Houston Bus Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has fallen victim to a bus accident, contact our legal team today to discuss your claim.
Serious bus accidents happen everyday in the United States, especially in urban areas like Houston where a larger population relies on buses for transportation.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2013 there were a total of 48,000 bus crashes and 310 fatalities across the U.S. These accidents include buses for public use, school buses, and even tour buses.
Bus accidents cause not only physical injuries, but they can also be responsible for extensive property damage from which property owners can claim compensation. For this reason, it's advised to reach out to an expert bus accident attorney to discuss your claim.
If you've been in a bus accident, don't hesitate to contact Neal Davis and Jed Silverman.
With our No Fee Guarantee, you won't pay a penny unless we win your bus accident case.
Contact us for a free consultation.
Who is at Risk for Bus Accidents?
The first set of victims that comes to mind in a bus accident is the passengers; however, there are many other individuals who can and do suffer from bus accidents on a daily basis. Those most at risk for bus accidents include:
- Bus passengers
- The bus driver
- Other motorists on the road
- Pedestrians at the scene
Those who rely on buses for everyday transportation are also the ones most likely to find themselves in a bus accident. These include school children and individuals who live and work in large, urban areas.
Common Injuries from Bus Accidents
As with car accidents, there are many sorts of injuries that bus accident survivors can fall victim to. The most common injuries from bus accidents include:
- Head trauma, including concussions
- Fractured or broken bones
- Lacerations or contusions
In addition to physical injuries, emotional trauma is also a likely possibility in bus accident cases and can also be included in personal injury lawsuits.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Whether the bus is public, for schools, or for touring, bus accidents are typically caused by a similar set of circumstances. These common causes for bus accidents include:
Driver distraction - Failure on behalf of the driver to abide by all traffic rules often causes bus accidents. Distraction could be caused by texting while driving, loud passengers, etc.
Construction or dangerous road conditions - Accidents on wet or icy roads are a common occurrence, and tight construction could mean unsafe maneuvers.
Driver drowsiness - Falling asleep at the wheel is also a common cause for bus accidents.
Driver negligence - Sometimes bus drivers fail to follow the rules of the road. This includes running stop signs or red lights, failing to signal turns or acknowledge the signals of others, failing to maintain a safe distance from other motorists, rolling through stops, etc.
Urban locations - Tight streets with crowds of people can sometimes cause buses to maneuver incorrectly and lead to an accident.
Vehicle defects - Certain mechanical problems like brake failure can cause buses to lose control and crash. In addition, an uneven distribution of weight or a design flaw can cause a bus to tip on a seemingly normal turn.
Damages for Bus Accident Victims
Regardless of whether the driver, manufacturer or a government agency is responsible for the bus accident, victims may be entitled to numerous damages depending on the severity of the sustained injuries. Types of damages that bus accident victims are entitled to include:
- Current and Projected Medical Expenses - This can include initial emergency room visits, hospital care, surgeries, & follow-up care.
- Emotional Trauma - Worry, grief, anxiety, and other mental traumas can be compensated for in bus accident cases.
- Rehabilitation Costs - The amount of rehab a victim requires for his or her injuries can also be compensated for in a bus accident case.
- Long-Lasting or Permanent Disability - If a victim is permanently disfigured or disabled due to a bus accident, he or she is entitled to compensation for that suffering.
- Loss of Current and Future Income - With many serious injuries, victims are unable to work for an extended period of time. Those lost wages may be compensated for.
- Property Damage - Bus accidents can easily destroy private property, and owners of that property have rights to compensation in order to fund repairs.
- Pain and Suffering - The amount awarded for this sort of damage depends on the severity of the injury, the pain involved, and how long the victim may suffer.
Proving Fault in Bus Accident Cases
Establishing fault and negligence in a bus accident case can prove both difficult and time-consuming. The defendant's negligence must be proven and also must correlate directly to both the accident and the victim's injuries. In addition, if the victim exhibited any negligence at the time, compensation may be adjusted accordingly or taken away completely according to Texas's comparative negligence laws. For these reasons, it is recommended that victims seek the help of an expert bus accident attorney when navigating the legal processes.
When it comes to determining negligence, there are several different parties that can be held liable for bus accidents. They include:
- The bus driver
- Any other party whose negligence resulted in the bus accident
- The bus manufacturer
- Company or business providing regular maintenance on the bus
- The owner of the bus (whether a state transportation department, school district, private company, or other party)
Depending on who was at fault, it may be more difficult to file a bus accident claim. Many times, buses are owned and operated by some level of government. If this is the case, there are often strict limitations as to when a claim may be filed and how much compensation can be received for the bus accident damages. Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, Texas government agencies may be held liable for negligence in motor vehicle collisions (including bus accidents); however, there are some conditions.
Firstly, a written notice must be provided to the government agency no later than 180 days after the accident took place; in non-government related cases, the statute of limitations is 2 years. Also, the government can only pay between $100,000 and $250,000 per person or $300,000-$500,000 per accident depending on which level of government is deemed negligent. These numbers are fixed regardless of how serious the victim's injuries are.
Contact a Houston Bus Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bus accident case, do not hesitate to contact an expert Houston bus accident attorney to discuss your rights to compensation. Whether a public bus, school bus, or tour bus accident, personal injury attorneys Neal Davis and Jed Silverman are fully prepared to guide you through the legal process and fight to provide you and your family with the compensation you deserve. No recovery, no cost to you. That's our No Fee Guarantee. Contact us today for a free consultation.