Just because a bus driver didn’t necessarily make a mistake while driving, doesn’t mean the company cannot be held liable for damages if one of their buses is involved in an accident. Failing to maintain their fleets properly is considered a form of negligence and can apportion liability to the company if an accident occurs.
Carriers’ Legal Duty of Care
All common carriers, including bus companies, have a legal duty of care to passengers and everyone else on the road. Given the magnitude of the responsibility carriers have, they actually have a higher standard of care than many other individuals or companies.
In most cases, a bus company is required by federal and state laws to exercise the highest degree of care and to be extremely diligent in the transport of its passengers. For instance, carriers should hire qualified drivers, taking steps to avoid assaults against passengers, and keeping their fleets in good repair.
Bus companies are legally mandated to keep accurate maintenance records of their vehicles, and quickly repair any defective parts so as not to cause an unnecessary risk of harm to passengers. Some of the key maintenance areas that bus drivers and carriers must focus on include the following.
- Tires and brakes
- Safe, non-skid flooring
- Securing handrails
- Accessibility for those with disabilities
- Waste disposal
- Mechanical integrity
If a defect is identified and isn’t quickly resolvable, the bus must be taken out of commission until it can operate safely. Failing to uphold its duties can make the company liable for victims’ claims and civil suits if ever an accident occurs.
Third-Party Liability for Bus Accidents
In some instances, the fault may not lie with the driver or carrier, rather, a manufacturer or mechanic. For example, if the bus accident occurred because of a defective tire, it’s possible that the tire manufacturers will be named as the defendant.
Likewise, if the bus crashed because the fuel pump malfunctioned, causing the bus to lose power while on the road, the fuel pump manufacturer – or the mechanic who didn’t install it properly – may be the party responsible for damages. These types of claims are called third-party liability claims. Your lawyer can review the details surrounding your accident and determine from which party(ies) you can pursue compensation.
Cordisco & Saile LLC attorneys can help you with your bus accident case.
If you or a loved one were injured in a bus accident, you are welcomed to call our office for help. Our bus accident injury team at Cordisco & Saile LLC in Pennsylvania can help you pursue the restitution you deserve. Contact us today at 215-642-2335 for a free consultation.