After being in any serious accident, you will have a task on your plate: figuring out who caused it. There are times when the cause of an accident is clear, so the liability is easy to assign. For example, if you get hit by a drunk driver and no other drivers were involved, then all of the liability will likely be placed entirely on them.
Bus accidents can introduce several liable parties, though, making assigning fair liability difficult. Oftentimes, multiple parties can get tangled up in the causes behind a bus accident. To sort out who contributed what negligence to your bus accident, working with a personal injury attorney is advised.
What Parties Can Cause a Bus Accident?
In some bus accidents, the bus driver is the main or sole cause of the crash. A bus driver who irresponsibly or recklessly steers their vehicle could cause a collision that injures the passengers on board. Would you file a lawsuit against the bus driver, then? Not likely. Even if a bus driver is determined to have caused your bus accident and resulting injuries, it is likely their employer or the company that contracted them would be answering for their mistakes.
With this said, bus accidents can also be caused by the mistakes or professional negligence of parent bus companies. It is the responsibility of the bus company to ensure the buses in its fleet are well-maintained, for example. Bus companies also owe it to their passengers and other motorists to only employ responsible and trained bus drivers. Allowing someone to operate one of their company vehicles despite a long history of drunk driving arrests could put the liability on the company, for instance.
There are also situations in which liability belongs to another passenger on the bus who intentionally distracts or assaults the bus driver, resulting in a crash. Or another motorist on the road could be liable if they broke traffic laws and crashed into the bus you are riding. Even in these situations, though, the bus driver and their parent company would likely be assigned some portion of liability, as the responsibility to safely operate the vehicle is never removed.
Figuring Out Who is Liable for a Bus Crash
The process of figuring out who is actually liable for your bus accident can be a lengthy and difficult one. You will need to possess both knowledge of your state’s liability laws and investigative abilities. While you are trying to recuperate from your injuries, investigating evidence and studying the law are probably not possible.
It is highly advised that you seek the guidance and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney before you file your bus accident claim. An injury lawyer can help narrow down liability and file your claim correctly. All the while, you are left to try to rest as best you can, improving your healing process.