BUS ACCIDENTs

bus accident

Millions of people use public transportation, school buses and other types of mass transit every day. While letting someone else take the wheel offers many benefits, bus accidents can cause serious injury or death to multiple victims in the blink of an eye. 

At Pepper & Odom Law Firm, our lawyers have years of experience handling all the different forms of mass transit accident cases. We can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages sustained from an accident.

Varieties of Buses

There are many different forms of public transit, buses being a major choice for most people in most cases. Buses tend to offer different varieties of rides for long distance and short distance travel.

Out of the many different types of modern day buses, there are a few we would like you to be aware of. A few types of modern day buses to list:

  • City Buses
  • Transit Buses
  • Suburban Buses
  • Intercity Buses
  • Tour Buses
  • School Buses

Buses that only operate within city limits fall under the definition of a city or transit bus. What determines this categorization are factors such as low maximum speed, provision for standing and wheelchair passengers, low-ride platform, two entrances on the curbside, low-back seating, and no space for luggage, are what operate within city limits.

Designed for shorter intercity runs, suburban buses have a single entrance near the front of the bus, along with high-back seats, and luggage racks and compartments. Intercity buses are best classified as something comparable to a Greyhound Bus.

These types of buses typically have a high-ride platform for maximum luggage capacity as well as television monitors, individual reading lamps, ventilation controls, a restroom, and overhead luggage racks for even more storage space. Typically, a coach or intercity bus has a weight of about 26,000 pounds, and it can seat up to 47 passengers.

Your average coach comes equipped with a two -stroke-cycle V8 diesel engine putting out around 450 horsepower, air brakes, and an electronically controlled automatic transmission. A 50-passenger capacity body mounted onto a long-wheel base truck chassis equipped with special signal lights and safety equipment is what a school bus consists of.

Due to the high rise on the price of fossil fuels, city transit via buses has risen from the 90s into the 2000s at quite a rapid pace.

History Of Buses

In the 1950s, Europe first used articulated buses to carry passengers for transit. The structure of articulated buses consisted of a trailer body connected by a hitch to the tail-end of a conventional front-engine bus, a continuous floor panel with bowed mating surfaces during turning maneuvers, and a flexible diaphragm.

This helped to provide more seating and better fuel economy per seat to kilometer. The design of this particular bus began to be manufactured by European Firms in the United States back in the 1980s.

In Asia and Europe, tour buses have seen some unique trends come along, such as increased seating comfort, bigger glass areas, and double decking. Throughout the ages, new advancements in technology have brought not only buses, but all forms of public transit into a more modern design.

Some of these designs are better fuel economy, hybrid-electric options, coordination of systems, and better emissions. Whatever the case, any bus can be involved in bus accidents.

Regardless, there are many causes of bus accidents you should be aware of in case you suffer an injury from this type of accident.

Types Of Bus Accidents

When you ride a bus or other form of mass transit, your life is in the hands of the vehicle operator. Thousands of people suffer injuries and hundreds suffer fatalities in bus accidents each year. These accidents involve different types of vehicles, including:

  • Public & Commuter Buses
  • Commercially-owned buses (e.g., Greyhound)
  • School Buses
  • Shuttle Buses
  • Tour Buses
  • Buses for the elderly and handicapped, such as ACCESS

Causes Of Accidents And Injuries

Unfortunately, not all bus operators drive responsibly or safely. However, you don’t necessarily have to be riding the bus to sustain serious injury in an auto accident. 

Some factors that may be involved in bus accidents include:

  • Operator inattention
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Failure to pay attention to road signs and signals
  • Driving while intoxicated

Driver inattention and other negligent acts have the potential to cause severe injury or death to not only bus passengers, but pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists on the road as well. Bus accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists are usually severe, if not fatal.

INSURANCE COVERAGE REGARDING COMMERCIAL TRANSPORT

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that vehicles carrying 16 passengers or more at a time, including the driver, must maintain $5 million in liability insurance. Even if you carry less than the aforementioned amount, dependent on your particular states regulations, the carrier will still be required to possess a higher limit of coverage.

Subject to your state’s laws and regulations, vehicles that carry 15 passengers or fewer, including the driver, must have $1.5 million in liability insurance coverage. Certain city or state governments may also have requirements of higher amounts of coverage, including some school systems as well.

Given the amount of children who occupy buses, certain schools may carry higher amounts of coverage. This is even more so for private schools, as they may have even higher insurance coverage for their buses.

While on a tour bus, bands traveling may purchase property insurance for any gear and equipment that is usually highly valuable. This is so that if any gear and equipment sustain damage, recovery of those losses is possible for the band.

Insurance coverage for buses or other forms of public transport is very similar to commercial auto insurance. This means that many commercial transit companies carrier higher coverage limits than standard auto insurance policies.

However, this means that although you may receive greater recovery of compensation, commercial companies, and their insurance providers may feel more inclined to dispute or minimize your claim. Our bus accident attorneys have the experience of litigators who get results for their clients.

We will not hesitate to fight for your rights in court and help you obtain the maximum recovery you deserve.

Liability For Bus Accidents

If you have fallen victim to an injury from a bus accident, more than one person or entity may be liable for your injuries. Our knowledgeable bus accident lawyers will investigate the facts and evidence surrounding the incident and determine which parties to include in your Alabama or Mississippi bus accident claim. 

Depending on the specific circumstances, the following parties may be liable:

  • Government or public entity
  • Company that owns the buses (if private)
  • Bus driver
  • Vehicle maintenance facility
  • Vehicle manufacturer
  • Other motorists involved in the accident

These types of cases are complex and multifaceted. Seeking the counsel of an experienced bus accident attorney who is well-versed in dealing with government agencies, insurance companies, vehicle manufacturers and other liable parties can help to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.

Contact A Bus Accident Lawyer

If you are a victim of injury or have lost a loved one in a bus accident, our compassionate and experienced bus accident attorneys at the Pepper & Odom Law Firm can help. Contact us online or call 601-202-1111 to reach our office in Jackson, Mississippi.

If you want to reach our office in Birmingham, Alabama, call 205-250-1107. If you are unable to travel due to your injury, we will meet you at home or at the hospital for your convenience.