Safety features like seat belts and airbags are not in place on most buses, and passengers on buses face a serious risk of injury in the event of a wreck. Whether an accident involved a school bus, charter bus or a city bus, injured passengers need to be aware of their right to seek compensation for damages.
A bus accident recently occurred on Interstate 95 in Stafford County, causing serious injuries to four people. According to police, the bus driver failed to exercise reasonable caution during the snowy road conditions, and the bus ran off the interstate and overturned. After the accident, he was taken to jail on a charge of reckless driving. In fact, all of the 58 bus passengers were taken to hospitals. Fortunately, no life-threatening injuries were reported.
Laws concerning bus accidents are much more complex than laws relating to accidents involving smaller vehicles. There are complicated laws regarding how much a bussing company can be held responsible in addition to the responsibility of the driver.
In Virginia, buses are categorized as common carriers, meaning that the bus companies are held to a high standard in terms of protecting the safety of passengers. Failure to adhere to that standard too often results in catastrophe.
In some cases, negligence on the part of a driver could signal liability on the part of a bussing company. Of course, if the driver or the company is liable for injuries, then the victims may be entitled to compensation. For example, serious injuries such as brain damage or spinal cord injury are often accompanied by emotional and financial stress, and injured parties can seek compensation for the short- and long-term effects of an injury.