Bus accidents are some of the most devastating and deadly road events, and they often cause long-term consequences for everyone involved. In 2020, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Association, there were 4,998 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes across the US.
Bus accidents can be especially traumatic. The primary reasons why bus accidents are so deadly are their size and weight. Buses are larger and weigh more than passenger vehicles, and getting in an accident with them can be catastrophic. In addition, the sheer size of a bus can cause it to roll over more easily in the event of an accident, injuring the driver and passengers.
Furthermore, buses often travel on crowded roads and have limited maneuverability. This makes them more prone to accidents, as they cannot easily stop or swerve to avoid a collision. And, as it is likely that many buses carry a large number of passengers, the potential for injuries and fatalities increases.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, call the Texas bus accident lawyers who understand commercial accident law and how to best protect your rights.
Bus Accident Statistics in Texas
Buses drive millions of miles per year on America’s roads and highways, and transport tens of thousands of passengers each day. In 2021, Texas had the third most bus crashes in the nation, and the second most bus accident fatalities. The Texas Department of Transportation reported the following statistics in regards to bus accidents:
- There were 2,550 total bus crashes
- There were 1,187 school bus crashes
- There were 698 total injuries sustained in bus crashes
- A total of 16 fatalities caused by bus crashes
- There were 233 injuries caused by school bus crashes
- There were 5 fatalities reported from school bus crashes
Common Types of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents are a major public safety concern that causes tens of thousands of injuries and fatalities every year. While some of these accidents are caused by a variety of factors, there are certain common causes identified by authorities as the prime cause for most serious crashes.
- Driver Error. Driver error is the most common cause of bus accidents. This can include distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, and failing to follow traffic laws. Drivers who are fatigued, unqualified, or inexperienced can also be a contributing factor.
- Mechanical Failure. Mechanical failure due to inadequate maintenance or a manufacturing defect can also cause bus accidents. It is important that buses are regularly serviced and inspected to ensure that all components are operating properly.
- Road Conditions. Poor road conditions can increase the chance of a bus accident. This can include potholes, uneven pavement, unmarked lanes, or debris on the road.
- Passenger Distractions. Passengers can distract bus drivers, which can lead to an accident. Unruly or abusive passengers can disrupt a driver’s attention, leading to a higher chance of an accident.
Who is Liable for Bus Accident Injuries?
Bus accidents can be complex, involving multiple vehicles, and determining who is at fault is no 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 in determining fault in a bus accident is to examine the actions of the bus driver. The bus driver has a duty to drive safely and maintain control of the bus, and if they fail to do so, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. Additionally, if the bus driver operated the bus under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or even prescription medication, 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 bus owner or 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.
In some cases, a third-party may be held liable for a bus accident. This could include a manufacturer if the bus was equipped with a faulty part, or a municipality or road maintenance company if the accident was caused by a hazardous condition on the road.
An experienced lawyer can help you best understand your rights and determine who is liable for the damages.
When to Call a Bus Accident Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a bus accident, it’s important to understand when you should call a bus accident lawyer. Knowing when to seek legal advice can help you get the best outcome in your case and ensure you receive the fair and adequate compensation you deserve for your injuries.
It is essential 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 give you the opportunity to discuss the details of your accident and any potential legal options while fresh on your mind.
It’s also important to get a lawyer involved early on if you’ve suffered any injuries as a result of the accident so that you can receive proper medical care and compensation for your medical bills.
Many times in a bus accident, there are multiple vehicles involved, and another car other than the bus may be at fault. If you’re having difficulty obtaining compensation from the other party or their insurance company, your lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance companies to make sure that you receive the full compensation you’re entitled to. Contact The Francis Firm if you’re involved in a bus accident and need legal representation, or call us today to schedule a free, completely confidential case consultation at 817-329-9001. Our Texas personal injury lawyers work directly with you to evaluate your case and help you understand all your legal options.