What Are The Causes Of Bus Accidents?
When a bus collides with another vehicle or a stationary object, the bus driver may be at fault, the other driver may be at fault (if another vehicle was involved), or there could be problems with the bus itself. If you were injured in a bus accident, you may be able to file a claim against a negligent driver, the owner of the bus, and/or the bus or parts manufacturers.
Some types of buses are more likely to be involved in dangerous accidents than others. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 40% of fatal bus accidents involved school buses, 35% involved transit buses, and 12% involved intercity buses.
If you or a loved one were injured in a bus accident, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your injuries from the negligent party. Compensation can be substantial and may include medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. The accident attorneys at the award-winning law firm of Raynes & Lawn have been protecting the rights of accident victims for more than 50 years and have secured settlements and trial verdicts as high as multiple millions of dollars for people injured in crashes.
Types of Negligence in Bus Accidents
All drivers on the roads must use reasonable care to avoid injuring others. Bus drivers may be subject to even higher standards of care than non-commercial drivers. When bus drivers fail to exercise the required level of care, and their negligence is the sole or partial cause of an accident, then Pennsylvania law allows people injured in the accident to file a claim or sue the negligent driver to seek compensation for their damages.
In some bus accidents, the bus driver was not at fault, but the other driver was. If you were a passenger on the bus and you were injured in the collision, you may be able to file a claim against or sue the other driver.
The owner of the bus may also be negligent and liable for damages. For some types of buses, for example, charter buses, the bus owner will be a private company. For other types of buses, such as city buses or school buses, the owner may be the local government or school district. No matter who owns the bus, they are responsible for making sure that the buses are safe and properly maintained. The owner is also responsible for ensuring that drivers are hired and trained properly. Any failure to meet their responsibilities opens the owners up to liability for accident injuries.
The manufacturer of the bus and manufacturers of parts used in the bus are responsible for making sure that their products are safe and not defective. They, too, may be liable for damages if they don’t meet their obligations to bus users.
Raynes bus accident lawyers are highly skilled in investigating the facts of bus accident cases to determine which individuals or companies are negligent and can be held accountable for your injuries.
How Bus Drivers Cause Accidents in Philadelphia
When drivers of school buses, city buses, tour buses, and charter buses get into accidents in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania because of their negligence, these are the most common causes:
- Driver distraction: Texting while driving is the most well-known form of distracted driving, but it is not the only one. Wearing headphones, reaching for objects, and being distracted by passengers can all contribute to accidents.
- Impaired driving: Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs present a huge risk of causing injury or fatal accidents.
- Speeding: Driving too fast or failing to obey other traffic rules are common causes of crashes.
- Driver fatigue: When drivers are tired, they are more likely to make careless mistakes and errors of judgement. Bus drivers may be subject to special rules regulating how many hours they can drive at a time.
- Not adapting to changing weather conditions: Drivers are responsible for adjusting their speed and other aspects of their driving when weather conditions change.
- Blind spots and turns. Drivers who don’t check their blind spots or are careless when making turns could be liable if they get into an accident.
In some situations, both the driver and the bus owner may be liable for the driver’s mistakes. For example, if the bus owner was negligent in screening bus driver applicants and hired someone with a record of bad driving or a lack of experience, the owner may be held responsible.
How Mechanical Problems With a Bus Can Cause an Accident
Accidents are not always the fault, or only the fault, of the drivers involved. A bus that is defective or poorly maintained presents a danger on the roads. Common problems include:
- Defective bus. A bus can be defective from the start if the manufacturer did not take proper care to ensure that it was made properly.
- Defective parts. The bus may have been safe at the outset, but replacement parts could be dangerously defective. The manufacturer of the parts could be liable if the bus gets into an accident.
- Poor maintenance. The owner of the bus is responsible for making sure that it is properly maintained and that it passes all required inspections. Tires should be checked often to make sure they are properly inflated.
At Raynes & Lawn, we have worked with many accident victims over the last half-century. We understand how an accident injury can change every aspect of your life. We work hard to recover all the compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages that the law provides so that you can get your life back on track.
Our law firm is the best place to find a bus accident lawyer in Philadelphia residents can rely on. If you were injured in a bus accident, contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation. Fill out our contact form or call our toll-free number at (800) 535-1797. We will be glad to provide a free case evaluation that explains your rights and options.
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