BUS ACCIDENT ATTORNEY IN MONROE, LOUISIANA
According to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were over 67,000 crashes involving buses in 2017. This number includes bus vehicles ranging from school buses to charter buses, Greyhounds, city buses, and beyond.
Like any other large vehicle accident, whether a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, or big rig, a bus accident can cause severe and life-threatening damages. Most buses on the roads today lack basic safety measures — like seatbelts — that can put passengers at tremendous risk in an accident.
The good news is that if you or a loved one has been involved in a bus accident, the law states that you are eligible for financial compensation to recover your damages and injuries.
Bruscato Law is a personal injury attorney firm fighting for accident victims' rights to fair compensation in Monroe, Louisiana, for nearly a decade. If you were involved in a bus accident, please do not wait to contact our bus accident attorneys at Bruscato to schedule a free case evaluation. We are here to help you, with zero fees upfront, and we don't get paid unless you win.
What Are Some Common Causes of Bus Accidents?
According to the Louisiana Department of Transportation, the state of Louisiana experiences higher crash rates than the nation as a whole. The following factors are reported to be the most influential in contributing to crashes and fatalities:
Failure to fasten seat belts
Speeding and aggressive driving
Roadway departures (a non-intersection crash which occurs after a vehicle crosses an edge line or a centerline, or otherwise leaves the traveled way)
Drunk or impaired driving
Broader causes of bus accidents include:
Bus Driver Negligence
Bus drivers must operate their vehicles with the utmost care and consideration for their passengers' safety — especially considering the often primitive safety features on-board.
Any action that might threaten the passengers' safety and well-being — such as distracted driving, driver fatigue, reckless driving, driving under the influence, or failure to obey traffic laws — is considered negligence in the law's eyes. If this driver error results in a crash or accident, you may be eligible to recover your damages by filing a bus accident claim.
Another Driver's Negligence
If not driver error or vehicle malfunction, then another motorist may also cause a bus crash. For example, if a motor vehicle turns into or cuts off a bus driver, which causes the bus to crash into a median or collision with part of the bus, the other driver would be at fault.
Every bus company has standard operating procedures for general bus maintenance and upkeep. However, despite routine inspection of tires, brakes, and other auto parts, faulty parts may be overlooked, recalls can happen, and happenstance malfunctions inevitably occur.
Defective bus parts can lead to tire blow-outs or broken turning lights — both of which can cause a severe auto accident.
Large vehicles are, but nature, more susceptible to serious accidents like rollovers or truck accidents. What's more, adverse driving conditions such as wet, slippery roads, extreme weather, dangerous roadways, and generally poor road conditions are even more difficult for large vehicles to negotiate safely.
If you're the victim in a bus accident, knowing the cause of the crash is crucial. First and foremost, you must be able to prove that you were not the cause of the accident.
In the next section, I'll explain what actions to take after being involved in a bus accident and whether filing a claim or bus accident lawsuit is right.
5 Steps Bus Passenger Victims Should Take After a Bus Crash
1. Seek medical attention — If you've been in an accident, the first step is to seek medical attention to treat your injuries. Even if you think you are unharmed or have suffered only minor injuries, see a doctor immediately.
2. Call the police — Dial 911 and report the bus accident and make sure a police report is filed. Give them an accurate testimony of what happened from your point of view.
3. Document the accident — Take photographs of the crash scene, documenting property damage, other injured passengers, and evidence of what caused the accident and the extent of the damage.
4. Collect eyewitness testimonials — Obtaining written statements from witnesses of the crash can help build a strong case.
5. Contact a Monroe bus accident lawyer — An experienced bus accident lawyer will help you collect the evidence you need to build a winning case. A qualified lawyer will also be the advocate you need to stand up for your rights and fight for fair compensation.
Suppose you have medical bills or medical expenses that resulted from the crash. In that case, a personal injury lawyer can help you recoup those costs.
Types of Bus Accidents
The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards define a bus as any vehicle capable of carrying more than ten passengers. That means the category of "bus" may include various shuttles, tour buses, greyhound buses, public buses, etc. Most of these types of buses are considered "common carriers."
A common carrier is simply any vehicle that offers to transport passengers for a fare, unlike private or personal cars who do not hire themselves to others.
Bus accidents are sensitive cases because "common carriers" fall under a particular set of rules, regulations, and federal licensing requirements. Governments, public schools, and other entities may be immune to traditional lawsuits. They typically place significant limits on how much compensation accident victims can recover.
An experienced bus accident attorney can help you work with the state to get your claim approved as painlessly as possible. Bruscato Law Firm has experience handling personal injury cases and bus accident claims, including:
School Bus Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that school buses are among the safest vehicles on the road in the United States. This should come as no surprise, considering our children's safety is at stake with each ride to school. That said, school bus accidents do happen.
Greyhound Bus Accidents
Greyhound buses, Megabus, and other long-distance commercial passenger vehicles, also called "interstate carriers," shuttle thousands of people around the country every day, often driving for hours on end to reach their final destination.
Public Bus and City Bus Accidents
People who cannot afford a car or live in a location with reliable public transit often rely on the local public bus system. The city usually hires bus companies, and given how frequently these large vehicles are operated, there is unavoidable wear and tear to the machinery that can eventually result in an accident or breakdown.
Charter and Tour Bus Accidents
These types of buses are typically hired to drive passengers to a specific location within a fixed timeframe. A private charter company often owns these buses.
Common Bus Accident Injuries
Since busses often lack safety precautions for passengers, serious injuries are high in bus accidents.
Here are a few common bus accident injuries to be aware of:
Scrapes and bruises
Spinal cord injuries
Who is Liable in a Bus Accident Case?
Determining liability in bus accident cases can be tricky because several entities may be responsible for the crash.
If a third party caused the accident, you might recover from your losses by filing a claim with a personal injury lawyer.
However, if the bus driver was deemed responsible, the process may be more complex. Especially if the bus is owned and operated by a private company or government entities, you'll need to work with an attorney to determine whom to file your claim with.
Depending on the nature of your accident, one of the following parties may be held liable for your damages:
Bus driver — If driver negligence was the cause of the accident, the driver could be at fault.
Bus company — If a bus company failed to train their driver staff properly, or didn't adhere to safety inspections and standards, then it's possible that the bus driver's employer could be held liable for any accidents.
Bus maintenance companies and part manufacturers — If the accident's cause was a mechanical issue, then the part or vehicle maintenance company may be sued for negligent maintenance.
Tour or charter companies — Since these are private companies operating their passenger vehicles, they may be liable if an accident happens with their buses.
Drivers of other at-fault vehicles — Most obviously, if another vehicle was found to cause the bus accident, they will be held fully or partially liable for the crash.
School districts — School bus drivers are employed by the school. However, it is the school district that will assume liability in the event of a bus accident.
State or local governments — Like school districts, buses that are operated by drivers employed by the city or state may also bear responsibility for injuries incurred from a bus accident.
Bus accident victims should always contact a car accident lawyer who has proven experience fighting for victims' rights. Negotiating with insurance companies and advancing a case or settlement requires persistence, depth of knowledge, and skill.
If you're serious about seeking compensation for your losses, don't wait to immediately contact a personal injury lawyer.
A bus accident lawyer can help build your claim by:
Investigating accident and police reports
Consolidating evidence to prove liability
Analyzing medical reports
Negotiating with the insurance claims adjuster
Handling all communications with the opposing party
Contact a Monroe Bus Accident Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
Bus accidents are rare, but they do happen; make no mistake about it. And if you've been hurt or injured in a bus accident yourself, please do not hesitate to contact a bus accident attorney today.
Bruscato Law firm is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Monroe, Louisiana, with nearly a decade of experience in car accident cases.
We handle all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us nothing until you win and get paid. Call us today at 318-855-1613 or click here to contact us now.
BUS ACCIDENT ATTORNEY IN MONROE, LOUISIANA
If you or a loved one has been in a bus accident resulting in an injury or loss, seek the legal counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. John Bruscato has been serving Monroe, Louisiana out of his own law firm since 2012. With a passion for helping others he will vehemently fight for your rights.