According to statistics, 360 million people use buses in the US annually. In 2011, 283 people were killed and another 24,000 injured in bus-related accidents. Buses are much larger and bulkier than passenger vehicles, making many feel like they are safer. However, buses are statistically just as safe as passenger cards per mile driven. Buses also have their own added risks when involved in accidents including:
- Tip-over or rollover risk is higher for buses than standard passenger cars
- Most buses do not feature safety restraints or supplemental safety devices like airbags
While the risk of an accident may appear lower when on a bus, the chances of sustaining a serious injury in a bus accident is likely higher than a passenger vehicle due to the lack of safety features and the higher risk of rollover.
Can I Seek Damages If I Was Injured In A Bus Accident?
If you are injured in a bus accident, you may have grounds for a personal injury suit. To begin you must determine liability, or fault, in the bus accident. If you believe the bus driver or owner is responsible for the accident, it is important to determine what negligent action occurred, like:
- If the bus driver was driving while fatigued
- If the driver committed a traffic violation
- If the driver had not been adequately trained or had not been properly screened for employment
- If the driver was impaired
- If the bus was overloaded or improperly loaded
- If the bus and equipment was poorly or improperly maintained
Any of these negligent actions could be used to establish liability for the accident. If you are able to show that the bus driver or owner was negligent, you have grounds to negotiate a settlement or take the at-fault party to court.
What Do I Do If I Was Injured in a Bus Accident?
The first thing you should do after being involved in a bus accident is seek proper medical attention. Not only should you put your health first, but you can later use your medical records and bills to document and support your claim for damages. Once you have received medical treatment you can focus on your case. If you are able to determine that the bus driver or owner is at fault, speak with a personal injury attorney. Because buses are usually owned and operated by government entities, your case could quickly become very complicated. If your claim is denied or you fail to reach a fair settlement, you and your attorney may need to take the case to court.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Demas Law Group, P.C., will help you determine the statutes of limitation that restrict the amount of time you have to file as well as the damages you should seek. There is usually a very short statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claim against a government entity. That is why you must act quickly and speak to your personal injury attorney as soon as possible.