For the purposes of legal definition, a bus is defined as a motorized vehicle that is capable of carrying more than 10 passengers. This definition comes from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. There are a wide number of categories for buses. These include:
- Greyhound buses, used for ordinary city to city passenger transport
- City buses operating within an urban area
- Tour buses and coaches used to carry tourists around
- School and college buses used for student transits
- Other vans or buses used for workers, clubs and church groups
- The Most Common Causes of Bus Crashes
Most bus crashes are caused by the careless or negligent behavior of the bus driver, the bus company, its owner or other drivers. An accident can take place when:
- Other vehicles stop in a bus lane
- A bus or other vehicle suddenly changes lanes
- A car or bus swerves into traffic
- Pedestrians get in the way
- A car or bus is traveling at high speeds
- Most of the time poor driving is the most common cause of bus accidents. Other accidents can be caused a defect in the bus because of poor maintenance or defective parts.
Bus Accident Lawsuits can be Quite Complex
The wide variety of different bus categories, ownership and management means that bus accident lawsuits are quite complex and require the services of accident attorneys with experience in these types of accidents.
Most bus transport operates under strict state and federal licensing regulations, although it is normally state law that determines whether a particular company is liable for damages in the event of an accident.
Reasons for bus accidents are quite varied and your attorney will have to do quite a bit of research to find out who is legally responsible for your injuries. The bus accident may be due, for instance, to driver fatigue, the driver’s poor driving behavior, poor maintenance, defective design or manufacturing errors, spare parts malfunctioning or poor road surface maintenance. All of these variations involve a different party that may be liable for compensating you as the victim for the full cost of your injuries.
One example of the complexities of bus crashes is the law regarding seat belt availability for passengers. Most public bus companies are not required by federal legislation to provide seat belts or other retaining devices for passengers, although drivers are required to be supplied with seat belts as well as required to use them. In the event of a bus accident, when passengers are thrown out of their seats, the lack of a seat belt may, in some states, be used as a basis against the federal government for a compensation claim.
Finding the Right Lawyer
If you have been involved in a bus accident be wary of the bus company’s insurance company. They will most likely want to tempt you with an offer that will be a lot less than what you could obtain when you enlist the help of an attorney. When you contact our firm, we will take the time to discuss your case and the chances you have at receiving the compensation you deserve.
If we do not succeed in winning your claim, then you do not have to pay any of our legal fees.
Bus Accidents may Result in Wrongful Death
Bus accidents can result in serious injuries for those involved and a full calculation of the costs of the injuries needs to be taken into account by your accident attorney. If one of your immediate family members has died as a result of the accident, then this may constitute a wrongful death and you may be entitled to compensation as a result of the death.
Damages due to a bus accident are calculated to take into account some or all of the following:
- Immediate and future medical costs
- Loss of wages or other forms of income due to time off work
- Punitive damages, if the accident can be proved to be the result of careless or negligent driving
- Loss of future income as a result of diminished ability, physical or mental impairment
- Lifetime care and support in the event of a very serious injury such as traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage