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Bus Accidents: How Often Do they Occur?
Bus accidents are unfortunately quite common, and they can cause significant harm to passengers, drivers, and other individuals who may be involved.
Bus accidents can happen at any time and for a variety of reasons. However, some factors, such as driver error, mechanical failures, and poor weather conditions, are more common causes of these accidents. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were approximately 12,000 bus accidents in the United States in 2018, resulting in over 300 fatalities. This number has remained relatively consistent over the past few years, indicating that bus accidents continue to be a significant concern. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 30,000 bus accidents occur each year in the United States. These accidents can range from minor fender benders to major collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, or obstacles on the road.
If You Are Hurt Seriously?
Bus accidents can result in severe injuries that can, in many cases, permanently change the course of the victim’s life. Buses often do not have seat belts or other restraints, which means that you may suffer substantial injury in an accident. The sooner you hire a skilled commercial vehicle accident attorney, the better for your case!
Just before Andrew Traub was to be married, his parents-in-law were involved in a serious bus wreck where one passenger died and his in-laws were seriously injured. They still live with the pain caused by that accident, over twenty-five years later!
Common Bus Accident Injuries
Bus accident injuries can stem from a variety of circumstances. For example, if you suffer injuries as a pedestrian struck by a bus, you may have a traumatic brain injury (TBI), internal injuries, lacerations, or broken bones. If you suffer injuries in a slip-and-fall accident on a bus due to wet flooring or poorly maintained floors, you may end up with broken bones in your hands or arms, severe lacerations, or a broken hip.
Suppose you suffer injuries in an accident as a passenger on the bus, on the other hand. In that case, you may have similar injuries to those you might suffer in a car accident, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, or broken bones.
These types of injuries can have long-lasting effects on an individual's health and quality of life. For example, a TBI can result in permanent cognitive impairments, while spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis. Fractures can also be very painful and take a long time to heal, and burns can result in disfigurement and scarring. Additionally, internal injuries can be life-threatening. These injuries can require extensive medical treatment, including surgery, rehabilitation, and ongoing care. In the most severe cases, people who are injured in bus accidents may be left permanently disabled and unable to return to work.
Talk to an attorney whenever you suffer any injury in a serious bus accident, whether as a passenger on the bus or a pedestrian outside the bus, if the bus driver is at fault for your injury. An attorney can help you better understand your right to compensation and guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim.
Causes of Bus Accidents
There are many factors that contribute to bus accidents, including driver error, mechanical failure, poor road conditions, and traffic congestion. Driver error is a common cause of bus accidents and can include things like distracted driving, fatigue, drug or alcohol use, or reckless driving. Mechanical failure is another common cause of bus accidents and can be caused by issues such as tire blowouts, brake failure, or engine malfunction. Poor road conditions, such as potholes or uneven surfaces, can also contribute to bus accidents, as well as traffic congestion, which can cause buses to slow down or come to a stop unexpectedly.
Who Bears Liability for a Bus Accident?
Bus accidents can occur in a variety of scenarios. Who bears liability for the accident may depend on several factors, including who owns the bus. This may include:
- The City
- Private bus companies
- A school district or school system, in the case of buses used to transport children
- Tour Bus Company
- Greyhound Bus or similar
- The driver of a car
The bus driver may bear primary liability for an accident caused by negligence on the driver’s part. However, the owner of the bus, whether corporate, private or government, may also bear liability for the bus driver’s actions. For example:
Improper maintenance on the bus caused the accident.
Like other commercial vehicles, buses require regular maintenance to keep them moving smoothly. Unfortunately, in some cases, the company that owns the bus may put off maintenance or even forego it entirely to cut costs and keep the bus running.
In other cases, the mechanic that works on the bus, often an outside contractor, may fail to properly repair the bus, leading to substantial injury.
Employing a driver with known accident history or a habit of drinking on the job.
Drinking and driving can substantially raise the risk of serious accidents. A bus driver with a habit of reckless driving may end up causing severe injuries. If the company continues to employ a driver who behaves recklessly regularly, including drinking or using illegal substances and driving, the company may share liability for the accident.
Holding dangerous policies that lead to or contribute to the accident.
In some cases, the company that owns the bus may have policies that push the driver to break the law or to behave dangerously: insisting that a driver spend too many hours a day behind the wheel, for example, or pushing the driver to complete a too-tight route even in hazardous conditions. If the company’s policies cause an accident, it may leave the company liable.
Falling asleep at the wheel
In the case of Andrew Traub's in-laws, there were two drivers who alternated shifts. But the lead driver's were having an affair and so he did not get enough sleep and fell asleep at the wheel.
Government Owned Buses May Have Shorter Claim Times
If a government entity owns the bus involved in your accident, you may have a more limited amount of time to collect compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon after your accident as possible to learn more about your right to compensation or to start filing your personal injury claim before the statute of limitations runs out.
In a bus accident, you should also consider who caused the accident. It may not be the bus driver but rather another driver on the road who committed an error that led to the bus accident and your injuries. The police report can help establish which driver caused the bus accident.
The Compensation You Can Claim After a Bus Accident
After a bus accident, you may have the right to claim compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you look over the conditions that led to your accident and how they may influence your right to compensation. Compensation may depend on the following:
Who Caused Your Injuries?
The liable party in a bus accident may carry liability insurance that will provide much-needed compensation to the injured party in an accident. However, those insurance policies may limit the amount of compensation victims of serious accidents can receive. In addition, there may be many injured parties, limiting the time and amount that might be claimed.
The Extent of Your Injuries
Most of the time, insurance companies calculate the compensation you receive based on the medical expenses you incur because of your injuries. If you suffer severe injuries in the accident, your medical bills may add up fast.
Bills for emergency medical transport and treatment, ongoing surgeries and procedures to treat your injuries, durable medical equipment, and even the cost of in-home care or long-term hospitalization add up, especially in the aftermath of severe injuries.
The Wages You Lost Due to Your Injuries
Often, severe bus accident injuries can prevent you from returning to work immediately after your accident. Your injuries may cause pain and limitations that prevent you from taking care of your usual job responsibilities. Sometimes, an employer may work with you to help you get back to work sooner: offering accommodations or supporting you despite your injuries.
In other cases, your employer may prefer you remain out of work until you recover fully. The longer you stay out of work, the more wages you may lose. An experienced personal injury attorney can give you more information about how to include those lost wages as part of your personal injury claim.
Your Pain and Suffering
In addition to tangible financial losses related to your accident, you may suffer substantial physical pain or emotional anguish. Talk to an attorney about including those elements as part of your personal injury claim. Your medical bills will often form the foundation of your personal injury claim for the insurance company. The human harms and losses will be the most important factor for a jury.
Why hire an Austin bus accident lawyer to handle your case?
Attorneys who win cases against professional truck drivers and motor carriers have an infinite knowledge of the rules and requirements that the bus company and its drivers must follow to ensure the safety of the passengers and the driver.
Types of Commercial Vehicle Crashes We Handle
- Semi-Truck Crashes
- Delivery Van Accidents
- 18-Wheeler Accidents
- FedEx Accidents
- Amazon Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Car Accidents
- UPS Accidents
- Tow Truck Accidents
- Garbage Truck Accidents
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Adjusters Don’t Want You to Hire a Bus Crash Lawyer!
Frequently, an adjuster will contact a bus accident victim and tell them early on that they are “accepting responsibility” and imply that the victim does not need to hire an attorney who will “take part of your money.” There is a reason that the insurance company does not want you to hire an experienced bus accident lawyer. You can be reasonably certain that if an insurance company does not want you to do something, it’s exactly what you should do.
Nevertheless, many people fall for this trick and end up either settling for pennies on the dollar or, later on, the understanding that they need to hire an experienced attorney. However, waiting too long after the accident to retain an attorney can work against the victim and hurt their chances of winning the case.
Get A Bus Accident Lawyer Near Me
Retaining an Austin bus accident lawyer is an important first step toward seeking justice for the victim of negligence on the part of the bus company or the bus driver.
We handle bus accidents and commercial vehicle accidents and have been doing so for over 20 years. Our exceptional track record, and we only get paid if we recover money for you.