Buses generally thought to be a safe method of travel; after all, they are significantly larger than other vehicles on the road and many buses do not even come equipped with seat belts. The National Bus Safety Council conducted a research study from 1987 to 1996 finding that 4.3 bus rider deaths annually in comparison to nearly 44,000 vehicle passenger deaths during the same period. Unfortunately it has been discovered that a number of crashes involving buses are involved with fatalities among victims. In the last week, school bus accidents causing injury have occurred in Massachusetts, New York, Michigan and Wisconsin. Public transportation buses also frequently are involved in accidents leading to injury and death; a Washington, D.
C. woman that was struck by a bus died, resulting in the fifth death within an eight month period in the D.C. area from bus accidents. Accidents involving school children have prompted many school districts to re-outfit school buses with seat belts, even though many states still do not require school buses to have seat belts.
In 2005, nearly 5,212 deaths occurred due to crashes involving large trucks and nearly 91,824 injuries occurred, according to statistics made available by the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Who is at Fault for Bus Accidents? Because buses can carry large numbers of people and often are cumbersome to drive, it is important that bus drivers are well-trained and qualified for the job. It is possible that the fault of the accident falls on the shoulders of a bus driver.
However, bus accident lawsuits are not always clear because state and federal laws differ in who they say is at fault for such accidents. "Common carriers" are defined as being someone whose business is transporting people or material items from one place to another for compensation; the public is usually able to choose such services, as they are typically available to the general public. Common carriers, which include commercial bus companies, are governed federally and by most state governments, and the drivers of these vehicles are required to have adequate training and equipment to complete their duties. Bus drivers consequently are subjected to strict standards for their performance and can be found at fault in bus accidents. However, the involvement of insurance companies and contractors in accident legal proceedings make questions of who is at fault much more complex.
Because state governments are involved in establishing their own common carrier regulation, bus accident litigation action can vary widely from state to state. Finding an experienced lawyer who is familiar with the common carrier laws of the area in which the accident took place and insurance policies regarding bus accidents is highly advisable. Determining the Most Appropriate Steps in An Accident Involving a Bus? ? If no law enforcement is present at the scene, immediately file an accident report with the police, sheriff, or highway patrol. ? Be sure to record the name, address, insurance information, vehicle license number, and driver's license number of everyone who was involved in the accident. Also obtain names and contact information from any witnesses.
? Take photographs of the accident scene, of all vehicles involved, and any injuries to victims of the accident. ? Do not discuss the accident or any injuries you suffered with anyone other than your doctor or lawyer. ? Do not agree to making a recorded statement or sign any document that you have not first reviewed with your lawyer. * Seek medical attention at once and explain how the injury occurred as well as pain that happened as a result. Should I Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer? In the event of a bus accident, it can be incredibly beneficial to have the counsel of an experienced bus or auto accident attorney. If you or someone you know has been injured in a bus accident and believe someone else may be at fault, it is advisable to contact an auto accident attorney.
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