Bus Accident Attorneys
Buses are a vital form of public transportation and are an essential part of many cities’ infrastructure because they help consumers to reach their destinations at an affordable price. The unfortunate truth about this mode of travel, however, is that because buses can carry so many passengers, significant and devastating injuries can occur when a bus is involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Bus crashes that result in catastrophic or fatal injuries will often prompt investigations by state or federal agencies. Bus drivers, their employers, and other parties can be held legally liable for mass transit injuries depending on the circumstances. School bus accidents, perhaps the parents’ worst nightmare, can be particularly horrific.
Bus travel can be a regular component of the daily commute to or from work or school or just a one-off for vacation or other reasons. Either way, the risks are ever present, especially if bus drivers are distracted, intoxicated, poorly trained, or not adequately supervised. If you or a family member suffered severe or catastrophic injuries in a bus accident, getting knowledgeable legal representation for your injury claim should be a priority. The bus accident lawyers with Attorney Tom can perform an independent investigation to determine the cause of the crash and then work tirelessly to make sure that each and every negligent or responsible party is held financially accountable.
Legal fees aren’t an issue because our firm handles these cases on a contingency basis. This means that you pay nothing unless we win money for you. To find out about your legal rights and options following a bus accident, call (713) 244-6363 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our dedicated team.
Do I Need A Bus Accident Lawyer?
Bus accident victims are frequently confused about what steps they should take particularly since they could be one of many passengers in the incident. Plus, before all the dust settles, it remains unclear as to who is responsible. Insurers for bus companies are usually quick to try and capitalize on this lack of awareness. Adjusters often discourage victims from hiring an attorney because the insurer insists it will make sure they are taken care of.
You should be skeptical that an insurance company has your best interests in mind. For bottom-line considerations, resolving your case for as little cost as possible is the insurer’s goal.
In many cases, an insurance company presents a victim or victims with a lump sum settlement. To the average person, the offer can seem quite generous. Don’t forget about the future costs associated with your medical needs, which could be considerable. A quick payoff seldom accounts for what you and your family may have to deal with moving forward.
Whether through negotiation or in court, Attorney Tom will fight to make sure that you receive the fair and full compensation that does not leave you paying for any expenses out of your own pocket.
Types of Bus Accident Cases We Handle
Much like regular car crashes, bus accidents can take on many different characteristics. Some recent examples of bus-related accidents include the following:
- Intersection accidents — A woman lost her life and six people were taken to the hospital after a Prince George’s County, Md., school bus was among the vehicles involved in an April 19 accident that a police official said occurred at an “extra dangerous” sloping intersection similar to the bottom of a bowl.
- Head-on collisions — In March 2019, three people were killed in Oklahoma when an SUV struck a bus head-on.
- Pedestrian accidents — In March 2019, a tour bus struck and killed a pedestrian in San Antonio.
- Bicycle accidents — A Houston Independent School District bus driver struck and killed a bicyclist in March 2019.
- Multiple-vehicle accidents — A school bus with about 30 kids on board was involved in a multiple vehicle accident on Highway 26 near Sandy, Oregon in March 2019 that sent 10 people to the hospital.
- Single-vehicle accidents — A single-vehicle bus accident shut down Interstate 97 South in Anne Arundel County, Md., in February 2019 that left the driver with minor injuries.
- Left-turn crashes — A school bus driver collided with a tanker truck while attempting to perform a left turn in January 2019 in New Jersey, critically injuring the tanker driver and injuring 14 students.
- Distracted driving accidents — The driver of a tour bus that fatally struck two women on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., in December 2018 was allegedly using a handheld cell phone at the time of the collision.
- Rollover accidents — Almost 40 people were injured after a charter bus carrying members of the University of Washington marching band rolled onto its side on an ice-covered stretch of Interstate 90 in November 2018.
- Rear-end collisions — A Greyhound bus rear-ended a tractor-trailer on Interstate 80 in central Pennsylvania in October 2013, killing one person and sending 44 others to hospitals.
- Drunk driving accidents — A drunk driver struck a school bus on Interstate 71 in Carroll County, Ky., in May 1998, killing 24 children, three adults, and injuring 40 others.
- T-bone accidents — Four junior high school basketball players were killed and 22 others were injured in Roby, Texas, in December 1978 after a tractor trailer rammed a school bus broadside at an intersection. “The bus was…near disintegrated,” a local official said.
A wide variety of bus companies operate throughout the United States. Major bus service providers include the following:
- Academy Bus
- AC Transit
- Barons Bus Lines
- Bonanza Bus Lines
- Coach USA
- Concord Coach Lines
- County Connection
- Dragon Bus
- Eastern Shuttle
- First Transit
- Greyhound Lines
- Grupo Senda
- Indian Trails
- Jefferson Lines
- Peter Pan Arrow
- Peter Pan Bus Lines
- Stagecoach Group
- Thruway Motorcoach
- Trailways Transportation System
- Vallejo Transit
- Vamoose Bus
In various cities, counties, and municipalities, limited service transport is often in effect. School districts across the country typically operate their own bus service.
Bus accidents may result in a wide variety of possible injuries that may include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscle strains
- Neck injuries
In addition to severe or catastrophic injuries, death can tragically be the outcome in bus accidents. In such cases, the deceased person’s family can usually file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party or parties.
Bus Accident Statistics
The National Safety Council (NSC) reported that school bus-related crashes killed 95 people in the United States in 2017. About 70 percent of the deaths in school bus-related crashes between 2008 and 2017 were occupants of vehicles other than a school bus.
Another 17 percent of deaths were pedestrians, six percent were school bus passengers, four percent were school bus drivers, and three percent were bicyclists.
According to the NSC, 35 percent of those injured in school bus-related crashes were school bus passengers, 50 percent were occupants of other vehicles, eight percent were school bus drivers, and the remainder were pedestrians, bicyclists, and other or unknown.
A 2010 University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute study entitled “Type of Motor Carrier and Driver History in Fatal Bus Crashes,” found that, on average, about 63,000 buses are involved in an accident each year with roughly 14,000 resulting in an injured person and 325 resulting in a fatality. The study found that 50 passengers (including the driver) are killed, on average, in a given year.
A 2011 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) study entitled “Report on Curbside Motorcoach Safety,” found that approximately 241 million person-trips took place on all charter and tour buses in 2009. The bus occupant fatality rate in 2009 was 45 deaths per 100,000 accidents compared to 251 deaths per 100,000 accidents for passenger car occupants.
Between 2005 and 2010, the NTSB found that the average number of motorcoach accidents annually was 1,003. Thirty-two accidents caused 44 deaths, 505 accidents were nonfatal, and 467 were property damage only (PDO).
“Risk Factors Associated with Bus Accident Severity in the United States,” a 2012 study from the Journal of Safety Research, found that “while bus accidents comprise a relatively small share of the total accidents (0.6 percent) in the United States, the number of bus accidents per million passenger miles (3.04) is comparable to the number of car accidents per million driven miles (3.21).”
The study also indicated that drivers over 65 years of age increase the likelihood of light injuries by 18.6 percent, of severe non-incapacitating injuries by 33.1 percent, of severe incapacitating injuries by 52.3 percent, and of fatality by 18.0 percent. While the study determined that 83.0 percent of bus drivers involved in bus accidents do not exhibit risky driving behaviors, almost four percent wind up charged with serious traffic offenses.
Contact a Bus Accident Attorney Today
Did you or a loved one sustain severe injuries in a bus accident? If so, the complicated process for determining who is at fault makes legal advice and aggressive representation virtually essential. With hard work and persistence, along with personal service, Attorney Tom will make sure that you are in a position to receive the maximum compensation you’re owed for your bus accident case.
Our motto is “Serious Injury, Serious Attorneys”, and we mean it. In each case that comes into our office, we seek to go above and beyond in our efforts to help clients maximize their recovery. Call (713) 244-6363 or contact us online to set up an appointment for a free consultation.