Large vehicles on the road go unnoticed until a significant event is reported in the news. Few drivers realize how many buses full of people are present on city streets, state roadways and interstate highways at all hours of the day and night.
- School buses full of children share the roads with commuters during the morning and afternoon commutes in cities and towns all across the nation.
- SEPTA buses carry people of all ages to appointments, stores and schools wherever mass transportation is available.
- Tour buses traverse long stretches of roadways to offer people an opportunity to see beautiful scenery and national parks during the perfect season.
- Gambling aficionados ride in luxury toward casinos located in remote locations.
- Athletic teams travel to sporting events across short and long distances with sufficient lead time to recover from travel stiffness.
- Military personnel are transported from arriving aircraft to home bases when returning from war.
With all of these buses, is it any wonder that 300 fatal bus crashes occur in the United States every year? A bus accident without fatalities still presents significant risks to property and passengers. Damage and injury are extensive because so many people are involved when a heavy vehicle collides with other vehicles and stationary objects. Few drivers of passenger cars understand the skill level required to maneuver a bus from the starting point to the destination without incident.
Reasons Bus Accidents Happen
Even with hundreds of bus accidents, the causes of these tragedies can be narrowed to a few causes:
- Other vehicles make abrupt movements into the path of the bus;
- Bus operator error
- Other driver error
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Reckless driving;
- Poor weather conditions and visibility;
- Dangerous roadway conditions;
- Bus equipment malfunction;
- Neglected bus maintenance practices.
Once the bus is involved in an accident, the authorities will spend countless hours attempting to determine the series of events that led up to the accident. Anyone involved in the situation should make some notes about any details that come to mind.
Fault for a Bus Accident Will Be Determined
Establishing who is at fault for the accident will require significant investigative efforts. Any of the following parties can be at fault:
- Bus driver;
- Bus owner;
- Bus management company;
- Bus manufacturer;
- Negligent drivers in other vehicles;
- Government entities for roadway neglect or safety hazards.
Bus accidents pose significant threat for injuries to occupants in other vehicles because the weight and speed of the vehicles causes significant damage once contact is made. Property damage can be catastrophic since the momentum of the bus creates destructive force other vehicles cannot.
Actions to Take Following a Bus Accident
The trauma associated with a bus accident is compounded when those involved fail to request assistance from an experienced bus accident attorney. Consultation with a bus crash lawyer can ensure that anyone affected receives compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills that are related to the bus accident. Loved ones of those killed in bus accidents should consult with an attorney to pursue wrongful death cases.
Victims of bus accidents are wise to take pictures of the scene and write some notes concerning conditions leading up to the accident. Weather, traffic movement and road conditions should be noted. Activity within the bus is important since certain types of activities can distract the bus driver. Note any vehicles close to the bus that seemed to be driven erratically. Anyone on the bus is a valuable witness to the series of events.
Our highly experienced low contingency fee bus crash attorneys will retain a top accident reconstruction firm and other top experts so you recover the maximum possible compensation available under PA law