Any traffic accident can result in catastrophic injuries, but when a crash involves a commercial bus, dozens of people can be hurt. A 2010 study from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute examined data from 1999 to 2005 to produce a statistical snapshot of bus accidents in the U.S. According to the data, about 63,000 buses are involved in traffic crashes each year, killing roughly 50 bus occupants, including the driver.At Shea & Shea – A Professional Law Corporation, we represent clients who are involved in mass casualty incidents (MCI), which very few attorneys handle due to their complexity. Since 1966, our law firm has been standing up for the rights of the injured. We are members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and are dedicated to securing maximum compensation for what our clients have been through. We are honored to be AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and attorney Shea has been certified as a specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. If you were injured in a bus accident or lost a loved one in a fatal crash, you could be entitled to compensation. Don’t wait to find out how our firm can assist you with your case — call (408) 292-2434 now.
Shea & Shea – A Professional Law Corporation has handled large bus crash cases. We were involved in a Greyhound bus accident case involving 10 fatalities and many severely injured people (see above).
Bus Accidents Have Several Common Causes
Bus accidents can be much more severe because of the substantial number of people who may be onboard. From charter and private to public transportation, buses are a part of day-to-day life for residents across the country. While they’re rare, bus accidents do happen, and they can cause major life disruptions and unexpected expenses. These are some of the most common factors in bus accidents:
- Driver distraction or negligence
- Heavily populated areas with little area to maneuver
- Poor road conditions
- Vehicle handling problems
- Equipment defects
- Weight distribution problems
- Lack of passenger protection such as seat belts and air bags
Who Is Liable For A Bus Accident?
Unlike a car accident, determining liability in a bus accident can be complex and difficult. Below is a short list of parties that may be at fault in a bus accident:
- The bus driver: If the bus driver was doing something negligent at the time of the accident, he or she may be held liable. This includes disobeying state driving laws that limit driving time, as well as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The bus company/school district/city: The company, school district or city that owns a bus involved in an accident can be liable for any injuries if it acted negligently, like failing to perform regular maintenance on the bus.
- Another driver: Another driver can be held liable for an accident if he or she was driving while distracted, drunk driving, speeding, driving aggressively or maneuvering through traffic illegally.
- The manufacturer: A defective brake system or tire may cause an accident. If a defect is to blame, the manufacturer may be held liable.
Severe Injuries Can Result From Bus Accidents
Most California buses do not come equipped with seat belts or air bags, so victims of bus accidents often suffer catastrophic injuries. When buses roll over, passengers can be ejected from the windows or thrown around inside the bus. Even if the bus doesn’t flip over, sharp edges inside the bus and a lack of emergency exists can result in severe injuries after a crash.
These include burn injuries, spinal cord injuries and brain damage. Burn injuries, which are one of the most painful injuries, range from superficial burns (first-degree burns) to full-thickness burns (third-degree burns) and can lead to serious complications. The skin is the body’s first line of defense against infection and when it is compromised, a victim could be exposed to debilitating diseases.
Another possibility is a spinal cord injury. The force of an accident could damage bones and tissue. There are two main types of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury means that the person has lost all ability to move and feel. An incomplete spinal cord injury means the victim has a reduced ability to move and feel.
Finally, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be caused by an outside force to the head. A TBI can result in a coma, a vegetative state, seizures, fluid buildup, infections, blood vessel damage, headaches, paralysis, cognitive problems and executive functioning issues.
Victims may have to take time off work to recover, as well as pay thousands of dollars for medical care. If the accident was not their fault, they should not have to pay for the consequences.
Consult With An Attorney Who Understands Bus Accidents Today
Act quickly to build a strong case for compensation. Our San Jose personal injury lawyers will move quickly to investigate your case, gather evidence and fight relentlessly for a settlement or trial verdict that covers the full amount of your damages. We focus heavily on catastrophic injury cases involving brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burn injuries and more. For a free consultation regarding your bus accident case, contact us by email today. Our lawyers can also be reached by phone at (408) 292-2434.
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