If I’m a driver of a vehicle involved in a bus collision, who can I sue?
By GNGF on January 23rd, 2023 in
Drivers of another vehicle that are involved in a bus collision may bring claims against the bus driver and the bus company that employs the bus driver. Because the bus company has deeper pockets than the bus driver, our focus is always on the bus company that employs the negligent bus driver. A bus company is liable for the negligence of its bus driver employee acting in the course and scope of his or her employment. The bus company may also be liable for negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of its employee bus driver. Additionally, the bus company may also be liable for negligent bus maintenance. For example, the bus company will be held liable if it allows the bus to run on bald tires or otherwise cause an accident.
In this way, bus accidents are very similar to large commercial truck accidents in that there can be more than one liable party, making them more complex. Bus driver distraction could have been responsible for the accident. The bus driver could have been texting, talking on their phone, or turning around to see what a rider on the bus was doing. The bus driver could have been overly fatigued, impaired, or simply driving carelessly or negligently. If the bus driver was driving while improperly trained or had something in their background that the bus company should have caught through a background check, then the bus company bears some liability as well.
Most bus companies contract their maintenance to a maintenance company. If that maintenance company failed to properly do its job, and that failure resulted in an accident, then the maintenance company could be partially liable. In particular, excessively worn tires or bad brakes are often responsible for bus accidents as well as commercial truck accidents. Finally, if a defective bus part was responsible for the accident, then the case becomes a product liability case. Whatever the cause of the bus accident, if you were hit by a bus driver who was negligent or careless, or if there is another element of negligence or carelessness by the bus company, bus maintenance company, or manufacturer, you need the level of assistance that Harmonson Law Firm offers.
Should I contact an attorney if my child has been seriously injured in a school bus accident?
When you put your child on the school bus in the morning, you expect that the school bus driver will drive safely and that other drivers on the roadways will also be extra cautious around a school bus. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and school bus accidents, while relatively rare, do occur. According to the National Safety Council, school bus crashes killed 54 people in 2020, which was a decrease of 50 percent compared to 2019. This decline likely had more to do with fewer school bus trips during the 2020 pandemic than because people were being safer drivers.
Between 2011 and 2020, about 70 percent of the deaths resulting from school bus crashes were occupants of vehicles other than the school bus, while 16 percent were pedestrians hit by the bus. Ten percent of all deaths from school bus accidents were children on the bus or the bus driver. When you consider that nearly 500,000 school buses transport children back and forth to school every day, you can see that school buses are the best option for transporting children to and from school. That being said, if a bus driver is liable for your child being injured in a bus crash, you must speak to a knowledgeable bus collision attorney as quickly as possible.
School bus accidents in Texas are governed by the Texas Tort Claims Act, the TTCA. The TTCA has certain time restrictions that can significantly shorten the amount of time you have to notify the school district of the accident and bring a claim. There are also caps on the amount of money your child can recover under the TTCA. If your child was injured in a school bus accident, it is essential that you immediately contact a qualified personal injury lawyer to protect you and your child’s rights under the TTCA. New Mexico has similar laws that shorten the amount of time to file a lawsuit against the school district for causing your child injuries in a school bus accident.
How the Harmonson Law Firm with Offices in El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM Can Help Following a Bus Collision
If your child has been injured in a school bus collision caused by the negligence of the bus driver, the bus company, or the bus maintenance company, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what you need to do next. This is a situation that can benefit greatly from having an experienced bus accident attorney from Harmonson Law Firm. When you choose Harmonson Law Firm, you can rest assured that we will work to safeguard your future. At Harmonson Law Firm, we work to protect good people hurt in bad accidents.
We believe that you deserve a full and fair settlement from the negligent party and will work zealously on your behalf to secure that settlement. We offer highly personalized assistance from start to finish, answering every question you may have in a comprehensive, yet easy-to-understand manner. Attorneys Clark Harmonson and Hadley Huchton are experienced and knowledgeable in personal injury cases. Don’t wait—contact Harmonson Law Firm today. Please note that nothing herein is meant as legal advice specifically related to your case.