A bus accident might seem unlikely to most people, since relatively few experience one. However, bus accidents do occur on a regular basis. Many bus accidents are caused by a bus driver who may become distracted from the noise or activity within the bus; talking/texting on a cell phone; driving the bus too fast; sudden braking; making a sudden maneuver; changing lanes or simply not seeing a car on the road because the bus driver was not properly paying attention.
The negligence of a bus driver can cause injury to its passengers; occupants of another vehicle or a pedestrian. A passenger in a bus can be tossed around the interior of the bus during an accident. As an occupant of another vehicle, a bus impact can have a crushing effect on that vehicle due to the size and weight of the bus. Finally, the impact of a bus striking a pedestrian can be devastating and life-altering.
A victim of a bus accident who suffered serious injury can learn their options for recovering damages by consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney. Our dedicated Bridgeport bus accident lawyers can work on your case while you work on recovering from your injuries.
Most Common Causes for Bus Accidents
The main causes of bus accidents are driver fatigue, distracted driving, vehicle defects, poor roadway conditions, and speeding/aggressive driving. These all can lead to increased risks of an accident occurring which could injure passengers on board the bus.
- Driver Fatigue: this can lead to delayed reaction times and poor decision-making, which can cause severe accidents and injuries to passengers.
- Distracted Driving: this can result in sudden stops or sharp turns, which can throw riders off balance and potentially cause head and neck trauma or another serious injury.
- Vehicle Defects: mechanical problems with the bus such as inadequate brakes or steering systems maintenance can create a dangerous situation for passengers on board the vehicle.
- Poor Roadway Conditions: potholes, uneven surfaces, and debris on roads can increase the likelihood of an accident occurring when traveling in a bus.
- Speeding/Aggressive driving: traveling at excessive speeds reduces a driver’s ability to react quickly to unexpected obstructions in their path, increasing the risk of an accident occurring that could injure passengers on board the bus.
What is the Duty of Care in a Bus Accident Case?
In everyday situations, the legal standard for this duty requires that individuals exercise the type of care that the “reasonable person” would exercise under similar circumstances. Failing to exercise that standard subjects that person to liability for any injuries or losses caused to another.
Although the reasonable person standard applies in most situations, certain individuals are required to exercise a stricter or higher level of care based on their occupation or experience. For example, drivers of “common carriers,” such as buses, must uphold a stricter standard of care. This difference matters in a negligence claim because the claimant must prove that a duty of care was first owed and then breached resulting in an injury or loss.
An experienced local attorney can carefully present the evidence in your bus crash case to demonstrate the negligent party’s duty of care.
School Bus Dangers
As school buses transport students to and from school each day, they face many potential dangers. According to recent statistics, an average of five children die each year as a result of school bus-related accidents. Furthermore, more than 23,000 students are injured in these types of accidents annually – this accounts for about one in every ten bus-related injuries reported throughout the United States. From distracted drivers to improperly maintained roads and even sudden stops or turns, there are a variety of hazards that can lead to serious injury or death when boarding a school bus. It’s important for parents and students alike to be aware of these potential dangers so they can take necessary precautions while traveling by bus.
Pursuing a Bus Accident Claim
Bus injury lawsuits are governed by a 2-year statute of limitations. What that means is that a person has 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in court. In most instances, the failure to file a lawsuit within that timeframe will forever prevent a person from bringing a claim or lawsuit to recover monetary damages for his or her injuries or losses.
How Do Bus Injury Claims Work?
Although a bus company and driver are subject to a higher standard of care, injury claims being made as a result of a bus accident are similar to that of any other motor vehicle accident claim. The bus company is placed on notice of the claim. It is then processed through its insurance company. The insurance company will review the bus incident report, police report, photographs and videos. Most people are unaware of the fact that there are video cameras inside and outside the bus. The video cameras inside the bus will show what if anything happened to you inside the bus at the time of impact while the cameras outside the bus capture the accident.
After reviewing the bus incident report, police report, photographs, and videos the bus company will make a determination as to how it wishes to proceed- either resolve the claim or contest it. Either way, you are better served to have an experienced Bridgeport bus accident lawyer on your side so that you are not taken advantage of by the bus company or its insurance company. Remember the bus company and its insurance company are not there to help or protect you; rather they are looking only to help and protect the bus company and bus driver.
Contact a Bridgeport Bus Accident Attorney
Do not let an unexpected bus accident leave you feeling helpless. If you have been injured by a bus, you may have the option of filing a lawsuit. However, waiting too long to inquire about a legal claim could impact or eliminate your chance to receive compensation. If you suffered an injury or loss in a bus accident, then call Attorney George W. Ganim, Jr., a Bridgeport bus accident lawyer, about it today.