We like to believe that bus companies follow every local, state, and federal regulation, but the truth is that bus accidents happen more often than you would imagine. When these collisions occur, catastrophic injuries are almost guaranteed – whether to car drivers, bus passengers, or pedestrians.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a bus accident, the road to recovery can be long and challenging. Serious injuries can mean months or more under medical care, living life with permanent impairments, or being disfigured. To get full compensation, you need to hold the negligent bus driver or company liable for your injuries.
At The Lenahan Law Firm, our team of experienced personal injury lawyers has spent years fighting for injured clients throughout Dallas. We understand how to investigate a negligent bus company and how to hold insurance companies to their policies. Our Dallas bus accident attorneys can sit down with you in a free consultation, explain your rights, and advocate for your best interests. Call us today at (214) 295-1008 to get started on your case.
Catastrophic injuries are extremely common in bus accidents. These heavy, large vehicles can cause destruction in the wrong hands, leading to multi-vehicle accidents and severe trauma to victims. Even at low speeds, a collision between a bus and a pedestrian or bicyclist can be fatal.
Bus accidents often result in:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Disfiguring injuries
- Paralysis and nerve damage
There are several factors that can influence the severity of a bus accident: the weight and size of the bus, if it was carrying a lot of passengers and cargo, safety systems within the vehicle, and the speed the bus was traveling. Bus drivers and companies should always put safety over profits and make sure their vehicles are operated under the best of conditions.
The statistics around bus accidents are staggering. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which oversees buses, more than 15,000 bus accidents occurred across the country in a single recent year, leading to more than 27,000 injuries and 230 deaths. These include injuries to bus passengers, bus drivers, drivers of other vehicles, and pedestrians.
But these accidents do not happen out of nowhere. They result from some act of negligence, whether by the bus driver on the road or a decision made by the bus company. The types of negligent driving behavior that can lead to a bus accident include:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driver
- Alcohol or drug intoxication
- Aggressive driving
- Driving too fast for weather conditions
- Lack of bus maintenance
- Unsafe, poorly maintained roadways
When breaking down the types of buses involved in fatal collisions, the FMCSA concluded that intercity buses accounted for 12% of collisions, school buses 40%, and transit buses 35%. Around Dallas, the types of buses we see involved in collisions include:
- School buses
- City buses
- Tour buses
- Charter buses
- DART buses
- Travel buses (Greyhound, Trailways, private)
The method for filing a personal injury claim against a bus company will vary, based who owns the bus: a private entity or a government agency. With a private bus company, your first step is to identify the bus company's owner, the bus’s driver (if driver negligence was involved), and any other party that may hold some liability. You can then file a claim, naming all parties responsible for your injuries. The Texas statute of limitations gives you two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Beyond that, except for special circumstances, you are barred from asking for compensation.
For a government agency bus, whether state, county, or municipal, you must file an injury claim much sooner, and the amount of compensation you can receive has been "capped" by state law. If you sue a government agency such as DART, the financial damages you can recover are capped at $250,000 for bodily injury and $500,000 for a wrongful death. You must first file a "Notice of Claim" within the time limits set by the agency, which can range from 45 days to six months – or else you cannot file a lawsuit at all.
At The Lenahan Law Firm, we handle cases involving serious or fatal injuries sustained in bus accidents. Our legal team goes above and beyond in service, focus, and dedication, and we are proud to have achieved a reputation for legal excellence. We have represented some of the most significant injury cases in the nation, and we limit the number of clients each of our attorneys handle to five – not the hundreds of clients most attorneys represent. This allows us to focus, develop a comprehensive claim, and manage every aspect of a case with professionalism, skill, and a rare level of dedication. We provide legal representation for bus accidents victims on a contingency-fee basis, charging no legal fees unless we are successful. Call (214) 295-1008 for a free case evaluation from a Dallas auto accident attorney.