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St. Louis Bus Accident Injury Attorney

Legal advocacy for victims of bus and school bus crashes in MO and IL

If you or a loved one were injured in a bus accident, you need an attorney who understands the nature of these types of cases. City bus and school bus crashes bring in a host of questions about liability and fault – questions a victim should not have to worry about while they are trying to heal from serious injuries. Local government, mass transit, or a school system may all hold accountability in a bus accident.

The Hayden Law Firm brings over 15 years of experience to the table representing the people of St. Louis when they suffer injuries and losses through no fault of their own. We know how to handle big insurance companies when they try to take advantage of “the little guy,” defending your right to compensation. Contact us today for a free, no-risk consultation. We serve the greater St. Louis area and Illinois.

Quick Questions

How common are bus accidents in the United States?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides annual data and statistics regarding vehicle accidents around the country. Their current numbers report that in 2018:

  • 5,096 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes
  • Between 2017 to 2018 the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses increased by one percent
  • From 2016 to 2018, large truck and bus injury crashes increased 8 percent
  • In 2018, there were 85 school buses and 15 intercity buses involved in fatal crashes
  • Between 2017 and 2018 there were 234 buses involved in fatal crashes

Although federal and state authorities generally lump commercial truck wrecks and bus crashes together when doing data analysis, these types of accidents are often very different, in both causes and number of injured victims.

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What causes bus accidents in Missouri?

A bus driver is responsible for the lives of every passenger on their vehicle, ranging from elementary school children to senior citizens. With people constantly moving on and off the bus, there are many distractions that can affect a driver’s ability to stay focused on the road. However, if they act negligently, even for a moment, the results can be catastrophic.

Common causes of buses and school bus crashes include:

  • Distracted driving, texting or inattention
  • Driver fatigue
  • Drunk driving or drugged driving
  • Failure to adjust to bad driving conditions, such as wet or icy roads
  • Negligent hiring or untrained drivers
  • Poor bus maintenance or lack of repairs
  • Poorly designed roads that are difficult to maneuver
  • Reckless driving, speeding, and other traffic violations

The lack of seat belts and airbags in buses can cause serious injuries in the event of a collision or crash.

What types of injuries are common after a bus accident?

Due to the sheer size and weight of buses out on the roads side-by-side with smaller passenger vehicles, a resulting accident and injuries will likely be significant. These injuries can include a range of physical trauma – from relatively minor bumps, scrapes, and bruises all the way to catastrophic injury and wrongful death.

These life-altering injuries can include:

  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Bruising
  • Burn injuries
  • Concussions
  • Infections
  • Internal injuries
  • Lacerations

An important thing to remember after any type of accident is that even if you believe you are not physically hurt, some injuries do not make themselves apparent until much later. It’s critical that you (or your child) 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, serious accidents, especially those with multiple victims like bus accidents, are traumatic events that can leave long-lasting psychological injuries. The Hayden Law Firm also seeks compensation for pain and suffering on your behalf.

Does your St. Louis law firm handle school bus accident claims?

Yes, we do. In school bus crashes and collisions, we rightfully worry most about the children, but what you might not know is by far the group to be most affected in these accidents are passengers of other vehicles.

In fact, statistics show that:

  • From 2010 to 2019, about 69% of the deaths in school bus-related crashes were occupants of vehicles other than the school bus, and 17% were pedestrians. About 6% were school bus passengers, 5% were school bus drivers, and 3% were bicyclists.
  • Of the people injured in school bus-related crashes from 2010 to 2019, about 34% were school bus passengers, 8% were school bus drivers, and 53% were occupants of other vehicles. The remainder were pedestrians, bicyclists, and other or unknown.

Statistically, children are safer taking the bus to school rather than riding in a car. However, when school bus accidents do occur, they can be devastating. Each year, approximately seven children are killed in school bus accidents, and 19 are killed getting on and off the bus.

These injuries are sustained in both crashes as well as non-crash incidents. For example, a bus crash might result in injuries to passengers because of the lack of seat belts on many school buses across the country. While a theory called “compartmentalization” deems a bus safe even without lap and shoulder restraints, this design does not always protect children from the dangers of rollovers and side-impact collisions.

Furthermore, a non-crash accident might be an injury sustained while at the crosswalk or while onloading/offloading. These can often involve other cars, and the resulting injuries can be devastating, especially if you are the parent of the injured child. At The Hayden Law Firm, we want to help children and their families get the care and resources they need following a traumatic school bus accident.

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Who is liable for my St. Louis bus crash injuries?

Bus accidents, crashes, and rollovers are some of the most complex accident cases we handle, and we understand how to investigate your claim and assign liability. 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 your bus or school bus accident case.

Depending on the type of bus that caused your injuries, liability can vary. 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 at The Hayden Law Firm can help 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, again, some jurisdictions may outsource bus service to private contractors and, therefore, the contractor and/or government could each or both 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 an experienced St. Louis bus accident lawyer.
  • Private or charter bus liability. Private or charter buses can include major bus companies across the country like Megabus, Coach, Greyhound, BoltBus and dozens of local companies in Missouri and Illinois. Negligent accidents can result in liability for the company and its insurers. And, because 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 The Hayden Law Firm 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 (like a travel agent or booker) hired the tour bus for another group of people, the intermediary could 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 – which means they may have lower thresholds for liability. When any party is negligent in their duty to protect other people on the road, they must be held accountable for any injuries or property damage.

How can a St. Louis bus accident attorney help me?

An experienced bus accident attorney knows how to successfully navigate the bus companies, insurance companies, school districts, governmental agencies, and the intersection of local, state, and federal laws that apply to the bus industry.

Most victims of bus accidents aren’t prepared to deal with the large-scale defense that bus companies begin immediately after the accident. Insurance companies will go to great lengths and spend tremendous amounts of money to protect their interests. While you are recovering from your accident, the bus company will have its team of representatives building their defense and potentially tampering with evidence that may be crucial to your case.

For this reason, it is extremely important that you have an attorney on your side who works just as fast and just as hard. We go to the scene of the crash, preserve evidence, and ensure your rights are protected every step of the way. Attorney Amanda Hayden is encouraging and transparent throughout the claims process so that you can be informed from beginning to end, giving you the best chance for a successful outcome.

We get you the results you need when you need them most.

St. Louis bus and school bus accident lawyer

If you, your child, or a loved one were hurt in a bus crash or accident, an injury attorney at The Hayden Law Firm can help. We can help pursue compensation for your injuries and losses while you recover from your injuries. Please call our offices at 314-480-3100 or fill out our contact form for a free, no-risk consultation. We are based in St. Louis, Missouri, but our firm proudly serves clients throughout Missouri and Illinois.

St. Louis Office

230 S Bemiston Ave #1107, St. Louis, MO 63105

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