Recently, 15 students were hospitalized after two buses collided in the
Tampa Bay area. None of the injuries were fatal, but this bus accident
indicates how harmful these collisions can be. Bus drivers carry numerous
passengers every day, and many of these passengers are children. When
negligence occurs, people can be placed in harm’s way. Learning
more about bus accidents can help you to understand your ability to seek
compensation if you or a loved one gets hurt in a bus accident.
What Injuries Can Occur in Bus Accidents?
Bus accident injuries can vary significantly depending on the circumstances
of the accident. In the previous example, students suffered mostly minor
injuries, but these crashes can also easily result incatastrophic injuries,
such as spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
In fact, buses inherently carry the risk of being involved in certain types
of accidents that are not common for smaller, passenger cars. In particular,
buses are prone to rollover accidents that can cause serious harm to riders.
Most buses also do not utilize restraint and safety devices, such as seat
belts or air bags, which can protect those involved in collisions. Because
of this, riders involved in accidents often become the victims of serious
injury or wrongful death.
Who is Responsible for a Bus Accident?
Liability in a bus accident can be complicated, even when the issue seems
simple at first glance. Determining responsibility depends on a number
of factors. After an accident, answering these questions can help you
determine who is responsible:
What caused the accident? Were you a passenger aboard a bus that struck an object because the driver
was negligent? Did another car run a red light and cause the accident?
This is important, since it can allow you to determine whom to hold accountable
for the accident. If the bus driver was at fault, you may need to file
a lawsuit against the company or organization that hired the driver. If
another driver was at fault, you may need to file a lawsuit against that driver.
Who operates the bus? Is the bus that caused the accident a tour bus, school bus, shuttle bus
or school bus? Answering this question can allow you to determine whether
to file a case against the government, the company that owns the buses
or another entity.
Is the bus a common or private carrier? Most buses are common carriers, meaning they transport the public or goods
from one place to another for a fee. Common carriers typically cannot
refuse service to anyone who pays the fee and must adhere to a high standard
of safety. Private carriers, on the other hand, can refuse passengers
or goods for certain reasons and have lower required standards of safety.
Nonetheless, both common and private carriers can be liable for accidents.
Talk to an Attorney Near Sarasota About a Bus Accident
Bus accident lawsuits can be extremely complex, and the above information
only covers the basics. A qualified Venice injury attorney can review
all the specifics of your potential claim and discuss your ability to
seek damages from the responsible party.
Call Gerber Law today for free attorney advice about bus accidents.