frequently or drive with their eyes closed. But such devices cost a lot of money. Another reason for bus accidents is drivers splitting their attention between the road and disruptive passengers. Fighting, arguing children and medical emergencies take a bus driver’s eyes off the road, which can lead to a crash or similar mishap.
Some bus operators drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which can impede their reaction time. Intoxicated bus drivers are especially dangerous around children and school zones where a child may dash out in front of a bus.
What Is Negligence in a Bus Accident?
As the person injured in a bus crash, it falls on you to prove negligence on the part of the person who injured you. To be successful, you must show evidence of causation, duty, breach and harm. Depending on the factors behind the accident, proving negligence may be as easy as proving the bus driver broke traffic laws, which is why the accident happened. On the other hand, you may have to show the driver displayed unreasonable conduct.
You may also have a case that goes beyond standard negligence, such as when recklessness enters the equation. Examples of reckless driving behavior include driving at high speed to evade law enforcement and driving well over the speed limit. Essentially, recklessness involves a blatant disregard for others’ safety.
Bus accident victims must also consider comparative negligence and shared fault while building a case. Any automobile drivers involved in the accident may share fault for the crash. On the other hand, poor road maintenance or design could be the reason the unfortunate event happened. Bus manufacturers could share liability for design or manufacturing defects. Even bus passengers may share fault and negligence in the mishap.
These are just a few examples why you should hire an experienced bus accident attorney to help in your case.
How Do You Handle Lawsuits in Bus Accidents?
Because many parties may share fault in a bus accident, victims must tread carefully when filing a lawsuit. The local government may bear responsibility for poor road maintenance or road design. This fact often complicates legal matters because of the different rules involved with taking legal action against a government entity. You can file an insurance claim with the government, but you may receive a denial. At that point, you can sue, but doing so comes with restrictions.
If the accident was because of faulty bus design, maintenance or manufacturing, that falls under product liability law. After consulting with a bus accident attorney, you may learn that you are better off expanding your suit to include multiple defendants. Even if you contributed to the event, you may still receive damages. Although, it will be for a lesser amount than you would receive if you were free of fault.
What Are the Different Damages for Bus Accidents?
Do you know the full extent of your injuries and damages? You may be able to collect non-economic or economic damages, or perhaps both. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering and emotional anguish. Economic damages consist of medical expenses, lost wages and lost or reduced earning capacity. There are also punitive damages, which punish to prevent similar actions from others. So, what damages do you qualify for? That depends on the nature of your incident and your legal advocate’s abilities. Connect with a bus accident attorney to discuss your best course of action to get you the compensation you deserve.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer
Do not take unnecessary chances dealing with insurance companies, negligent individuals and government entities to close your bus accident case on your own. You should focus on recovering, tending to your financial health, providing for your family and loved ones and getting back to your day-to-day life. Leave the legal heavy lifting to a legal professional. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced bus accident attorney in your area!