Why Bus Accident Cases Are Different
Bus accidents and rollovers are some of the most complex auto accident cases we handle. Not only are the injuries associated with bus crashes more serious than those involved in a typical car fender bender, these cases can also be muddied with complex liability issues.
For example, the bus driver may not be the only one at fault for negligence; the bus management company, the bus maintenance company, or the equipment parts manufacturer are just a few of the other entities that can be held liable in a bus accident case in Illinois.
Furthermore, liability may also change depending on the type of bus that caused your injury. For example:
- School bus—In many cases, liability will lie with the school board or the school district in which the bus operated; however, if the district hired a private company to provide services, the company can be held liable. A school bus accident attorney in Southern Illinois can help you determine the responsible party in these types of situations.
- Public bus—Liability for buses operated in municipalities, cities, or counties is usually limited to that specific government. However, once again, some jurisdictions outsource may outsource bus services to private contractors and, therefore, the contractor and/or government could be liable. Bringing a personal injury case against a government entity is far different than a typical car accident claim against an insurance company, which is why you need the help of a bus accident attorney.
- Private or charter bus—Private or charter buses usually include major bus companies in the country such as Amtrak, Coach, Greyhound, and more. Negligent accidents usually result in liability for the company and its insurers. As charter buses are a multimillion-dollar industry, the insurance companies that represent them often employ an army of attorneys that work tirelessly to lessen or dismantle your claim. Let our personal injury attorneys help safeguard your rights.
- Tour bus—Liability in a tour bus accident can often be difficult to determine. For instance, if a group of tourists employed the services of a tour bus, then the management company and/or driver could be held liable. Or, if a third-party group hired the tour bus for another group of people, the intermediary might also be liable.
Because buses are considered common carriers that transport everyday people or goods, their drivers—and the companies who employ them—must operate at a higher standard of care. This means they often have lower thresholds for liability. If any party is found to be neglectful in their duty to innocent, everyday individuals out on the road, they should be held accountable for any injuries or property damage.
Know The Facts About Bus Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates buses in the United States, there were about 25,000 people injured in bus crashes, with about 15,000 buses involved in those crashes. These accidents led to 274 total fatalities, but it is important to note that only 44 of those fatalities were bus passengers, with the rest being either pedestrians or drivers of passenger cars. 93 of these fatal crashes involved transit buses, 73 involved a school bus, with the rest split between motor coaches, Greyhound or similar intercity buses, and smaller buses that use a van chassis.
Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Distracted driving or inattention
- Driver fatigue
- Poor bus maintenance or lack of repairs
- Reckless driving, speeding, and other traffic violations
- Failure to adjust to bad driving conditions, such as wet or icy roads
- Failure to follow industry rules and regulations, such as negligent hiring of unqualified drivers
- Lack of new driver training
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Cell phone use
- Tire delaminations and explosions
- Defective bus equipment