If you are injured while a passenger on a bus, you might suffer severe injuries as a result. Contacting an experienced bus accident attorney can help ensure you receive maximum compensation. Buses, which are considered a common carrier in Virginia, owe passengers a high standard of care. When passengers get on a bus, they have every right to assume that it is being operated safely and maintained properly. If driver negligence or vehicle disrepair causes an accident, the bus company could be held liable.
Obtaining compensation after a bus accident can be challenging because there are complex common carrier laws involved. Don’t try to navigate complicated bus accident laws on your own. An experienced attorney can review your case and handle the details, so you can focus on recovery.
Who Gets Hurt in Bus Accidents
According to the Virginia Highway Safety Office, in 2018 there were 579 buses crashes, accounting for 0.4 percent of all traffic accidents. There were 206 passengers hurt, with one passenger suffering from fatal injuries that year. Injured passengers tended to be adults over the age of 20, with the most injuries occurring in passengers over the age of 50.
In 65 percent of bus accidents, there was no improper action on the part of the bus driver. When the driver was cited, it was for failure to yield (in 4.6 percent of accidents), following too close (5.5 percent), and improper turn (4.6 percent.)
The most common causes of bus accidents include:
- Fatigue on the part of the bus driver
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Negligence by the bus driver
- Improper maintenance of the vehicle
- Defective parts on the vehicle
- Dangerous weather conditions
Because there are no safety features on a bus such as restraints and airbags, bus passengers can be vulnerable to serious injuries after a crash. These can include:
- Abrasions and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Head trauma, including traumatic brain injury
- Neck injuries, including soft tissue whiplash
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
Classifying the Different Types of Bus Accidents
There are many different types of buses on the roads, and bus accidents are generally categorized by the type of bus involved or by the cause of the accident:
- A bus used for public transit
- A bus used for transporting children to and from school
- A tour bus or a chartered bus
- An accident caused by driver error
- An accident caused by a safety violation
- An accident caused by an agency or company hiring an improperly trained bus driver or one who shouldn't have been hired for some other reason
- An accident caused by poor maintenance or a part that has malfunctioned
Recovering Damages After a Bus Crash
Statistics show that bus accidents are not that common, but when they happen, they can cause significant life disruption and unexpected expenses to those injured. If you have been hurt in a bus accident, you are entitled to seek fair compensation for your injuries. If you lost a loved one in a bus crash, you might be entitled to seek a wrongful death claim.
Bus accident victims have a right to recover damages. These can include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income or earning potential if the injuries mean permanent disability
- Out-of-pocket costs related to the accident
- Rehabilitation costs
- Mental and emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
Contact a Bus Accident Attorney
If you are a passenger on a bus and involved in a bus accident, you may be able to hold the bus company liable for your injuries. If you lost a loved one in a bus accident, you may be able to bring a wrongful death case against the parties responsible. The Fairfax personal injury attorneys at Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi have the experience you need to be successful in your bus accident case. Contact our personal injury law offices today for a free initial consultation.