Bus Accident Claims: Understanding Your Rights and Legal Options
Reckless driving is one of the leading causes of action for bus accident claims in the United States. In previous years, most of the collisions involving coaches have resulted in fatalities. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were a total of 176 total deaths in bus accidents.
Read on to find out the common injuries from bus accidents and your rights and legal options when involved in a bus accident, including compensation for injuries and holding responsible parties accountable.
Common Injuries From Bus Accidents
When huge vehicles like buses get involved in a crash, the passengers and pedestrians can suffer devastating consequences.
Below are the common injuries that you can get from bus accidents:
When the driver suddenly hits on the brakes, the passengers may move back and forth, causing a sudden blow to the head. This can lead to a whiplash or a tingling injury in the neck and back.
Traumatic Brain Injury
The sudden movements of the head can also cause brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury usually stems from a violent blow or jolt to the head. This can hit the skull and may even lead to concussions or loss of consciousness
Spinal Cord Injury
A bus crash can cause damage to the spine due to the forceful impact of getting thrown from the bus seat. Passengers may also get struck by collapsing structures and flying objects inside the bus. Spinal injuries can also lead to temporary or complete paralysis.
Since bus passengers have no airbags or seatbelts, they are prone to broken bones and fractures after the incident. Moreover, they may accidentally break their shoulders and wrists from the collision.
Cuts and Lacerations
The glass on the bus windows tends to break during a catastrophic collision. These may cause bruises and deep cuts on the skin. In some cases, injured passengers need to undergo reconstructive surgeries, which can leave permanent scars on the skin nerves, and tissues.
Major Causes of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents in California can happen due to various reasons. Here are the most common causes of a crash or collision involving buses:
Driving at high speed is a major factor in bus accidents, putting passengers and other road users at risk. Reckless driving makes it challenging to avoid collisions, emphasizing the importance of adhering to speed limits.
Driver exhaustion is another prevalent cause of bus accidents. Lack of sleep and demanding schedules contribute to reduced focus and attentiveness. Regulations set by the FMCSA mandate rest periods for bus drivers to mitigate fatigue-related accidents.
Don’t text and drive also applies to bus drivers. When they are distracted, they can easily lose focus. Using the phone, eating, or talking to passengers while driving can lead to fatal accidents.
Bus drivers, like all motorists, must avoid distractions such as texting, phone use, and other activities that divert attention from the road. Distracted driving significantly increases the likelihood of fatal accidents.
Unfavorable Weather Conditions
Driving in heavy rain or snow reduces visibility and increases the risk of accidents. Drivers must exercise caution, use appropriate signals, and adapt their driving behavior to the weather conditions.
Uneven pavements, obstructions, potholes, fallen trees, faulty traffic lights, and inadequate street lighting are road hazards that pose dangers to all users, including buses. Identifying and addressing such hazards is crucial for preventing accidents.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited. Commercial drivers, including bus drivers, have specific blood alcohol concentration thresholds. Impaired driving contributes to reckless behaviors and increases the likelihood of accidents.
How to Prove Liability?
The responsible parties in a bus accident lawsuit depend on the type of bus involved.
Public bus accidents often involve claims against the government or regional authorities responsible for operating the bus. In such cases, sovereign immunity doesn’t protect the government from employee negligence claims.
In other bus accident claims, the defendant may include the tour operator, school bus operator, bus driver, maintenance company, bus owner, or manufacturer.
Meanwhile, in other bus accident claims, the defendant may include any of the following:
- Tour operator
- School bus operator
- Bus driver
- Maintenance company
- Bus owner or manufacturer
Types of Bus Accident Compensation
Injured parties or the bereaved families of the victims are entitled to receive proper accident on-the-bus compensation.
Compensatory damages include economic damages or the amount of money that the victims have to lose or spend after the accident. It also includes non-economic damages without a fixed cost, such as losing a body part or prolonged mental and emotional suffering.
In California, the plaintiff can pursue bus accident claims for the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical expenses such as emergency room treatment, medications, and in-home care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Reduced quality of life and loss of enjoyment
- Vehicle repair
- Court fees
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Have you or your loved ones been involved in a bus accident? Let our experienced personal injury attorneys help you file your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Call us at (800) 310-1606 today to schedule your free consultation with a premier injury attorney. Our consultations are free and available in English or Spanish.
Above all else, our clients come first. We go above and beyond to obtain the highest level of compensation possible.Meet Our Attorneys
Multi-Focus Law Firm
Adamsom Ahdoot has successfully executed a plethora of personal injury cases.Cases We Handle
Get in touch with our firm
Our team can better advise you on your legal options once we receive any available evidence about the incident.Take Action Now