Bus Accidents: More Common Than You Think
While a large semi-truck on the road grabs the attention of even jaded drivers, school buses, charter buses, and city busses so ubiquitous we tend to see right through them. However, busses are so large that when accidents happen, the damage is comparable to the damage caused by a semi-truck. According to the Federal Motor Carriers Association, bus accidents happen every day, causing thousands of injuries every year. In 2018 there were approximately 15,000 crashes involving busses, with 27,000 people seriously injured nationwide.
WHAT MAKES BUS ACCIDENTS SO DANGEROUS?
First, these vehicles often lack safety features for passengers, including seat belts. Passengers may ride standing up, with just a handhold to stabilize themselves, which makes them vulnerable to falls. Due to their large size, buses are at a higher risk for rollovers than other vehicles, can easily cause catastrophic injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists, and often strike multiple vehicles during a single accident event. Driving a bus requires special training and a Commercial Driver’s License, but there are some skills that can only be gained by experience. Driving these large vehicles requires focused attention, too. Bus drivers work long hours. This plus repetitive, monotonous routes can lead to driver fatigue. And finally, buses really rack up the miles. They require regular maintenance which can be overlooked.
WHAT DETERMINES LIABILITY?
The rules for determining liability are different for bus accidents than for a typical car crash. Buses are considered common carriers, a legal term that refers to a person or entity who is responsible for transporting goods or people over regular routes and is responsible for any losses. Common carriers are governed by stricter regulations than individually owned passenger vehicles. This is generally good news for people who are injured in bus accidents with privately owned buses. When a bus is publicly owned, however, damages may be capped and the issue of governmental immunity arises. It is important to talk to an experienced bus accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident to protect your rights and ensure the best possible recovery.
PARTIES WHO MAY BE FOUND LIABLE IN A BUS ACCIDENT:
- The bus driver, who may have been driving unsafely
- The bus driver’s employer, who may not have provided proper training or vehicle inspections
- Passengers on the bus, if they distracted the driver or broke a law
- Other motorists, pedestrians, or bicyclists
- Local government, if it can be shown that the design or condition of roads caused the accident
Just like other accident victims, victims of bus accidents are entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Injured in a Bus Accident?
CALL A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
Bus accident cases can be complex. It is essential to have an experienced Denver personal injury attorney on your side. At Shafner Law, we have obtained many successful recoveries for victims of bus accidents, including school bus accidents. We know how to get our clients the compensation they deserve.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, we want to help you recover.
For a free consultation, call Shafner Law at (303) 796-0555 or fill out the Case Form below.
Additional Auto Accident Resources