Bus accidents are different than the average car crash because buses carry multiple passengers and wrecks can result in numerous injuries. These wrecks can happen from the negligence of the bus driver or a driver on the road who inadvertently crashes into the bus. Medical expenses from any injuries sustained from the crash, especially severe injuries, can often overwhelm those injured. However, no one should have to pay for those medical expenses if negligence caused the accident, and a personal injury lawyer can help secure the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
While negligence by the bus driver causes a fair amount of bus crashes, other factors like weather and road conditions can also impact the likelihood of a wreck. Bad weather does not cause most bus wrecks, statistically speaking, although heavy rainstorms can undoubtedly make roads more dangerous if the driver does not drive cautiously. Intersections in cities with traffic signals and stop signs make up 80% of incidents of bus crashes, likely due to right and left turns.
Dry roads have been shown to cause more bus accidents, likely because bus drivers tend to drive more cautiously on wet roads. Concerning roadway types, more crashes tend to occur on divided highways.
Types of School Bus Accidents
The main types of school bus accidents occur from the bus driver hitting a grounded object, hitting a pedestrian, and by other vehicles crashing into the bus. When it comes to other vehicles crashing into school buses, the types of collisions range from front, side, and rear impacts. The majority of accidents consist of hits from the front and the right side.
The majority of pedestrian-related injuries from buses occurred from the bus going straight and the bus starting to move forward on the road. Many of these injuries occur because the pedestrian or the bus driver were not paying attention when walking or driving forward.
Bus drivers can avoid incidents with basic safety tips
- Watching carefully for children crossing the street around the bus
- Be wary of children playing around bus stops
- Use yellow flashing lights or red lights with stop arms when stopping to let children on or off – this lets other drivers know that children may be crossing the street
- Slow down on busy streets and neighborhoods
Parents can also follow these safety tips:
- Have your child arrive 5 minutes before the bus
- Teach your child to stand about six feet from the curb
- Teach your child to wait for the bus to completely stop
- Make sure your child knows to never walk behind a bus
4 Types of Bus Accidents
These types of accidents may occur from the distraction of the bus driver or a driver in an outside vehicle.
- Front Collisions
These collisions often happen when a car runs a red light or stop sign, and the bus runs into them, but these types of accidents can also happen when the bus driver is distracted and runs into a vehicle in front of them. Rear end collisions may also fit this category.
- Angle Collisions
These collisions consist of an outside vehicle impacting the bus from an angle other than head-on or rear-ending. They likely occur more often at intersections, where cars are oncoming from multiple directions, but may also occur if the bus or other vehicle is passing in an unsafe manner.
- Bus Sideswipe
A sideswipe occurs when a car scrapes or runs into the side of the bus. This likely happens when attempting to pass a vehicle or if one of the drivers is distracted or driving under the influence.
- Fixed Object Impacts
Collisions with fixed objects happen when the bus driver is distracted by texting, fatigue, or other related factors. However, some object impacts may occur if the bus is sideswiped enough to be pushed off the road or onto a sidewalk, where grounded objects like trees or lampposts are.
Liability in Bus Accidents
According to bus and other automobile laws, either the bus driver or the other driver involved in the crash acted under negligence. Negligence determines who will be responsible for covering the cost of damages. Anyone injured in a wreck is entitled with the right to fair compensation from their insurance company. Liability is what grants the individual this right to compensation.
Filing personal injury claims to the insurance company can help you get a settlement to cover any medical expenses or lost wages that you experienced as a result of the accident. However, insurance companies may not offer the right amount of settlement that you need to cover all of your costs. This is unfair if you were not responsible for the wreck.
Whenever you feel that the settlement offered by your insurance company is not enough to cover what you need to get back on your feet or if the insurance company fails to cooperate with you in a timely manner, then you should strongly consider hiring an auto accident lawyer.
Your attorney will consult with you first to determine what kind of case you have, and once this process is completed, evidence will be collected from police reports and other reports to build an argument for why you deserve compensation for your troubles.
If you are a passenger on the bus, evidence will be collected on your injuries, including medical records and pictures, and the case will either be built against the bus driver or other drivers, depending on who caused the wreck. However, if you are the bus driver and the other driver caused the wreck, then you can also work with a lawyer to prove that you were not at fault for any possible injuries sustained by you or the passengers you were transporting.
Are you in a similar situation? Do not hesitate to find the best personal injury lawyer by contacting Kent McGuire Law at (405) 513-5658 for consultation. You can ask questions, gain advice, and get the proper defense that you need to reach a fair verdict.