Transit systems typically move a large number of people or heavy and often hazardous cargo, so it’s crucial for the industry, including manufacturers, drivers, engineers and mechanics, to adhere to the highest possible standards at all times. Unfortunately, safety is not always a top priority.
Bus Accident Lawsuits
If you have been injured in a bus accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your pain, suffering and other damages you have incurred. Beasley Allen’s bus accident lawyers have helped recover millions of dollars in medical expenses, lost work, and other damages for victims of bus crashes and other transit accidents. All too often we have seen first-hand the horrible impact these accidents have had on passengers of school buses, transit buses, or long-distance motorcoaches such as charter buses, tour buses, and long-distance bus companies, and we are here to fight for you.
Bus crashes kill hundreds of people every year and injure thousands more. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) joint study on bus crashes determined that most of these accidents involved commercial motor coach buses, which typically travel long distances, followed by transit bus crashes, which follow a regular intercity route.
The NHTSA keeps separate data on school buses. According to the agency’s most recent report, 1,147 fatal crashes involving school buses and other school-related transportation between 2007 and 2016 resulted in 1,282 deaths.
Bus Accident Causes
Bus crashes happen for a lot of different reasons. It’s all too common for aggressive drivers of passenger vehicles, angry at sharing the road with large heavy vehicles like buses and tractor-trailers, to intensify the dangers of congested roads and cause accidents.
Many times, however, bus accidents happen because of problems originating within the bus itself. Some of the causes our bus accident lawyers have seen include:
Poor bus design: While not likely to cause a crash, the bus’s roof-crash and rollover protection are critical to passenger safety in the event of an accident. Most older buses also offer no seatbelt protection. Passengers involved in a bus rollover accident are often thrown from the vehicle, causing debilitating or fatal injuries.
Fatigued driving: The bus driver has driven excessive hours in violation of federal hours-of-service laws or did not get enough sleep between shifts, causing them to fall asleep behind the wheel.
Driver distraction: The bus driver becomes distracted by a smartphone or other handheld device, eating or drinking, or some other non-driving-related activity that focuses their attention away from the road.
Inexperience: The driver lacks the proper qualifications to drive a passenger bus, whether it’s because they are inexperienced or had a suspended or revoked license due to past traffic violations.
Alcohol and drug use: The law strictly prohibits bus drivers from drinking alcoholic beverages on duty. Illicit drugs, over-the-counter medications, and prescription drugs may also impair the driver.
Failure to maintain or inspect buses: Passenger buses must be thoroughly and regularly checked for safety issues that could endanger the lives of all those aboard as well as other motorists sharing the road. Failure to inspect and service the tires, brakes, and other bus parts can cause extremely unsafe problems.
Speeding: Driving at speeds higher than the posted speed limit or driving unreasonably fast for the road conditions – whether they are weather-or construction-related – often causes deadly bus crashes.
Other traffic violations: Making unsafe or illegal turns, driving the bus on an alternate, unsafe road, failing to yield the right of way to other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are some of the driver-related actions our bus accident lawyers have found when investigating bus crashes.
What bus accident damages can I claim?
Our bus accident lawyers evaluate claims on a case-by-case basis. If you or another family member have been injured in a bus crash, you may be entitled to seek compensation for different types of damages, including:
Medical Expenses: Any medical expenses you incur for accident-related injuries, including past or future emergency care, surgeries, hospital stays, and other care.
Economic Damages: Any earnings you lose due to missed work related to your motorcycle crash are recoverable. Physical injuries often result in reduced earning capacity, making life incredibly difficult for crash victims and their families.
Pain and Suffering: The severity and nature of your crash-related injury and the intensity and duration of the pain you suffer because of it may factor significantly into your claim for compensation.
Mental Anguish: Accident-related trauma can trigger a spectrum of emotional difficulty, such as anxiety, fear, humiliation, grief, worry, and so forth, any of which can be considered when seeking compensation.
Loss of Consortium: After a motorcycle accident injury or death, survivors and family members may become deprived of the emotional union and activities they once shared. While this term usually refers to the relationship between spouses, it is often recognized in a legal context as the loss of parental consortium, allowing parents to seek compensation for the death or disability of a child and vice-versa.
Why do I need a bus accident lawyer?
If you or a family member have been injured in a bus crash, it can be extremely challenging, if not impossible, to get just compensation on your own. Our bus accident lawyers will maximize your claim and fight for you every step of the way.
Some obstacles to fair compensation our bus accident lawyers often see are:
- Insurance companies that will use their power to minimize your claim and its value and use manipulative tactics to get you to accept less compensation than you deserve.
- Our bus crash lawyers thoroughly investigate why crashes occur and who is liable. We often discover that more than one person or entity is financially liable for an accident.
- The bus company or its insurer may blame you for failing to mitigate your injuries in an effort to shift or share liability with the victim.
- We will work to determine with you to determine what your bus accident claim is worth.
Train Accident Lawsuits
Trains have become one of the world’s most convenient modes of transportation. Still, several major crashes and scores of lesser-known accidents have demonstrated that rail travel is not without its risks. Passengers on the train, bystanders in a train station, railyard workers, and occupants of other vehicles struck by a train – our train accident lawyers recognize the dangers trains present, and we understand that most train crashes could have been prevented had those responsible taken some basic safety measures.
Train Accident Causes
In evaluating and investigating rail crash cases, our train accident lawyers have seen that accidents involving trains and other rail systems have many different causes, including:
Human error: Like other transportation and transit workers, train operators must remain alert and vigilant at all times while in control. Anything less than full attention and alertness magnifies the odds of a train crash occurring. Fatigue, drowsiness, distraction, and substance abuse are common causes of train accidents caused by human error.
Mechanical failure: Many passenger trains are complex, high-speed transit systems that rely on electronic regulation while others operate more manually. Whatever the case, any element of the train or overall train system that isn’t functioning properly can spell disaster when a train is in motion.
Weather conditions: Heavy rain, snow, and high winds can cause track erosion or create a buildup of debris on the tracks that can interfere with the train’s operation. Poor weather is a commonly cited reason for train derailments, underscoring the critical need for constant track oversight and maintenance.
Track, roadbed, or structural defects: Railroad tracks can become damaged, warp, or weaken with age and exposure to environmental conditions and natural shifts in the earth, all of which could lead to a derailment if not closely inspected and repaired.
Other Train-Related Failures
The Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis records and categorizes all fatal and non-fatal rail-related incidents and accidents nationwide. These include:
Railroad crossing incidents: Lack of warning signs, inoperable crossing guards, and steep crossing grades are some of the reasons why vehicles collide with trains at railroad crossings.
Railyard Injuries: Railyard work and maintenance involve operating heavy, noisy machinery directly on and near active tracks. Any miscommunication or other error between train operators, control centers, and workers can result in a collision.
Train station injuries: Many injuries occur every year to train passengers boarding, deboarding, or simply waiting for a train.
Lack of Positive Train Control (PTC) or other speed-regulating system: Some speed-related Amtrak accidents have resulted in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries because the rail system lacked an electronic speed regulating system to prevent high-speed collisions and derailments.
Train Crash Injuries
Our train accident lawyers know the types of injuries train accidents can cause, many of which are worsened by the lack of passenger restraints and entrapment. Some of the injuries passengers and train workers sustain in a rail crash include:
- Broken or crushed limbs
- Severe burn injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ injuries
- Multiple catastrophic injuries resulting in death
Contact a Bus or Train Accident Attorney
We live by our creed of “helping those who need it most” and have helped thousands of clients get the justice they desperately needed and deserved. If you feel you have a case or just have questions please contact us for a free consultation. There is no risk and no fees unless we win for you.