As a bustling suburb of Fort Worth, Southlake is filled with restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and other attractions. And like any growing community, public transportation plays an integral role. People have to get around, and buses run through the city streets daily, taking passengers to shops, dining, and school. Unfortunately, when you have buses moving passengers down crowded city streets accidents are bound to occur.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2021, there were 2,550 total bus crashes, with 1,187 being school buses statewide. Those accidents in Texas caused 931 total injuries and resulted in 21 fatalities. In Southlake, there were 318 total crashes in 2021, with 42 resulting in bodily injuries.
It’s common to see buses travel down crowded city streets. Pedestrians, cyclists, and passenger vehicles all pose risks to the bus driver having an accident. However, bus accidents are complex, and statistics may not tell the whole story. It takes an experienced bus accident attorney to uncover the facts and determine severity and liability.
Common Types of Bus Accidents in Southlake
Buses are a vital form of public transportation in Southlake, providing a means of transportation to the masses each day. Unfortunately, buses can suffer from problems that can cause delays, breakdowns, and other issues. Some issues lead to accidents, and unfortunately, injured passengers.
While bus travel is generally considered one of the safest forms of transportation, accidents can and do occur. Here are some of the most common types of accidents and factors that can contribute to them.
- Collisions with Other Vehicles. When a bus is involved in a collision with another vehicle, the result can be catastrophic. Common causes of collisions include drivers failing to yield to the bus, drivers running red lights or stop signs, distracted bus drivers, or drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Rollovers. Bus rollovers are pretty rare, but they can be extremely dangerous. These accidents can occur if the bus driver is going too fast around a curve, if the bus is overcrowded, or if the bus has a mechanical failure, such as a tire blowout.
- Pedestrian Accidents. Bus drivers must take extra care when driving near pedestrians, especially in heavily populated metro areas. Pedestrians in crowded urban settings are often struck by a bus while crossing the street or riding a bicycle. Pedestrian accidents can also occur if the bus driver is distracted or fails to check their blind spots while turning.
- Driver Fatigue. Bus drivers often work long shifts. They can become overworked and fatigued, leading to an increased risk of accidents. A tired driver is less aware of his or her surroundings and can easily cause an accident if not careful.
- Poorly Maintained Buses. Buses are required by the owner/operator to be regularly maintained so they are safe for passengers. Inadequate maintenance on buses can increase the risk of mechanical failure, which can cause accidents.
If you have been involved in an accident with a bus, you need professional legal help on your side. Call the Southlake bus accident lawyers at The Francis Firm for a free case evaluation. We’ll explain the complexities of these types of accidents and work to get you appropriate compensation for your injuries and damages.
Who is Liable for Bus Accident Injuries?
Bus accidents can be complex, involving multiple vehicles, and determining who is at fault is not an easy task. It's important to consider the facts of the accident to determine who is liable for the damages. An experienced bus accident attorney can evaluate the facts, interview witnesses, speak to victims, and get a better idea of who is responsible.
The first step an attorney will take is to examine the actions of the bus driver. The bus driver has a duty to drive safely and look after the safety of the passengers. If they fail to do so, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. Additionally, if the bus driver was operating while impaired, even from prescription medicine, they could be held responsible for the accident.
The other potential party to fault in a bus accident is the bus owner or operator. The operator is responsible for keeping buses in good working order, and they can be held liable if they failed to properly maintain the bus. Additionally, if the bus owner or operator allowed an unqualified driver to operate the bus, they may also be held accountable for any resulting damages.
If the accident was with a school bus, it is possible the city or school district could be held liable for the accident. Unfortunately, school bus accidents are all too common and injuries can be catastrophic. School bus accidents require an elevated level of attention from experienced bus accident attorneys who know how to deal with municipalities.
When is it Time for a Bus Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve been involved in a bus accident, it’s essential to know when to call Southlake bus accident lawyers. Knowing when to seek legal advice helps ensure you receive the fair and adequate compensation you deserve for your injuries.
If you’ve been injured, it’s extremely important to call a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner they can begin working on your case. This will also provide an opportunity to discuss the details of your accident and any potential legal options while fresh on your mind.
An experienced attorney can help investigate the circumstances behind the accident, interview witnesses, and work with the insurance companies to determine who is at fault.
Buses almost always travel on heavily populated streets. Many times, there are multiple vehicles involved, and another party may be at fault. If you’re having difficulty negotiating with the insurance company or are being ignored, our attorneys can help you navigate the complex claim system to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact The Francis Firm after an accident to get the best legal representation. Call today to schedule a free and confidential case consultation. We work with you to evaluate your claim and get you the best outcome for your injuries and damages.