Why Are Bus Accidents So Dangerous?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Association, nearly 900,000 buses traveled some 16.2 billion miles in 2015. In that time, 295 people died from bus crashes, and 24,000 people were injured in bus crashes. Although car crashes are more common, bus accidents are often more damaging. What makes bus accidents so dangerous? Several factors contribute to the severity of these crashes:
- Size. Buses are massive vehicles that weigh several tons and dwarf most passenger vehicles. When they are involved in a crash, their mass can combine with momentum to produce disastrous results, so injuries from this type of accident are often severe.
- Design. While cars and trucks offer passenger restraints that serve as safeguards in the event of a collision, many buses are designed to transport people who are standing or sitting in seats without seat belts. This lack of restraint leaves bus passengers more vulnerable to significant injuries when things go wrong.
- Shape. Buses are big, boxy vehicles. Their shape provides a roomier space for passengers, but it also makes the vehicle top-heavy. This makes buses more likely to roll over if they are involved in a crash, and rollover accidents tend to increase the risk of serious injuries, especially if the passengers inside the vehicle are not restrained.
Bus Accident Injuries
When a bus accident occurs, the bus driver, passengers on the bus, pedestrians, and individuals traveling in other vehicles involved in the collision can all suffer injuries. In addition, people in the process of boarding or getting off the bus are at risk. Victims of bus accidents can find themselves struggling with injuries like the following:
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck and spinal injuries
- Broken bones, sprains, and strains
- Internal injuries
- Lacerations, contusions, and abrasions
- Cosmetic disfigurements and dental injuries
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
As with any vehicular collision, bus accidents can be triggered by numerous causes. Poor weather conditions or dangerous roadways make it a challenge to drive any vehicle safely. Defective equipment or inadequate bus maintenance can also set the stage for a bus crash. In addition, the driver may be a factor. A person who is impaired by fatigue or under the influence of drugs or alcohol presents a clear danger to everyone in the vicinity. However, even skilled, sober drivers can contribute to a crash if they choose to drive recklessly or make an error while operating their vehicle.
After a Bus Accident
What should you do if you are involved in a bus accident? First, get to a safe place and seek emergency medical care, if needed. Then, gather the facts. Note the license plate number and identify the number of the bus. Get names and contact information for the bus driver, the bus owner, and any witnesses. Take pictures of the scene, any injuries, and any damage. Note the location of any video cameras that might have captured the incident, including any present inside the bus. Finally, contact an experienced bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. Because many buses are operated by government entities, you often have a limited time to file any claim, and specific rules and procedures must also be followed.
How a Bus Accident Attorney Can Help
When a bus accident occurs, the bus company and its insurers often try to deny fault or coerce victims into settling for minimal compensation. A personal injury lawyer who has experience with this type of case is a vital ally. This type of professional has the expertise needed to sort through the situation’s complexities, build a persuasive case, and ensure that your rights are protected so that you get the full compensation you deserve. A personal injury lawyer can offer advice about potential strategies, negotiate a settlement on your behalf, or file a lawsuit if needed.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a bus accident? Dealing with the stress of medical bills and lost wages, the pain of your injuries, and your fears for the future can be overwhelming, but do not make the mistake of settling for less than you deserve. Reach out to the Rizio Law Firm for assistance—our expert team is ready to provide personalized support and guidance. Winning the maximum compensation for our clients is our specialty. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, 888-292-8888.