From transit buses in cities to school buses in neighborhoods all over the country to long-distance buses on our interstate highways, every day millions of ordinary drivers encounter commercial buses on the roadways. Because they are incredibly common, not everyone realizes how dangerous buses can be. At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, our Houston car accident lawyers are privileged to represent people who are injured in accidents involving buses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident due to the negligence of another party, reach out to a top-rated bus accident attorney to discuss your legal rights before they are jeopardized by a corporation or insurance company.
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Bus Accidents Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries
Given their incredible size and speed, the damages sustained in a bus accident can be catastrophic. A fully loaded 40-foot transit bus weighs approximately 36,000 pounds. By comparison, a Ford F-150 weights less than 5,000 pounds. Although serious injury and death can certainly occur to the passengers of the bus involved in an accident, the National Transportation Safety Board has reported that the majority of fatalities occur to occupants of other vehicles involved in bus accidents.
There are thousands of interstate bus – or “motor coach” – carrier companies operating in the United States. Some of these companies operate large fleets of buses across the country, such as Greyhound. Others are small companies that may operate only a few buses in local areas. Some of these companies operate scheduled routes daily, in which the company becomes familiar with the route, the speeds, the turns, the road conditions, and the like. Other companies specialize in “charter” service, in which the bus is hired for a one-time route that the driver may or may not have ever taken. The National Transportation Safety Board has reported that smaller bus companies of 10 buses or less and operating less than 10 years are more likely to be involved in accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board further estimates that 35% of United States bus carriers are registered in five states: Texas, California, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Training procedures can differ greatly amongst different “motor coach” carriers. Some follow a formal training process, and others a less formal training process. Unfortunately, the other drivers on the road have no idea whether the bus driver sharing the road with them is properly trained or not. Working with an experienced Houston bus accident attorney will give you the best chance at securing the maximum for your injuries.
Common Injuries of Bus Accidents
Injures of a bus accident could include:
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Causes of a bus accident could include:
- Driver fatigue;
- Driver lack of qualifications;
- Falsifying the number of hours driver/driving for too long;
- Faulty equipment;
- Not being sufficiently familiar with the route;
- Improper responses to road conditions;
- Improper responses to weather conditions;
- Drug or alcohol use; and
- Not paying attention (texting while driving, cell phone use, speaking with passengers, etc.).
Under federal law, buses engaged in interstate transport generally cannot be inspected for compliance with the rules and regulations while they are transporting people, except in certain situations in which imminent danger is suspected. This can create a dangerous situation for the other drivers on the road if the bus driver knows there are issues of non-compliance, but also knows that the chances of the bus being inspected are rare.
Damages Recoverable Following a Texas Greyhound Bus Accident
If you or a loved one were injured or tragically killed in a Greyhound bus accident, it is critical that you contact an experienced bus accident lawyer as soon after an accident as possible before pursuing a lawsuit or accepting a settlement. Our bus accident attorneys have the experience and resources needed to ensure that you receive the best medical care available and the maximum compensation possible.
Morrow & Sheppard LLP regularly represents individuals who have been involved in Houston Greyhound bus crashes such as yours and rely on the expertise of experts in medicine, bus safety operation, accident reconstruction, and economics to evaluate your case from multiple angles to ensure that your financial needs are represented accurately when pursuing compensation.
Contact Morrow & Sheppard LLP for a free case review with a bus accident attorney so that we can answer your questions and begin a thorough investigation into your matter to determine your legal options and let you know what you can expect as well as the probable value of your case. There is no cost or obligation to hire us unless we win your case.
School Bus Accidents
While school bus crashes account for only a very small percentage of auto accidents in Texas and across the United States each year, for the families struggling to cope with the effects of these accidents, the consequences can be devastating. Broken glass, rigid bus seats, and flying debris can all cause serious injuries for school-age children on board, and drivers and passengers in vehicles hit by school buses will frequently suffer severe traumatic injuries as well. Data from the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) also show that more than one in five school bus accidents involve pedestrians, with school children accounting for approximately 70 percent of all pedestrian school bus accident fatalities.
At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we fight for individuals and families who have been injured and lost loved ones in school bus accidents. Although the percentage of accidents involving school buses may be low, in Texas alone, there are still thousands of school bus accidents every year. Whether you were involved in a vehicle collision with a school bus, your child was injured in a bus accident, or you or your child were hit by a school bus as a pedestrian, we are here to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Common Factors in School Bus Accidents
As with any type of auto accident, when seeking compensation for an accident involving a school bus, it is critical to identify the factor (or factors) that led to the collision. The NHTSA’s data show that nearly half of all fatal school bus accidents involve head-on collisions, and many school bus accidents occur when passenger vehicle and truck drivers fail to stop for buses that are loading or unloading students. Not only is it against the law to pass a school bus that has deployed its stop sign or flashing lights, but it may also be considered negligent – entitling victims and their loved ones to seek just compensation. Other common factors in school bus crashes include:
- Bus driver negligence or fatigue;
- Distracted driving;
- Drunk driving;
- Failure to yield;
- Passenger vehicle and truck defects;
- School bus malfunctions; and
- Speeding (including exceeding school zone speed limits).
Who Is Liable for Injuries Sustained in a School Bus Accident in Houston?
Once the cause of the accident has been established through an exhaustive investigation, then you can identify the party (or parties) responsible for the crash. In most cases, bus accidents will involve claims against:
- A negligent passenger vehicle or truck driver – A driver who causes a collision with a school bus may be liable for the bus driver’s and school children’s injuries.
- The school district (or a private school) – If the school bus driver caused the accident, his or her employer (i.e. the school district or a private school) may be legally responsible.
- The bus manufacturer or another third-party – School bus accident cases will frequently involve claims against vehicle manufacturers, part manufacturers, repair shops, highway authorities, and other third parties as well.
If you would like to speak with an attorney about seeking financial compensation for a school bus accident in the greater Houston area, contact Morrow & Sheppard LLP for a free, confidential consultation today.