Bus accidents frequently happen in the United States. While accidents involving cars, large trucks, and motorcycles are more common, there were an estimated 55,000 buses involved in accidents in the year 2012 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These crashes resulted in 251 fatalities and 12,000 injuries. Following a bus accident, injured parties will need to establish liability of the at-fault party to recover damages. The following considers who may be held liable in a bus accident.
The Bus Driver
If the bus driver was doing something negligent at the time of the accident, then the bus driver may be held liable for the accident. Bus driver responsibility extends to adhering to state driving laws. If the driver is a contractor rather than an employee, then this is more likely. When an employee, then the company for which the driver works is usually liable.
The Bus Company/School District/City
The bus company, school district, or even city may be held liable for the bus driver’s actions under the principle of vicarious liability. The bus company/school district/city may also be held liable if the accident could have been prevented had they done something differently, like performed regular maintenance on the bus.
If the accident would not have occurred but for the actions of another driver, then this driver may be held liable. Actions that may lead to driver liability include the following.
- Driving while distracted
- Drunk driving
- Illegal traffic maneuvers
- Driving aggressively
Vehicle or Vehicle Parts Manufacturer
Sometimes, a vehicle or vehicle parts manufacturer will be held liable for a bus accident if a defect in the vehicle (part) was the cause of the accident. For example, the manufacturer of defective tire or brake system may be to blame for an accident’s occurrence under the laws of product liability.
I’m not sure who’s liable for my bus accident, what should I do?
If you’re not sure who’s to blame for your bus accident, but have injuries and require compensation, you need to call an attorney as soon as possible.
An attorney can help you with the following.
- Determine fault
- Perform any investigations for you
- Help you compile the data you need to prove liability
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our attorneys can also help you to file your claim and negotiate for a fair settlement amount. Bus accidents can be tragic. Let us help you get your full compensation amount. Reach out to us today to meet with us for free, dial 215-642-2335 now.