Common Causes of Bus AccidentsMost bus accidents occur because of negligence. Some examples of negligence causing bus accidents include:
Driver FatigueMost bus drivers spend hours on the road without taking breaks. This can exhaust them, especially late in the day or at night. Driver fatigue reduces the driver's judgment and reaction time, making it hard for them to focus. This could make them miss important things, such as not seeing animals run into the road or swerving over yellow lines.
Speeding or Aggressive DrivingBus drivers work on schedules, and the more trips they make, the better their pay. However, minor errors, such as traffic problems, could delay them, causing them to fall behind schedule. A driver might choose to speed or disregard traffic signs to make up for lost time. Doing this is dangerous and risks the lives of the driver, his passengers, and any road user.
Distracted DrivingNo matter how short a time, taking your eyes off the road is extremely dangerous. The National Highway of Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compares it to blindly driving across a football field. Your eyes should remain on the road, regardless of how long you drive.
Bus Mechanical FailureBus manufacturers and bus companies are responsible for bus maintenance. Sometimes these parties overlook regular maintenance, resulting in mechanical failures such as engine failure or bad brakes. Regular and thorough routine checks need to be done to ensure the bus is roadworthy.
Bus Driver ErrorBus companies need to ensure their drivers receive proper training and experience. An inexperienced or poorly trained driver can mess up some things, resulting in life-threatening situations. It is important to train drivers before taking routes to avoid endangering road users.
Determining Liability in Bus AccidentsYou need to have proof of liability when filing for compensation. This requires enough evidence showing the party responsible for the accident. There can be multiple responsible parties in a bus accident, such as:
Bus DriversCases of driver's negligence show that the bus driver did not fulfill their duty of care to you. They may have acted in a way that puts you in danger, such as driving under the influence or speeding, endangering your safety. In cases like this, the bus driver is held liable and is responsible for the damages you incur.
Bus CompanyThe driver's employer needs to ensure that their drivers receive adequate training and that their buses are roadworthy. If a bus company fails to comply with these rules, your Houston bus accident lawyer can hold him liable for the accident due to their negligence.
Bus ManufacturerSometimes the bus manufacturer might produce an unsafe vehicle. There can be issues with the car's braking system and tires that should have been caught while making the bus. If the manufacturer produced a car with a defect, you could hold them responsible for an accident relating to the manufacturing problem.
Other MotoristsThere can be multiple parties involved in a bus accident. Drivers from these parties might have acted negligently, and you can hold them partially or fully responsible for the accident. Determining liability is not always clear-cut, and a Houston bus accident lawyer can help you in this regard. They can collect enough evidence to support your case and ensure that the responsible party pays for the damage they cause.
Recoverable Damages From a Bus AccidentYou can receive three main types of compensation for your damages. They include:
Economic DamagesThese are quantifiable damages. A Houston bus accident lawyer can look at the financial costs related to the accident and add their monetary value. The economic damages you can receive compensation for include:
- Lost income
- Medical expenses
- Damage to property
- Loss of ability to earn income
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
Non-Economic DamagesThese are not less important than economic damages but are harder to quantify. They include emotional and mental damages to the victim, such as:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Physical impairment
- Pain and suffering
- Inconvenience/loss of independence
- Reduced quality of life