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Cincinnati Bus Accident Lawyer
Each day, adults and children across the country rely on buses and other forms of public transportation to take them to their destinations. According to country-wide statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), buses are the safest means of travel. However, when an Ohio or Kentucky bus crash does happen, the injuries and property damage can be severe.
Bus accidents are catastrophic for several reasons, not the least of which is the number of people in harm’s way. Multiple people are often involved in a bus crash. This includes bus passengers, drivers and passengers in other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. In addition, due to the sheer size and weight of a bus, injuries can be life-threatening or even fatal. Further factors contributing to the severity of bus accidents are the lack of safety equipment such as seatbelts, airbags, and unreinforced roofs.
Should you or your child suffer injuries from a bus accident, you should be compensated for your injuries. As a number of parties may be involved in the accident or be at fault for the crash, it’s best to contact a knowledgeable and experienced Cincinnati bus accident lawyer like those at The Lawrence Firm. Our legal team helps victims like you by investigating the facts of the crash and filing a claim on your behalf to receive compensation for your damages. Please reach out to us today at (800) 698-4054 toll-free for a free case evaluation. Our Covington motor vehicle accident attorneys are ready to get straight to work on your claim.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Just as with car accidents, bus accidents happen in many ways. Some of the more common causes of bus accidents are listed below:
- Bus driver negligence
- Overtired bus driver
- Poor weather
- Blind spots
- Negligence by another driver
- Drunk driving
- Malfunctioning vehicle
- Left turns
- Distracted driving
What Types of Injuries Occur in Bus Accidents?
Bus travel is one of the safest ways to get from one place to another. However, the fact remains that buses are large, extremely heavy vehicles. A loaded school bus weighs around 30,000 pounds, while the average passenger car weighs 3,000 pounds.
This difference in size spells disaster when a bus-involved crash happens. Catastrophic injuries sustained in this type of wreck can be severe and even fatal.
Common bus accident injuries include:
- Whiplash – Damage to the soft tissue of the neck may result in an injury called whiplash. This injury is common after vehicle collisions. The forceful impact of the crash throws the sufferer’s head forward and then immediately backwards. Neck tenderness and pain, swelling, and headaches are whiplash symptoms. In some cases, victims also experience stiff neck and muscle spasms.
- Head and Spinal Cord Injury – Head, neck, back, and spinal cord injuries can all be caused by a victim’s head hitting a window, seat, or even another passenger. This is called sudden blunt force trauma, which is a severe injury. Minor head injuries may be accompanied by nausea, blurred vision, insomnia, and the victim losing consciousness. Severe head trauma can cause brain injury, mobility loss, seizures, and negatively affect cognitive functions, among other things. Spinal cord injuries are also common after bus accidents because unrestrained passengers can fly through the bus or collide with one another. Passengers can also be ejected through a window. When someone receives a severe spinal cord injury, they may suffer paralysis or even wrongful death.
- Cuts and Lacerations – A bus is equipped with many breakable and dangerous components, such as multiple glass windows. These sharp fragments can cut passengers deeply and may require stitches or reconstructive plastic surgery. Serious injury such as damage to nerves, tissue, and skin, as well as permanent scars, are possible.
- Broken Bones – The force of the crash’s impact may break passengers’ bones. Broken bones are serious injuries often requiring surgery and physical therapy. Once healed, a severe fracture may be weaker than it was pre-injury.
If you get hurt in a Kentucky bus crash, you need to get medical treatment immediately. Not seeing a doctor can negatively impact your recovery and may reduce your chances for a successful bus accident claim.
Who May Have an Injury Claim After a Bus Accident?
Bus accidents generally involve multiple people, both passengers and those not inside the bus. After a bus wreck, there are typically three groups that may have viable injury claims:
Bus Passengers – A bus suddenly stopping, hitting another vehicle, or rolling over is a hazard to passengers. The lack of safety restraints on a bus means passengers may be thrown around the bus, into other passengers, or out of a window.
Passengers in Other Involved Vehicles – People inside smaller passenger vehicles may be seriously injured in a collision with a bus.
Bicyclists and Pedestrians – Sometimes, a bus accident does not involve another vehicle. Instead, a person outside of the bus may be struck and severely injured.
Read Also: Pedestrian Accidents On the Rise
School Bus Accidents
It isn’t very common for a school bus to get into an accident. The NHTSA says riding a bus to school is safer for children than traveling by car.
This may come as a surprise, as school buses do not have seat belts. However, when a large school bus crash happens, its passengers are often protected because of “compartmentalization.” This is an NHTSA concept requiring protection inside buses without seat restraints. Instead, seats have energy-absorbing backs and are close together to protect children in the even of an accident. Small school buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds are comparable to passenger vehicles. As such, they must have a seatbelt available for each passenger.
Passenger deaths in school bus collisions are few. Passengers in other vehicles comprise the majority of those killed in bus wrecks. Meanwhile, cicyclists and foot traffic make up about 20%.
Public Bus Accidents
Commercial buses spend the majority of the day on the road. As a result, the chances of an accident occurring are increased. Accident causes range from inclement weather to machinery malfunction to general wear and tear and more.
The NHTSA reports 35% of fatal bus collisions from 2008 to 2018 were caused by transit buses and another 12% by intercity buses.
When the Bus Driver is Responsible For the Accident
Like any other driver, a bus driver can also participate in reckless driving behaviors and cause a bus accident to occur. Because most buses don’t have the safety features of passenger cars, have more passengers, and are larger and heavier, negligent driving is more hazardous when a bus is involved. The following negligent behaviors can be disastrous:
- Going over the speed limit
- Lack of caution when changing lanes or turning
- Distracted driving
- Disobeying traffic signs and signals
- Overtired driver
- Driving aggressively
- Drug use or drunken driving
Since bus drivers follow a strict schedule when transporting passengers, the risk of reckless driving behaviors increases. Other factors contributing to bus accidents include insufficiently trained drivers, design and manufacturing mistakes, and poor bus upkeep. More than just the bus driver may be liable for the wreck, depending on the relevant factors.
Who is Legally Responsible for a Bus Crash?
Bus accidents often involve multiple vehicles and people. As a result, several parties may be at fault. Any of these entities may be liable for the collision:
- Bus company – The company employing the bus driver is often responsible for improper or lacking training and sloppy requirements and safety checks.
- Bus driver – A negligent bus driver may be held liable.
- Charter/tour companies – These are private companies and may be responsible if one of their buses is involved in an accident.
- Maintenance companies or parts manufacturers – If a mechanical issue or malfunctioning parts caused the wreck, it’s often the fault of the maintenance shop or parts manufacturer.
- Other drivers – A driver of another vehicle who is fully liable or shares liability.
- State or local governments – If a state or city bus driver is liable, the applicable government may be held responsible.
- School districts – School bus drivers are school district employees. The district might be responsible if their driver caused a school bus accident.
Whether bus driver negligence, a faulty part, or another driver caused the crash, filing a damage claim to recover damages can quickly become complicated. As such, consulting with a bus accident lawyer at The Lawrence Firm is essential to your case. Your Kentucky bus accident attorney will investigate the accident, find out who owns or runs the bus, and submit your Covington personal injury claim for you before building your case and negotiating with the appropriate parties. In necessary, your attorney will also fight for you in trial.
Overall, experienced legal representation makes all the difference in negotiating with insurance companies and maximizing your damages.
What Damages Can I Recover for My Bus Accident Injuries?
Multiple factors determine the amount of financial compensation you can get for your bus accident, including the damages you suffered and who holds fault. Your legal representative can help assess your injuries and their worth while exploring all of your legal options.
Auto accident cases can rack up fast, especially those involving commercial vehicle accidents. In addition, more severe injuries will typically receive much higher settlements. For instance, a bus accident victim suffering spinal cord injury, facial trauma, a burn injury, traumatic brain injury, or limb loss typically receives more compensation than someone with whiplash.
You may be able to recoup compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Damage to property
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Why Do I Need a Kentucky Bus Accident Attorney?
A bus accident claim is a type of personal injury legal action. As such, your Kentucky bus accident attorney must prove the accident occurred because of the at-fault party’s negligence.
It can be extremely difficult to prove negligence of another party. Here are the elements of negligence that your lawyer must prove:
- A duty of care was owed to the victim by the defendant;
- The defendant violated their duty of care;
- It’s proven the defendant was negligent;
- The victim’s injuries were the result of the defendant’s negligence and violation.
Bus accidents and bus accident claims are frequently complex, and they often involve multiple injured persons and responsible entities. In addition, special rules and regulations govern common carriers. Fortunately, the legal team at The Lawrence Firm has multiple decades of experience handling these types of injury cases. They know what it takes to prove the necessary elements and the dedication it takes to successfully do so. With the help of a skilled bus accident lawyer, you have the best chance at obtaining maximum compensation for your injuries.
Call Bus Accident Lawyers at The Lawrence Law Firm Today
If a bus accident harmed or caused the death of you or a loved one, the Cincinnati personal injury attorneys at The Lawrence Firm can help you navigate your case and obtain full compensation for your damages or wrongful death. Our experienced legal counsel completes a full investigation of the bus accident, bus company, driver, and other involved parties, among all other relevant details. We are prepared to devise a legal strategy unique to your case and your needs.
The Lawrence Firm has proudly served northern Kentucky and southwest Ohio clients for five decades. Our law office also handles various legal issues, including birth injury, medical malpractice, and products liability. Call (800) 698-4054 or submit an online claim form to schedule a free consultation with one of our Ohio or Kentucky bus crash attorneys today.
You Pay No Fees Unless We Win!
We are happy to offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you hire us as your legal counsel, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You will pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover financial damages.