A Deadly Bus Crash Can Prove Catastrophic
However, because of the way bus seating is designed, passengers on buses have far less chance of being injured or killed than drivers and passengers in other vehicles involved. A research study by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that in 2009 (last available data) about 5.7 people in other vehicles died in a bus accident for every bus passenger.
Buses outweigh and out-size most vehicles, excluding other large commercial trucks. Because of this, when another vehicle gets in a crash with a bus, the greater weight of the bus has a potential to crush a car upon impact and, depending on the circumstances of the accident and how fast each vehicle is going, chances are the passengers in the other vehicle will be seriously injured, or killed.
Common Causes of Bus Crashes
Some common causes of bus wrecks due to driver negligence are:
- Driver distraction;
- Driver fatigue;
- Aggressive driving;
- Driving under the influence of a substance.
Causes of bus accidents due to company negligence include:
- Inadequate driver training
- Not performing required inspections
- Not keeping vehicles in good repair
- Pressuring drivers to work long hours
School Bus Crashes
News of a school bus crash is always scary. Kids are small and light, and it’s easy to picture small children being thrown around or out of the bus when it has a violent impact with another car.
School bus accident statistics are misleading since government statistics do not include private school buses and interstate field trips. Many school buses are not equipped with seat belts and for those who do they might leave the children in charge of securing their own seat belt properly. Because of this, if a school bus crashes or flips, children can and do get seriously injured or killed.
In some states, because the school bus provides seat belts which it leaves up to the kids to secure, the school board and driver have no liability when a child is seriously injured or dies in an accident and the child did not secure the seat belt properly or put it on. In Kentucky, the doctrine of sovereign immunity limits claims against a county a county school board, but the bus driver can be held liable for vehicle collisions.
Long Distance Bus Accidents
Greyhound Bus Accident
Commercial buses that operate as commercial carriers not only owe a duty or ordinary care or simple negligence to other vehicles traveling the highways, but they owe “the utmost skill and foresight” for the safety and protection of their passengers. This is a higher standard of care which makes it easier to prove the common carrier’s liability for injuries caused to its passengers.
Greyhound hauls people from all over, and can crash for many reasons. Since they are big and haul a lot of people there’s a huge potential for injury. Passengers can be standing up, walking around, and using the bathroom in the back of the bus. Sometimes a passenger will smuggle a flask of liquor on board the bus, and there have been crashes caused by an unruly passenger threatening the driver.
With passengers free to move around while the bus is going down the road, a weight imbalance can cause the bus to flip or turn over, especially if the driver is behind schedule and driving fast. Sometimes a Greyhound accident may be due to driver error, the behavior of a passenger, mechanical failure, a tire blowout or any number of reasons but the result of a crash is always serious injury and usually at least one passenger dies.
Tour Bus Crash
People charter buses to go on a trip together in a large group. Individuals or small groups book seats on a tour bus. Because these buses usually travel a distance on highways, they’re going fast. The idea of a large group of people, off for a holiday, winding up in a catastrophic bus crash is sad. Sometimes the bus flips, runs off a bridge or even catches on fire. In a tour or charter bus crash where the bus is going at high speed, passengers are frequently injured or killed.
City Bus Accident
A city bus during rush hour is packed with people, many of them standing up and close-packed, without enough straps or anything else to hold onto. Nobody is wearing a seat belt, and sometimes a mentally unstable person boards the bus with a weapon. It’s a wonder that more people are not injured on city buses. Some city buses are express buses, meaning they get on the freeway to go to a destination rapidly.
A commercial city bus is also a common carrier and as such, the company has a duty to provide safe passage to all passengers. In Kentucky, for example, a common carrier owes its passengers a higher degree of care than does an operator of a private vehicle. There are many ways this duty can be breached, and if an accident results from providing substandard care for the passenger’s safety, then the public transportation provider is liable, and perhaps others.
Some city bus conditions which could cause accident and/or injury are:
- Driver error;
- Driver fatigue;
- Mechanical failure;
- Tire blowout.
Also, if a dangerous passenger is allowed on board who does something to harm another passenger, or causes chaos that results in an accident, the transit company may be held liable in some cases when the bus driver had reason to believe the passenger was a danger to others and allowed the passenger on the bus or remain on the bus.
Isaacs & Isaacs Attorneys for Bus Wrecks
When you or somebody you love has been injured or killed while riding on a bus, the carrier is liable for damages. If you are injured riding a city bus, you may have to meet a series of deadlines in filing your claim or you will lose the right to be compensated.
For private companies like Greyhound and Charter or Tour bus lines, recovering damages will also be complicated. The best thing you can do if you are in a bus crash is to hire an experienced attorney who will investigate the cause of the crash, determine who is/are liable and work to ensure that you get just compensation.
If you have been hit by a large bus, you should also contact an experienced attorney familiar with insurance law, common carrier laws, and the duties owed to you to make sure all bases are covered and all defendant who may have contributed to your injuries are identified and claims made to see that you receive full compensation for your harms and losses.
You do not have to pay anything to enlist our help. Isaacs & Isaacs will represent you on a contingency fee basis–if we don’t get you your money we won’t get paid!
In all matters when dealing with insurance claims and lawsuits there are deadlines to meet, and if you do not file your case or claim before the time limit expires you lose your right to be compensated for your injuries and losses. Also, when investigating the cause of an accident it is best to start as soon as possible after the accident occurs because people forget what happened or what they saw and evidence changes or disappears.
At Isaacs & Isaacs we realize that accidents happen at all hours and our skilled team of legal professionals is on call day and night to be there for you when you need us. Call 800-800-8888 or fill out our online form to speak to an experienced bus accident lawyer.