Bus drivers owe a duty to all others on the road to protect them from unreasonable harm. If they violate a traffic law, they could cause a severe accident. This negligence can place riders, pedestrians, and other travelers at serious risk of harm. Collisions can inflict life-altering injuries and damages, which can be costly. Fortunately, those who have been injured in a bus accident may be eligible to hold the reckless party accountable for their negligent actions.
A San Antonio bus accident lawyer could take the lead in pursuing these claims. A skilled personal injury attorney can work to demonstrate bus driver negligence and to connect that negligence to a party’s losses. Finally, they can represent plaintiffs in insurance claims and lawsuits to protect their rights. En Español.
Getting behind the wheel of a bus places a significant burden on drivers. This includes the duty to not place any other person at an increased risk of harm. A driver’s duty involves two main elements.
The first is the duty to follow the rules of the road. Just like any other motorist, bus drivers must not violate speed limits, stop at stop signs, and yield to other vehicles when appropriate. A failure to do this that results in an accident is a powerful indicator of bus driver negligence.
The second duty is to keep their attention on the road. A bus driver who texts while driving, eats behind the wheel, or becomes distracted by a passenger could also be liable for a collision. This duty to keep others safe applies to any other person that the driver encounters. As a result, injured plaintiffs often include drivers of their own cars, pedestrians, and riders on the bus itself. A knowledgeable bus accident attorney in San Antonio could provide more information about the duties of bus drivers to keep others safe from harm.
Bus collisions can have serious consequences. These massive vehicles have the potential to crush smaller cars, trap a pedestrian underneath, and toss riders around the inside of the cabin. The resulting physical injuries can be substantial. It is not unusual for bus crashes to result in:
A negligent bus driver and their employer are always responsible to provide payments for the costs of all medical care. However, many plaintiffs also suffer other losses that do not appear on a medical chart.
It is essential that individuals evaluate how the incident has affected their mental health. Many people endure intense pain or emotional trauma following a crash. A claim must attempt to place a dollar value on these losses. It is also important for people to claim compensation for lost income. If a plaintiff misses time at work to seek care or endures a permanent disability, a negligent defendant is liable to pay for these lost earnings.
Bus accidents are complicated, and multiple negligent parties might have some responsibility for the incident. Identifying these parties and seeking to hold them responsible is one of the most important jobs of the injury attorney.
The bus driver and their employer almost always bear some liability. If the driver’s training was inadequate, the company that conducted the training could share some of the blame for the accident. If bus maintenance was an issue, the company with the contract to keep the bus in good repair might have some responsibility. A claimant could pursue an action against a manufacturer if a faulty part contributed to the incident.
Others could have liability for a bus accident, depending on the circumstances. Potentially responsible parties might include bus passengers, other drivers involved in the crash, the local government responsible for maintaining the roads and traffic signals where the accident took place, and even the injured claimant.
At times a claimant’s negligence might contribute to their injuries. Perhaps they were a passenger on the bus and were standing while the bus was moving. Maybe they were driving another vehicle and they changed lanes without signaling. The plaintiff might be a pedestrian who was texting while crossing the street.
Texas law allows a negligent plaintiff to collect reduced damages. However, a plaintiff who holds more than 50 percent of the responsibility for an accident cannot collect damages from any other party. When a bus accident case goes to trial, the judge will allocate responsibility for the event between all the parties. If the plaintiff bears some of the blame, the judge will reduce the damages they could collect by an amount that reflects their degree of fault.
Insurance companies might use this law to try to lowball a negligent plaintiff during pre-trial negotiations. They could contend that the injured person’s negligence was a primary factor in the accident, and the plaintiff is likely to lose in court. This is often just a negotiating tactic. A seasoned accident attorney could counter these arguments with evidence demonstrating that the plaintiff’s behavior was a minor contributor to the incident.
A diligent San Antonio bus accident attorney could help to pursue a claim for its true value. They could also help to pursue a claim within the applicable time limits. Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003 gives injured claimants two years from the time of the crash to file a lawsuit. However, this may change if the defendant driver is an employee of the government. An attorney could ensure that the claim is filed promptly and correctly within the deadline.
The law requires claimants in bus accident cases to take prompt action to preserve their right to sue, but there are many practical reasons for seeking legal help immediately after an accident. Allowing a professional to guide the process from the beginning often results in a stronger case if a lawsuit eventually becomes necessary.
The insurance companies for the bus company and other involved parties will begin investigating an accident immediately, and it is advantageous if a claimant has an attorney who is investigating, too. Sometimes evidence disappears as time passes, and witnesses might die, move away, or lose a clear recollection of the incident. A plaintiff’s attorney could get all witnesses on the record soon after the accident and demand all potential defendants share all their evidence. These actions could bolster the claimant’s case and lead to a more appropriate settlement.
A bus crash could cause devastating injuries and damages. Automobile drivers, pedestrians, or even passengers within the bus itself may sustain serious and permanent harm. This extends to physical injuries, emotional traumas, and an inability to earn a living for the future.
A bus driver and their employers are responsible for providing payments when they are negligent. However, proving this negligence falls to the plaintiffs. A San Antonio bus accident lawyer could help you to meet your legal burden. They could also help to measure your losses and to deal with difficult insurance companies. Contact a San Antonio bus accident lawyer today to see how they could help you.