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Who is Liable in a Bus Accident?
Bus accidents and rollovers are some of the most complex auto accident cases we handle at The Hayden Law Firm. Not only are the injuries associated with bus crashes more serious than those involved in a typical car fender bender, these cases can also be muddied with complex liability issues.
For example, the bus driver may not be the only one at fault for negligence; the bus management company, the bus maintenance company, or the equipment parts manufacturer are just a few of the other entities that can be held liable in a bus accident case in St. Louis.
Furthermore, liability may also change depending on the type of bus that caused your injury. For example:
- School bus liability – In many cases, liability will lie with the school board or the school district in which the bus operated; however, if the district hired a private company to provide services, the company can be held liable. A school bus accident attorney in St. Louis, MO, can help you determine the responsible party in these types of situations.
- Public bus liability – Liability for buses operated in municipalities or cities are usually limited to that government, such as the City of St. Louis. However, once again, some jurisdictions may outsource bus service to private contractors and, therefore, the contractor and/or government could be liable. Bringing a personal injury case against a government entity is far different than a typical car accident claim against an insurance company, which is why you need the help of a St. Louis bus accident lawyer.
- Private or charter bus liability – Private or charter buses usually include major bus companies in the country such as Amtrak, Coach, Greyhound, and more. Negligent accidents usually result in liability for the company and its insurers. As charter buses are a multimillion dollar industry, the insurance companies that represent them often employ an army of attorneys that work tirelessly to lessen or dismantle your claim. Let our personal injury lawyer in St. Louis, MO, help safeguard your rights.
- Tour bus liability – Liability in a tour bus accident can often be difficult to determine. For instance, if a group of tourists employed the services of a tour bus, then the management company and/or driver could be held liable for injuries. Or, if a third-party group hired the tour bus for another group of people, the intermediary might also be liable.
Because buses are considered common carriers that transport everyday people or goods, their drivers — and the companies who employ them — must operate at a higher standard of care. This means they often have lower thresholds for liability. If any party is found to be neglectful in their duty to innocent, everyday individuals out on the road, they should be held accountable for any injuries or property damage.
Life-Altering Bus Crash Injuries
Due to the sheer size and weight of buses that are out on the roads side-by-side with smaller passenger vehicles, a resulting accident can be significant to say the least. The injuries can include a range of medical problems — from relatively minor bumps, scrapes, and bruises to very serious injuries.
Life-altering injuries can include:
Even if you believe you are not physically harmed, some injuries do not make themselves apparent until much later. It’s critical that you see your doctor as soon as possible after a bus accident. This could make all the difference when seeking compensation for the cost of medical bills, current and future lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and more.
Additionally, some injuries may not be seen, rather, they are psychological in nature. A bus accident is a traumatic event for which you can recover compensation for non-economic items like pain and suffering. This can often be difficult to prove in court, which is why you need the help of a bus accident lawyer in St. Louis, MO. Amanda Hayden is able to provide thoughtful, relevant legal representation and compelling litigation tactics in even the most challenging legal battles.
Causes of Bus Accidents in Missouri
A bus driver holds peoples’ lives in his or her hands. With passengers constantly on and off the bus, there are many distractions that can affect a driver’s ability to stay focused on the road. If they make a mistake — even for just a moment — the results can be catastrophic.
- Distracted driving or inattention
- Drunk driving
- Texting and driving
- Driver fatigue
- Poor bus maintenance or lack of repairs
- Reckless driving, speeding, and other traffic violations
- Failure to adjust to bad driving conditions, such as wet or icy roads
- Failure to follow industry rules and regulations, such as negligent hiring of unqualified drivers
- Lack of new driver training
- Tire delaminations and explosions
- Defective bus equipment