Houston Bus Accident Attorney

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 buses on the roadways. Because they are incredibly common, not everyone realizes how dangerous buses can be. Morrow & Sheppard LLP is privileged to represent people who are injured in accidents involving buses. If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident involving a bus in Texas, reach out to a skilled Houston bus accident attorney to discuss your legal rights before they are jeopardized by a corporation or insurance company.

Given their incredible size and speed, the damages sustained in a bus accident can be catastrophic. A fully loaded 40-foot transit bus weights 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 occurs to occupants of other vehicles involved in bus accidents.

There are thousands of interstate bus – or “motorcoach” – 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 which 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 “motorcoach” 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. If you were injured in a bus accident in Texas, you’ll need a skilled Houston personal injury attorney experienced in bus accident claims.

Common Causes of Bus Accidents in Texas

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
  • Not paying attention (texting and 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.

Houston METRO and City Bus Accidents

Most city buses in Houston are operated by Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (“METRO”). From the airport to the Veteran’s Memorial, METRO operates dozens of bus lines that crisscross the Houston metropolitan area seven days a week and nearly 24 hours per day.

While we trust city bus drivers to get us safely to our destinations, the reality is that they are just as susceptible as anyone else to causing or having a role in a vehicle collision. When METRO bus drivers injure their passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists, we seek to hold METRO accountable. With decades of combined legal experience, our Houston bus accident lawyers are available to represent clients in cases involving METRO accidents on all routes and in all parts of the city. We routinely represent clients in bus accident and other cases involving:

  • Accidents at intersections
  • Distracted and inattentive driving
  • Failure to stop at traffic signals and stop signs
  • Failure to yield
  • Fatigued driving and falling asleep at the wheel
  • Head-on collisions
  • Pedestrians and bicycle accidents
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Speeding and other forms of driver negligence
  • Unqualified and untrained bus drivers

To find out if you have a claim for financial compensation, consult a qualified local Houston bus accident attorney at Morrow & Sheppard LLP.

City Bus Accidents With Houston METRO’s Regional Transportation Partners

In addition to operating its own city buses, METRO also has “regional partnerships” with transportation providers that service additional routes throughout the Houston area. We handle accident claims against these entities as well. Regardless of what happened, regardless of who is to blame, you can count on the legal team at Morrow & Sheppard LLP to fight tirelessly to make sure you win maximum compensation for your injuries or your loss of a loved one. We’ve handled Houston city bus accident cases against:

  • Conroe Connection
  • Harris County Transit
  • Fort Bend Express/Texas Medical Center
  • Island Connect
  • TREK
  • The Wave
  • The Woodlands Express

While city bus accidents commonly involve bus driver negligence, numerous other factors can lead to dangerous bus accidents as well. When you hire us to represent you, an experienced Houston bus accident attorney will conduct a thorough investigation in order to identify all potential sources of financial compensation. If another driver, a bus defect, a roadway defect or any other issue is to blame for your injuries or loss, we will collect the relevant evidence and use it to fight for just compensation on your behalf.

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
  • 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 today.

Morrow & Sheppard LLP | Local Houston Bus Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been involved in a bus accident, please contact us now for a free, confidential consultation.

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