The vast majority of Americans have used a bus as a mode of transportation at least once in their lives. Buses, whether used for a daily commute or recreational purposes, provide millions of people with a cheap, safe, and efficient way of getting from one place to another.
Unfortunately, like any other vehicle or mode of transportation, buses can be involved in accidents—and due to their large size, bus accidents can be particularly devastating. If you are ever involved in such a crash, it may be necessary to seek legal assistance from a Lakewood bus accident lawyer. A qualified personal injury attorney could help you pursue damages for your injuries. En Español.
Passenger Injuries and Legal Implications
Much like airplanes or trains, buses are considered “common carriers” in the eyes of the law. Simply put, a common carrier is any vehicle that provides transportation for anyone who is willing to pay a set fee. Unlike private carriers, which only transport select groups of individuals, common carriers typically offer their services to the general public.
For this reason, they are held to much higher safety standards than other modes of transportation, and if a common carrier is involved in an accident, the accident is extensively scrutinized by courts and investigators. If a person is injured while riding a bus, they should work closely with their Lakewood bus accident lawyer to determine their options for financial recovery.
Bus Accidents Involving Personal Vehicles
Even when empty, buses are still significantly larger than passenger vehicles. When a bus collides with a car, truck, or SUV, the outcome can be deadly, and in many cases individuals in the smaller vehicle sustain more severe injuries.
These injuries can be life-threatening and may require years of extensive medical treatment. If the driver of a passenger vehicle is struck by a bus, they may be able to take legal action against the following parties:
- The bus driver
- The company—or municipality, in cases involving city buses—that operates the bus
- The bus manufacturer, if the accident is caused by a mechanical failure
- The owner of the bus
Companies and organizations that employ bus drivers have an obligation to ensure their drivers are properly trained and adhere to the rules of the road. They are also obligated to hire qualified drivers, as well as perform background checks on new hires to ensure the driver does not have any prior safety violations.
What If a Bus Strikes a Pedestrian?
Urban and suburban areas often have heavy bus and foot traffic, and most cities have installed traffic signals and designated crosswalks in hopes of avoiding accidents. Unfortunately, accidents do occur nonetheless, and when a massive bus collides with a pedestrian, it is the pedestrian who almost always comes out worse.
Bus drivers are expected to follow all traffic rules and regulations at all times, including ones regarding pedestrians. Drivers should also pay close attention to pedestrians and maintain a safe distance from crosswalks and sidewalks. If they are not primarily liable for the incident, pedestrians who are injured in bus accidents may be able to hold multiple parties liable for their medical expenses and suffering.
Consulting a Lakewood Bus Accident Attorney
Accidents can be overwhelming in a variety of different ways, and many accident survivors quickly find themselves drowning in medical bills and debt. However, this does not have to happen to you.
If you were injured in a serious bus accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Get in touch with a Lakewood bus accident lawyer today to learn more.