Buses are vehicles with an important duty to transport large numbers of people safely. Given a bus’s large size and the high number of starts and stops while navigating traffic, the potential for injury is high. When passengers are injured in a bus accident, passengers may suffer various financial and non-economic losses.
Buses are generally operated by either government entities or companies. If you suffered injuries in a bus collision because of a driver’s negligence, you could work with a Thornton bus accident lawyer to obtain a fair compensation for your losses. An experienced personal injury lawyer could study the unique aspects of your situation and advocate on your behalf.
Common Carrier Collisions
Unlike collisions involving cars or other vehicles, accidents involving buses are different because state laws classify buses as “common carriers.” This refers to the fact that the entities that own the buses operate as a business to regularly transport people or commodities. State laws hold common carriers to a higher standard than those driving vehicles for noncommercial uses.
Drivers and the companies they work for owe a duty of care and safety to passengers, specifically regarding how they drive and how they operate, such as when loading and unloading passengers. This duty to others must be proven by a plaintiff to establish liability in the event of an accident. For more information about common carrier laws, reach out to a seasoned Thorton bus accident lawyer.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Although bus accidents may be caused by any number of factors, some causes are more common than others. Often a combination of factors can cause a bus accident, including:
- Inadequate training of drivers
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while distracted
- Improper maintenance of equipment
- Driving recklessly
- Poor visibility or weather conditions
Depending on the circumstances, one or more individuals, companies, or government agencies may be found to be liable for injuries suffered in a bus accident.
If the bus driver is found to have acted negligently in the course of their job duties, they may be held liable. If the injury was caused by poor workmanship or failure of materials in the bus, the bus manufacturer may be found liable. The operator, owner, or entity leasing the bus may also be held vicariously liable.
When buses are owned or operated by the government, an injured individual may be able to file a claim with the government. Claimants are required to notify the government within 180 days of the accident of their legal action. Since these claims are more complex and must contain certain legal information, a victim may want to hire a knowledgeable bus accident attorney in Thornton to help them through the filing process.
Contacting a Thornton Bus Accident Attorney
Under Colorado state law, the time to file a personal injury claim is limited. As such, those who were injured in a bus crash should consult with an experienced Thornton bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney who is familiar with this area of law could help you build your claim for compensation.
Your lawyer could also help you evaluate your claim, collect and preserve evidence, and negotiate on your behalf to help you pursue all available compensation. If you suffered injuries associated with a negligent bus operation, call now for a free consultation about your legal rights.