Bus Accident Lawyer
One of the benefits of taking the bus is that you do not have to worry about driving. But this also means you put your trust and safety in the hands of the bus driver and the company or government agency that operates that vehicle. And you are still at the mercy of other drivers on the road who may operate their own cars or trucks in an unsafe manner.
The reality is that many people in Texas are injured each year in bus accidents. And the legal issues that arise from such accidents are often more complicated than the victims initially realize. That is why if you have been hurt while riding a bus it is in your best interest to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Keith B. French is a qualified Texas personal injury litigator who can represent you in negotiating a potential settlement with the negligent bus operator or their insurance company–and if necessary take your case to court.
Does It Matter if the Bus Was Owned by a Public or Private Entity?
As with any motor vehicle accident, a negligent bus driver and their employer can be held legally responsible for any injuries sustained by passengers or other persons who are hurt, such as pedestrians. The complicating factor with bus accidents usually comes about because of who owns the bus itself. Specifically, was the bus owned by a private or government entity?
This is a critical question because of how Texas law treats public versus private owners. A privately owned bus company is always liable for the negligent acts of its own employees. And you can sue a private company for a bus accident basically the same as you would an individual.
But when it comes to public ownership–say a school district that operates buses to transport students–there are different rules that apply. Suing a government entity requires strict compliance with a law known as the Texas Tort Claims Act. This Act requires a victim to notify the government entity within just 45 days of an accident of their claim. The Act also limits the amount of damages a person can receive. Such limits do not apply to lawsuits brought against private companies for a bus accident.
Contact Keith B. French Law Today
In many bus accident cases, the responsible insurance companies are often quick to offer a potential settlement, especially when there are multiple victims. It is not uncommon for insurers to deliberately make a low settlement offer in the hopes that these victims–faced with mounting medical bills and lost income–will agree to a quick settlement and sign a release of further legal claims.
Do not fall into this trap. You should never agree to any settlement or release without first speaking to an experienced Pearland bus accident lawyer. In many cases you will be in a position to negotiate a stronger settlement with a bus operator or other negligent party if you are represented by counsel. So if you need to speak with an attorney, contact Keith B. French Law, PLLC, today to schedule a consultation.
Understanding Why Bus Crashes Occur
Taking a bus may seem like a safe and convenient means of transportation, but accidents can happen anytime, anywhere as a bus accident lawyer knows all too well. Over the years, there have been numerous bus crashes that led to fatalities, injuries, and property damage. If you’re curious to know why these accidents occur, keep reading, and then contact a lawyer at Keith B. French Law, PLLC if you get into a bus crash.
Driver error includes speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, and fatigue. Bus drivers have long shifts and tight schedules, and fatigue can affect their judgment skills, reaction time, and driving ability. Distracted driving, such as using a mobile phone, eating, or applying makeup while driving, can also lead to accidents. Hence, it’s critical for bus drivers to be well-rested, focused, and alert while on the road.
Poor vehicle maintenance
Another reason for bus crashes is poor vehicle maintenance. This can include worn-out tires, faulty brakes, malfunctioning headlights, or other vehicle parts that have not been adequately serviced or repaired. Regular maintenance and inspection of buses can help identify and fix potential issues before they cause accidents. Many bus companies require constant maintenance, so if it is neglected by employees, that can also cause accidents.
Rain, snow, and fog, can also contribute to bus crashes. Slippery roads can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, and reduced visibility can make it difficult to see other cars or obstacles on the road. Buses need to slow down and drive cautiously during bad weather conditions to avoid accidents as a bus accident lawyer would advise.
Poor road conditions, such as potholes, uneven pavement, or construction sites, can also cause bus crashes. These conditions can be challenging for a bus driver to navigate and may lead to sudden stops or swerves that could cause passengers to lose their balance, fall, or collide with each other. Drivers should pay close attention to road signs and drive carefully on roads that are under construction, especially when there are lane closures or detours.
Finally, other drivers on the road can also contribute to bus crashes. Reckless driving, speeding, changing lanes without signaling, or not obeying traffic signals can all lead to collisions. Bus drivers need to be extra cautious of other drivers, especially in heavily congested areas, and not assume that other drivers will follow the rules of the road.
Drivers can take steps to minimize distractions, maintain their vehicles, and follow traffic laws. Employers should ensure that their drivers are adequately trained, and vehicles are properly maintained, and passengers should always wear their seat belts and follow the instructions of the driver. By working together, we can help make our roads safer for everyone. If you get into an accident, contact a bus accident lawyer at Keith B. French Law, PLLC today for help.