Each year, thousands of bus accidents occur, injuring and killing drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. The accidents devastate victims and families, in some cases leaving a household without a wage earner to care for the family.
Most bus accidents are the result of human error, meaning they can be avoided. So it is important to consider your options if you are a victim by contacting a bus crash lawyer who can offer guidance. While the rate of bus crash accidents has decreased since 2000, there are still thousands each year and some are deadly.
There are many large bus crashes and bus rollovers that occur because of the negligence of the bus driver or bus company. Such negligence should have consequences for helping the victims affected by a bus accident. It will depend on the cause of the crash, but if a bus driver was at fault or the company that employs the driver is at fault, victims and their families are entitled to recover damages from the accident. Some of the causes of bus crashes that suggest fault by the driver or the company that hired the driver include:
- Driver Fatigue: Bus drivers are like drivers of other large vehicles who often drive long distances without a break. This leads to driver fatigue, a condition that is very similar in its symptoms to driving under the influence. A driver’s reaction time decreases, making it harder to react to swerving if the bus crosses the yellow line or to someone or something that might suddenly appear in the road.
- Driver Distraction: There are many things that can distract drivers. When a bus driver is distracted, there are significantly greater consequences because of the people who could be affected if an accident occurs. It is also harder for a distracted bus driver to quickly react and control a situation that could lead to an accident because it is more difficult to maneuver a large vehicle.
- Driver Error: Some accidents are the result of driver error, when a bus driver makes a mistake or is inexperienced or improperly trained. Mistakes such as understanding the unique rules of the road for bus drivers, or not following safety precautions for the maneuvering of such large vehicles, can lead to accidents that injure or kill.
- Unsafe Driving: Some bus accidents are the result of a bus driver who becomes aggressive on the road or speeds while driving. This behavior is particularly dangerous because it leads to operating a large vehicle outside of safety protocols.
- DUI Driving: When a bus driver is intoxicated behind the wheel, it is extremely dangerous, let alone illegal. The driver is endangering their passengers, other drivers, and people in the area of the bus. Driving impaired affects a driver’s judgment and muscle coordination, making it more difficult to react to things.
- Bus Failure: Some accidents involving buses occur because the vehicle malfunctions or breaks down. The company that owns the bus is responsible for properly maintaining it, but if they skimp on maintenance, this can lead to mechanical problems and possible accidents as a result. Typical failures in bus maintenance include bald tires, bad brakes, infrequent tuneups, and engine failure.
When considering a bus accident lawyer to help you with a lawsuit, you should find lawyers with experience in handling such claims. This litigation is unique and includes certain complexities that only an experienced accident attorney will understand. You should also consider the law firm where the attorney works and determine whether they have successfully managed commercial vehicle accident cases.
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