Bus accidents are thankfully a rare occurrence for most people but when they do happen, the consequences are often catastrophic due to the very nature of their size and purpose- being multiple passenger vehicles. If you or a loved one have had the misfortune of being one of the unlucky ones to be involved, you may
1. They’re much less common than you think
Across America, the number of buses being registered has slowly risen as additional modes of transport are preferred. In 2019, there were 864 buses registered in Arizona with 198 injuries and 4 fatal accidents, compared to sedan cars that accounted for 464 fatal accidents and 38,997 injuries.
2. They’re not always caused by the driver
It’s easy to assume bus accidents happen because the driver is tired or distracted but only 36% of accidents investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, found driver fatigue played a major role. 20% of investigated accidents involved problems with vehicle conditions, like a mechanical failure, and 18% involved some sort of medical condition such as a heart attack or stroke.
3. Buses are heavily regulated to protect passengers
If you ride the bus regularly, you’ll be pleased to learn your journey is regulated and protected by Arizona law to make sure accidents are not common. Due to their size, weight, and the potential hazard they pose to the safety of passengers and road-goers alike, buses are heavily regulated at both the federal and state level. Failure to meet or comply with regulations can result in serious penalties for bus companies!
4. Your accident claim as a passenger will be treated individually
If you’ve been unlucky enough to experience a bus accident as a passenger and been injured, you have every right to seek legal advice and start a claim for your own individual injuries and ongoing suffering- despite there being other injured parties.
5. Same if you were another driver
The same rules apply if you were another vehicle involved in an accident with a bus- you are entitled to file a separate claim as another vehicle. Your case will also be treated as an individual claim and any injuries or costs you’ve had to pay upfront for will be considered.
6. Bus companies are responsible if they design routes that break traffic laws
The bus company is responsible under federal law to design bus routes and even timelines that are safe- not the driver. If they change the routes or make the driver break traffic laws, they’ll be held responsible for the overall situation.
7. Bus drivers can’t make you wear seatbelts!
It’s true that bus drivers can’t go round and make their passengers put seatbelts on, but it’s always a good idea to wear a seatbelt when you ride the bus. As a passenger, it’s your responsibility to fasten one, not the driver, and there will always be clear signs on the bus highlighting this. If you take the bus to work or school regularly- always wear your seatbelt!
8. Filing a case against the driver won’t stop there
If you’re filing on behalf of your family member or even your own involvement in a bus accident, chances are you won’t just be involving the driver directly but the bus company, the bus manufacturer, and even other drivers if your case becomes complex.
9. Hiring a local attorney will really help your case
Whether you’re another vehicle involved or a passenger on the bus, hiring a local accident attorney will really help ensure your case covers both federal and state laws that are designed to protect you in these instances.
10. File your case within 60 days
If you’re considering taking legal action against the bus driver or company, you’ll have 60 days from the date of the incident to make your claim! Don’t delay- why not speak to our team today and see how we could help.