Bus accidents often result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries to passengers on the bus, pedestrians, bicyclists, and those in cars and trucks that are involved. When a bus accident occurs as a result of the negligence or carelessness of the bus driver or the bus company, injured victims can pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
At Davis & Brusca, LLC, we help those injured in bus accidents claim the justice and compensation they deserve. Driver error, fatigue, speeding, poor road and weather conditions, and improper bus maintenance can lead to serious bus accidents. We are committed to helping our clients claim the maximum compensation available to them under the law.
There are numerous types of bus accidents caused by a variety of factors, but for those that stem from negligence or carelessness, the bus driver or bus company can be held liable for injuries. Driver error, failing to yield to traffic signals and stop signs, speeding, and bus operators driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can cause serious harm to many people. Passengers on the bus can suffer broken bones, head injuries, cuts, lacerations, and spinal or neck injuries as they are thrown about the interior of the bus. Pedestrians, cyclists, and those in passenger vehicles often suffer severe and fatal injuries when they are in an accident with a bus, due to the vehicle’s sheer size and weight.
The lack of safety equipment such as seatbelts and airbags on buses leaves passengers vulnerable to serious injuries when they are ejected from the bus in a crash. Many inner-city and public transportation buses are filled with numerous passengers standing during rush hour traffic. Injuries sustained in bus accidents at times of high traffic are often more serious than those occurring in off-peak hours.
Tour buses are geared toward passenger comfort, but many are still without seat belts or proper restraints. Driver fatigue is a major issue in tour bus accidents as bus drivers are often on tight schedules. Poor weather conditions are another factor in many tour bus accidents. Drivers tend to take more risks and drive in unfavorable or dangerous weather conditions to ensure their schedules are met. When a tour bus skids or slides off the road in poor weather conditions, injuries can be catastrophic.
Bus maintenance is vital to providing customers with safe transportation. Routine inspections should be done to ensure that all brake and engine systems are in good working order. Repairs should be addressed immediately, and routine maintenance should be done on a regularly scheduled basis. Failure to do so endangers bus passengers and all those sharing the road with the bus.
School bus accidents are among the most serious accidents because they involve children, who are particularly vulnerable. Many school buses today are equipped with seat belts, but drivers are not always able to closely supervise children or make certain they are used. Even seemingly minor school bus accidents can lead to serious injuries and trauma to the children on the bus. Lap belts help keep children from being ejected from the bus in an accident, but they do not always protect children from head injuries.
Bus accidents, like commercial truck accidents, are not not “routine” crashes, and require a lawyer with special knowledge to be fully and properly investigated. Government entities must frequently be put on notice of the potential claim within a short period of time after the crash or the right to pursue the claim may be lost. In New Jersey, this “notice” period usually expires within ninety (90) days of the crash. In many cases, bus companies and drivers can be held liable for injuries sustained in a bus accident if the matter is handled by an experienced bus accident lawyer. Passengers on a bus rely on the bus driver and the bus company to ensure that they are transported safely. Accidents will still happen, but when they occur because of negligence or carelessness, injured victims can claim compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Most bus companies have insurance policies which can cover injuries to individual passengers. However, some bus companies carry pooled (or “single limit”) policies that provide a single lump sum of money to cover all injuries sustained in the accident. This can lead to individuals receiving less compensation than when the bus company has individual passenger coverage. There are also statutes of limitations for filing claims. State and municipal laws vary, so it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced bus accident lawyer to represent you.