Bus accident injury victims need an experienced Bus Accident Lawyer who will fight for their rights. Contact us today for a free legal evaluation to see if you are entitled to compensation. Call (480) 361-2442.
Bus Accidents and Injuries
When you board a bus or put your child on a school bus, you are trusting the bus driver and bus company with the security and safety of you and your loved ones. When bus crashes occur, they can be emotionally and financially devastating.
Bus companies are considered common carriers. As a result, they owe a duty to passengers to take reasonable steps to keep them safe and to avoid negligence. If a passenger is injured because the bus company acted negligently or failed to properly protect them, they may be entitled to a file a bus accident lawsuit to seek compensation for their injuries. An experienced bus accident lawyer can help you determine if you and your family have a valid claim and maximize the monetary recovery from those that are responsible.
Experienced Bus Accident Lawyers
After a bus crash, it is important to talk to an experienced and knowledge bus accident lawyer that understands bus accident lawsuits. The bus company will likely have a team of engineers, lawyers and other experts working to protect their interests right away. Their goal is settle claims for as little money as possible. By hiring an attorney, you can level the playing field. Our goal is the opposite of the bus company: it is to make sure you receive every penny you are entitled to for your injuries.
There is no charge for the initial consultation with our bus lawyers. If you hire us, you owe use nothing unless we win for you. We fight for the rights of injured bus passengers, injured drivers and passengers involved in bus wrecks, injured pedestrians and inured bike riders.
Lack of Available Seatbelts Can Make Bus Accident Injuries Worse
Unlike most cars, buses are not required by federal law to provide seatbelts to passengers. This includes school buses, even though more than 10,000 children are injured in school bus accidents each year. Bus drivers typically have seatbelts as required by law, but the federal government does not require buses – including school buses – to have lap or shoulder belts installed. Even though seatbelts are not required by federal law for passengers, and most states also do not require them, some courts have allowed victims of bus crash injuries to bring lawsuits against bus companies for failing to install seatbelts.
When seatbelts are not available, passengers in a bus crash have a greater risk of serious injuries and death than if seatbelts were available. Without seatbelts, passengers can fly forward or be ejected from the bus. This is especially the case if the accident is very serious, such as a rollover.
What Qualifies as a Bus Crash
Bus accident claims can involve the following types of buses:
- Public Buses, including City Buses, Transit Buses and Intercity Buses
- Commercial Buses
- Greyhound Bus
- Other commercial buses
- Private Buses, including Charter Buses
- School Buses
- Tour Buses
- Shuttle Buses, including Airport Shuttle Buses
- Limo Buses and Party Buses
- Motor Coaches
- Any motorized vehicle that can carry more than 10 passengers, including 15-passenger vans
Who is Responsible for Your Bus Accident Injuries?
Parties that may have caused your bus accident injuries include:
- Bus Driver. If the bus driver was negligent, he or she is legally liable for the accident, as well as the bus company that employed the driver. A driver is negligent if he or she violates traffic laws, such as speeding, changing lanes unsafely, running a red light, not paying attention, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and other rules of the road.
- Bus Company or Owner of the Bus. The bus company is normally responsible for the negligent acts of its drivers. The company also has an obligation to make sure that its drivers are properly hired, licensed, trained and supervised. The company has a duty to make sure its buses are properly maintained and equipped with legally-required and properly-functioning safety features.
- The Company that Maintained the Bus. If a company other than the owner was responsible for maintaining the bus and failed to maintain it properly, they may be at fault if their actions contributed to the bus crash.
- The Manufacturer of the Bus or a Bus Part. A defect in the bus or a bus part can cause or contribute to a bus crash. If so, the manufacturer of that bus or part may be responsible for your injuries. If you are a passenger on a bus and your injuries are made worse as a result of a defect, you may have a claim against the manufacturer of the defective bus, bus part or bus equipment.
- Construction Company and State or Local Governments. If a defectively designed, constructed or maintained road caused or contributed to the bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the company or government entity that was responsible.
- Drivers of Other Vehicles. There may be other vehicles involved in the bus collision in addition to the bus. If the drivers of those vehicles were negligent, then your bus accident attorney may make claims against them or their insurance companies. If any of those individuals were on the job at the time of the accident, their employers may also be liable for their negligence.
- School Districts and School Boards. School boards and school districts may be liable if they are the employer of the school bus driver or the owner of a school bus they failed to properly maintain. Further, they may be legally liable if they failed to create and enforce proper safety guidelines and procedures that resulted in a school bus accident.
- Tour Operators and Cruise Lines. Tour operators and cruise lines may be liable for bus crash injuries if they own a bus that they negligently maintained or that was negligently driven. They may also be liable for a bus wreck if the bus was part of a tour package sold by the company.
More than one party may be responsible for bus crash injuries. As an example, a negligent driver may cause an accident, while the failure of the bus company to install seatbelts may result in more serious injuries.
Bus-related injuries may be caused for reasons other than bus crashes. For example, if proper supervision is not provided, children can be hurt while waiting at a bus stop or while entering or exiting a bus. Passengers can be assaulted and injured by other passengers. If the bus company could have foreseen and avoided a bus-related accident but failed to take reasonable steps to do so, they may be liable for the resulting injuries.
How a Bus Crash Attorney Can Help You
Our bus accident attorneys have the experience to sort through the evidence to determine who may be legally at fault for your bus crash. In some cases, more than one party’s actions may have contributed to the accident. It is important to pursue all potential sources of compensation for your injuries.
Experts, including accident reconstruction experts and engineers, may be hired to investigate the reason for the accident. Medical experts may be consulted or hired to assess the short and long term injuries you or your family member has suffered, including determining future medical bills, future lost wages and other damages.
After the investigation is complete, a claim or demand letter is typically sent to the responsible parties. If those persons, companies or their insurance companies refuse to make a reasonable settlement offer, the next step is to file a bus accident lawsuit.
Most cases settle before trial, even when formal litigation is filed. We prepare all cases with the assumption that they will go to trial. That way, if a trial is necessary, we are prepared to present a persuasive case to the jury. Generally speaking, we believe that the more prepared we are to take your bus crash lawsuit to trial, the more likely it is that your case will settle before trial and that we can obtain a larger settlement for you.
Important Deadlines in Bus Accident Lawsuits
It is important to talk to a bus crash lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. There are strict time deadlines called statutes of limitations for filing a bus accident lawsuit. In Arizona, the deadline for filing personal injury claims is typically two years from the date of the accident. But most school buses are owned or operated by school districts or ciites, and the deadlines to file claims against government entities, school districts and school board are much shorter. For claims against governments and schools, the deadline is only 180, and evidence may have to be prepared before the claim is made. So it is very important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible after a bush crash to protect your rights.
The bus company often has an advantage by being the first to investigate the accident. The sooner you have a bus accident lawyer working for you, the faster they can start working on your case. This can including preserving and protecting important evidence that is necessary to prove your case before that evidence is altered, spoiled or lost.
What Damages Can You Recover for Your Bus Accident Injuries
A bus crash lawyer can help you figure out the types of damages you are entitled to recover for your injuries. These can include medical bills, lost wages, lower earnings capacity, lost enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, property damage and other damages to compensate for your losses and injuries. If you have lost a loved one, you may be entitled to wrongful death damages, which can include the loss of love, loss of care and protection, loss of companionship, pain and grief, shock and stress, lost income and services, funeral and burial expenses and medical expenses.
Contact Bus Accident Lawyers Who Care
Our bus accident attorneys are compassionate and aggressive. We understand that a bus crash can cause significant physical and emotional upset in your life. We are ready to fight for your rights to maximize the amount of compensation you recover.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and answer your questions. Your case is handled on a contingency fee basis, so you do not owe us anything unless we recover for you. Let us focus on your legal recovery while you focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bus accident, contact one of our Bus Accident Lawyers today for more information. Call (480) 361-2442.