Bus Accident Attorneys in Auburn, Alabama
Millions of Americans rely on public transportation daily. While you expect safe and efficient service when you ride a bus, accidents happen. In fact, the lack of safety restraints and other equipment on some buses can lead to even more severe injuries and even death.
If you have been injured in a bus accident or lost a loved one, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short, LLP, our experienced personal injury attorneys understand why bus accidents happen and can help figure out who was responsible.
We represent accident victims throughout Alabama and fight aggressively to secure maximum compensation for these senseless acts. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.
Bus Accident Statistics
In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported approximately 16,000 bus crashes that resulted in injuries and another 55,000 causing only property damage.
- Of those 16,000 injury bus crashes nationwide, there were more than 35,000 people injured.
- There were 232 fatal bus crashes in 2017, with 95 of these being transit buses and 73 school buses.
- In total, 274 people were killed in bus accidents in 2017, but just 44 of those were bus occupants.
As the statistics show, city buses are particularly dangerous. One study by the University of Michigan concluded that a city bus is nearly twice as likely to have a crash than a non-city bus.
Types of Buses That Can Cause Injury
While buses are generally meant to get a person from one place to another, different types of buses can serve different purposes.
- City/commuter buses. A city or commuter bus provides short-distance options for public transportation. These are generally large buses that have both sitting and standing areas and multiple doors for entry and exit.
- Intercity buses. These are buses that travel between cities, like Greyhound. Passengers pay a fare and get to travel a longer distance than a typical commuter bus.
- Charter buses. A charter bus is hired for private transportation services. Companies own and operate these buses, which they hire out for such things as tours, sporting events, and long-distance travel. Like intercity buses, these will have more amenities such as restrooms and charging outlets.
- School buses. These types of buses are used to transport children to and from school as well as for sporting events and field trips.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Unfortunately, not all buses are safe, and not all bus drivers operate these vehicles responsibly. Some examples of negligent behavior that contributes to bus accidents include:
- Excessive speed
- Distracted driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Operator inattention
- Reckless driving
- Dangerous roadways
The majority of people that ride buses are children and the elderly within the city limits. These are two groups that are also commonly injured in these crashes, and these injuries can be severe. Some of the injuries that we frequently see in bus accident cases include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken or fractured bones
- Internal injuries
- Wrongful death
Who is Responsible in a Bus Accident?
Bus companies and their drivers owe a higher standard of care to others on the road than the average vehicle operator. The bus driver, their employer, and the equipment manufacturer all have a responsibility to ensure that passengers and everyone else on the road remain free from harm.
When a bus crash occurs due to negligence, breach of contract or warranty, or a product liability issue, some of the parties that could be held responsible include:
- The bus driver
- The bus company
- Any company contracted for repair and maintenance of the bus
- Any parts manufacturer, seller, or distributor that failed to design or produce a piece of equipment properly
- A municipality that is responsible for providing bus services
Compensation for Your Damages
Bus accidents can result in severe and life-altering injuries. Even if you weren’t on the bus, you might have been seriously injured in one of these crashes as the driver or passenger of another vehicle or even as a pedestrian.
Since buses are large and heavy vehicles, your losses and damages could be extensive. If the accident was not your fault, you have the right to seek compensation for such things as lifetime medical care, lost income, mental anguish, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering.
Insurance companies will often contact bus accident victims quickly to be “helpful.” In delivering this help, you may receive an offer of a quick settlement, which is never in your best interests. These are usually not fair settlement offers and are almost always for much less than the case is worth. This is just one of the reasons why we recommend speaking with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
Why Do You Need a Bus Accident Lawyer?
Bus accidents are incredibly complex. When an accident involves a major carrier, it also generally prompts a government investigation. Buses are subject to strict federal and state regulations. When these regulations are violated, they can directly impact the outcome of accident cases.
Unfortunately, evidence related to bus crashes is not readily available or simple to obtain. The best advice is to speak with a qualified bus accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can launch an independent investigation into the crash, gather vital evidence, and work to identify potentially liable parties.
Connect with an Experienced Auburn Bus Accident Attorney
Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short, LLP understands that bus accidents can be traumatic events. Not only are they physically and emotionally traumatizing, but they can also cause a severe financial hardship for accident victims and their families.
Our goal is to always serve the individual needs of each client, and we will aggressively pursue the full and fair compensation you need and deserve from every responsible party. It is important to note that we handle these types of cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay us nothing unless and until we win your case.
Contact our Auburn office today at 334-821-3892 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys.