Have you or someone you love been seriously hurt in a bus accident in Oklahoma City?
You may have the right to financial compensation as a bus passenger, pedestrian, or the driver of another vehicle.
Schedule a free consultation with an Oklahoma City bus accident lawyer at McGuire Law Firm today to find out how we’ll help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You After a Bus Accident
Bus accidents are more complicated than other traffic collisions for many reasons. These accidents may involve multiple liable parties, several insurance companies, and many victims. City buses and school buses can also involve a government tort claim which reduces the statute of limitations and maximum compensation.
When you have been left with serious injuries from a bus accident, you deserve experienced legal counsel to help you recover maximum compensation for the harm you have suffered. Insurance companies use many tricks and tactics to limit or deny payouts. At McGuire Law Firm, our Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys have insight into how insurance companies work to fight for the compensation you need.
McGuire Law Firm is a small law firm that delivers big firm results. Our clients all work directly with our founding attorney, Kent R. McGuire, who has nearly 30 years of experience as a personal injury attorney and 13 years of experience working for insurance companies. We use this unique experience to deliver insight into the tactics that the other side will use to devalue your claim.
At McGuire Law Firm, we have recovered millions for our clients including a $1.15 million settlement for injuries from a traffic accident. Find out how we can help you with a free consultation.
Oklahoma Bus Accident Statistics
Oklahoma’s largest transit agency, EMBARK, operates 22 bus routes throughout Oklahoma City. EMBARK was recently awarded as North America’s Outstanding Public Transit System thanks to upgrades like free Wi-Fi and real-time arrival information. Still, accidents do happen.
In recent years, there have been several bus accidents in Oklahoma City involving EMBARK buses. One crash left one dead and 10 passengers injured and another T-bone accident left seven people hospitalized.
Bus accidents can involve not only city EMBARK buses but also school buses and charter buses. Unfortunately, bus accidents are more common than you may think.
According to the Department of Transportation, there were about 65,000 bus accidents across the United States in 2018 including city, mass transit, and school buses. Between 2000 and 2007, bus accidents claimed over 1,300 lives and injured about 3,500 across the country.
In Oklahoma, there were 189 school bus crashes alone in 2018, 43 of which were in Oklahoma County. In these accidents, school bus drivers contributed to the crash through moving violations (10.4%), improper turns (10.4%), following too closely (8.3%), and failure to yield (6.8%). Other drivers contributed through failure to yield (9%), inattention (7.9%), moving violations (7.3%), and following too closely (6.7%).
Common Injuries We See from Bus Accidents in Oklahoma City
Many bus accidents only result in minor injuries such as abrasions. However, the sheer size of buses, the lack of seat belts and air bags for passengers, and the number of passengers increase the risk of serious injuries. At McGuire Law Firm, we often see bus accident victims with serious injuries such as:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Head injuries
It isn’t just bus occupants who may be injured in a collision. The Oklahoma City bus accident lawyers at McGuire Law Firm also represent pedestrians, bicyclists, and the drivers and passengers of other vehicles who are hurt in a crash.
What Causes Bus Accidents in Oklahoma City?
Many factors can influence a bus accident but negligence is usually the primary cause. There are many factors that can contribute to Oklahoma City bus accidents:
- Age of the bus driver. According to a study published in the Journal of Safety Research, younger bus drivers and drivers over 55 increase the risk of a severe accident. Bus drivers over 65 have the highest risk of being involved in a serious collision.
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving such as talking to a passenger or using a cell phone.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unsafe lane changes
- Unsafe turns
- Failing to yield
- Following too closely
Note that the study cited above found that bus drivers were not engaged in risky driving behavior in 80% of cases. This means it’s usually another driver who is primarily at fault for a bus accident.
In addition to driver negligence, other factors may contribute to a bus accident. This includes improper bus maintenance, confusing traffic flow, malfunctioning brakes, dangerous intersections, and road conditions.
Who Is Liable for an Oklahoma City Bus Accident?
Because buses are common carriers, determining liability may be more complicated than it would with a typical car accident. Depending on the accident, it may be possible for more than one party to share responsibility for your injuries including:
- The bus driver if they were negligent. Common forms of negligence in bus accidents include distracted driving, speeding, unsafe turns or lane changes, or falling asleep at the wheel.
- The bus operator if they did not have the bus repaired or inspected or if they were negligent in hiring, training, or monitoring drivers.
- City or state governments may be liable if they operate the bus or are responsible for the maintenance of a road if defects contributed to the accident.
- Manufacturer of faulty parts such as the brakes.
- Other drivers or even pedestrians.
If the bus driver was negligent by driving while distracted or making an unsafe turn, for example, you may have a claim against the bus company. You may also have a claim against other parties who contributed to the crash.
At McGuire Law Firm, we understand that many parties may be responsible for your injuries and we have experience navigating the complexities of bus accidents in Oklahoma. A bus accident lawyer in Oklahoma City will help you build a claim with thorough accident investigation. This can include analyzing police reports, driver phone records, and maintenance logs, among other forms of evidence.
Common Carrier Laws in Oklahoma
Oklahoma law considers buses as “common carriers.” This term refers to subways, trains, buses and other forms of public transportation or vehicles that transport you for a fee.
This distinction is important because common carriers owe passengers the highest duty of care on the road. Bus drivers and operators are professionally and legally responsible for the safety of passengers and others on the road. If a bus driver behaves negligently and you were injured, you may be entitled to compensation for damages from the bus operator.
Statute of Limitations for Bus Accident Claims in Oklahoma City
If you have been injured in an accident in Oklahoma, it’s crucial to understand the statute of limitations for your case. This is the time limit you have to file a claim. If you do not file a lawsuit within the timeline, you lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries.
With most personal injury claims, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of the accident. If your case involves government liability, including accidents involving school buses and city-operated buses, you have just one year to file a claim. This statute of limitations is reduced by the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claim Act.
Compensation for Bus Accident Injuries
As the victim of a bus accident in Oklahoma City, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party. The Oklahoma City bus accident lawyers at McGuire Law Firm will help you fight for the full compensation you deserve to make you as whole as possible.
The amount and types of compensation you can recover will depend on the details of your accident. Common forms of compensation include economic and non-economic damages for:
- Past and future medical bills. You can recover for virtually all medical expenses you incur as a result of your accident including doctor bills, prescriptions, surgery, hospital bills, physical therapy, and counseling.
- Lost wages for time you took off work while recovering.
- Reduced earning capacity if you are left unable to work.
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
Your Oklahoma City bus accident attorney will fight for maximum compensation for your injuries. We serve as your advocate while negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company after proving liability and the extent of your damages. When a fair settlement can’t be reached, we will take your case to court.
Note that Oklahoma law once capped non-economic damages in personal injury cases to $350,000. The law, passed in 2011, was overturned in 2019 and ruled unconstitutional.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Oklahoma City Bus Accident Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been seriously injured on a bus in Oklahoma City? You deserve to focus on healing and moving on with your life, not fighting an insurance company for fair compensation. Bus accident cases in Oklahoma are notoriously complicated; a skilled injury lawyer can be invaluable to help you navigate the legal requirements and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Your initial consultation with an Oklahoma bus accident lawyer at McGuire Law Firm is always free. We work on a contingency fee basis which means you never have attorney fees unless we recover for you. Call our aggressive legal team today to schedule a consultation to explore legal options and find out what your case may be worth.