According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, every year hundreds of people die and thousands are injured in bus accidents. Tragically, these accidents affect people who travel on public, charter, school and tour buses, pedestrians and occupants of other motor vehicles.
CAUSES OF BUS ACCIDENTS
Common factors contributing to bus accidents include the following:
- Bus company hired an unqualified driver and/or failed to properly train the driver;
- Unsafe driving;
- Failing to inspect and maintain the bus; and
- Defective or unsafe parts on the bus.
Below are additional common factors of bus accidents.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of people are killed and hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year due to distracted driving. Distracted driving is often seen in bus drivers, who spend long hours driving. Examples of distracted driving by bus drivers often include the following:
- Talking on or using a cellphone
- Using Radio or Navigation System
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
In particular, texting while driving is one of the most dangerous acts of distracted driving. It has been reported that texting while driving is about 6 times more likely to cause a collision than driving while intoxicated.
Drowsy or Fatigued Driving
Many bus collisions often result from drowsy or tired drivers. Drowsy driving or driving while tired leads to many bus crashes each year. Driver fatigue is believed to contribute to over 30% of crashes on our roadways.
Driving while tired is extremely dangerous and significantly increases the risk of a collision. Driver drowsiness or fatigue decreases awareness and slows reaction times, thereby impairing the driver’s ability to timely and safely respond to potential hazards on the road. Fatigued driving also impairs the driver’s judgment. According to research, not sleeping for more than 18 hours has the same effect on driving ability as a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08, which constitutes being intoxicated in Texas. Not sleeping for 24 hours has the same effect on driving ability as a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.10.
Driving While Intoxicated
Intoxicated driving is often the cause of accidents. Driving while intoxicated is a menace on U.S. highways. The Department of Transportation (“DOT”) reports that every day, vehicle accidents involving an impaired driver kill 36 people and injure 700 people. The DOT estimates that the annual cost of U.S. intoxication-related crashes totals more than $51 billion.
A driver may be intoxicated from alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs or a combination of the above.
COMPLEXITIES OF BUS ACCIDENTS
Bus accident cases are often challenging, as they involve claims against either a private company, government entity, a charity, or public mass transit company. There are many important differences between claims against public entities and private companies and the law is complex
especially when dealing with public entities.
Adding to the complexity of these cases is the fact that carelessness or negligence by the bus driver, the employer, the bus manufacturer, and others may combine to cause the accident.
We will thoroughly investigate a bus accident to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable for their wrongdoing and that the victims are compensated for their harms and losses.
COMPENSATION FOR BUS ACCIDENTS
In Texas, the person or company at fault for causing a bus accident is liable for:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses;
- Lost income or wages due to time away from work;
- Any property damage, such as damage to your vehicle;
- The cost of hiring someone to do household chores while you are unable to do them;
- Any permanent disfigurement and disability;
- Emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and any interference with family relationships;
- Pain and suffering;
- Any other costs that were a direct result of your injury.
Evidence used to prove a bus injury claim often include:
- The vehicles involved in the accident
- Bus driver’s employment file, along with driving and training history
- Photographs and video tapes of the accident scene and the vehicles
- Police report
- Investigative reports containing, among other things, measurements and documentation of skid marks and other evidence at the accident scene
- Medical reports documenting injuries
- Testimony of drivers, passengers, witnesses, police and emergency personnel with knowledge of the accident
- Testimony from accident reconstructionists, investigators, engineers, mechanics, and other technical experts regarding the cause, mechanics, and effects of the accident
- Testimony from doctors and other medical caregivers, medical specialists, rehabilitation and occupational therapists, mental health professionals and others experts regarding the cause and extent of physical and mental injuries.
Call for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a bus accident (whether you were a driver, passenger, or pedestrian), call the Law Offices of Alexander M. Gurevich at (713) 224-9600. We will also deal with the legal matters, so that you can concentrate on your medical treatment and the recovery from your injuries. If necessary, we can also help you find appropriate medical specialists to provide treatment. We may be able to arrange for your medical care providers to wait for payment until your case is resolved.
Your initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we work on a contingent fee basis. This means you pay for our services only when you receive a monetary award or recovery of funds.