Bus accidents are sometimes the scariest of accidents. The size of the bus, alone, is enough to make even the smallest of mishaps on the road escalate into a full-blown disaster.
After the injuries and suffering, the complex liability issues, multi-bureau investigations and lengthy legal battles can be too much for anybody to bear while recovering from the trauma of the accident.
If you’ve find yourself in this situation, let us take some of the weight off your shoulders. Your job, right now, should be to recover. Our job is to fight your legal battle. The personal injury attorneys at Nunez & Associates will determine exactly what the bus companies are liable for and how much the insurance companies should pay for your injuries and suffering. We’ll negotiate a fair settlement and file suit on your behalf if necessary.
Increased responsibility of bus drivers & transportation companies.
Bus drivers and transportation companies are commercial operators with a higher duty of care to passengers, pedestrians and other motor vehicles on the roadways than ordinary motorists.
Unlike common motorists, bus operators and bus companies with vehicles that cross state lines must comply with regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration because they are involved in interstate commerce. This agency issues rules regarding driving hours, drug testing, inspections and passenger safety matters. Because of the nature of the duty and relationship of the bus company along with its drivers, maintenance and other employees to the public, a violation of a regulation that is at all related to the cause of an accident can form the basis for civil liability.
Buses include the following types of vehicles:
- Cross country or interstate
These are large vehicles that have less maneuverability than passenger vehicles and require a certain degree of training for drivers. They also must be inspected and maintained in accordance with state and federal laws.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Accidents can involve substantial numbers of injured victims. Buses weigh substantially more than passenger vehicles and drivers must be trained in its proper operation. In any bus accident, investigators will look for various reasons or causes including:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver distraction
- Intoxication or drug impairment
- Equipment defects and mechanical problems
- Driver inexperience
- Handling problems
- Lack of training
- Hiring drivers with poor driving records
- Lack of drug testing policies
- Falsification or driver records, maintenance logs and drug and alcohol tests
Buses are not required to have seat belts. When an accident occurs, passengers can be ejected from their seats and thrown through windows, onto the floor or into the backs of seats. Any of these can result in broken bones, head injuries, internal injuries, facial fractures and spinal cord injuries.
Liability of Bus Companies
In any accident involving a commercial vehicle, such as a bus, local police will carry out an investigation, and the FMCA will investigate if the vehicle is one that crosses state lines. Investigators interview each passenger, if possible, and driver. If there are skid marks, these may be evidence of the speed of the vehicle and stopping distance. The bus itself is examined for defects and mechanical problems. Some buses now have on-board cameras that can provide valuable evidence of the driver’s conduct and actions in the moments leading to the accident. Because of the nature of these accidents and the complexity of the structure of the bus, an attorney may hire accident reconstruction experts or expert bus mechanics to substantiate negligent conduct or uncover defects in any mechanical systems or in the maintenance of the vehicle that were factors in causing the accident.
Retain an Experienced Bus Accident Injury Attorney
Bus companies have comprehensive commercial liability policies as required by law and to safeguard against accidents since large numbers of people can potentially be injured. Our Attorneys possess the skills and knowledge incumbent to handle successfully bus accidents so that you or a loved one may obtain adequate compensation for your injuries.