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Hurt in a Bus Accident? Here’s What You Should Know

| April 30, 2021

Buses are a fantastic option when it comes to transportation around the Laurel area. Inexpensive, efficient, and dependable, many people rely on the local bus systems to get where they need to go. And while buses are largely safe, with well-trained drivers and well-maintained busses, accidents can still happen. Unfortunately, bus accidents can result in serious injuries and even death. Cases involving bus accidents are more complicated than people realize. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, a Laurel bus accident attorney can help you get the compensation you need. 

Bus Accidents Are Unique

If you take the bus, you are already aware that public transportation buses do not have seatbelts. As a result, passengers are exposed to extreme danger and are likely to suffer severe injuries in even a minor accident. In some cases, passengers may even be thrown from the bus. Compared to accidents involving passenger vehicles, passengers in bus accidents are likely to suffer far more serious injuries.  

Another thing that makes bus accidents unique is you may need to pursue a claim against both the bus company and the bus driver. While the bus company is typically responsible for the actions of the driver, there are certain situations where this may not be the case. For accident victims, it can be difficult to determine who should be held accountable. A Laurel bus accident attorney can investigate the accident and determine from whom you should seek compensation. 

Our Laurel Bus Accident Lawyer Explains Liability of Bus Operators as Common Carriers

A common carrier is an individual, company, or public agency that is in the regular business of transporting people or freight for hire. This includes buses, trains, taxicabs, cruise ships, and airplanes. Because common carriers often hold the lives of their passengers in their hands, they are subject to strict regulation by various governmental entities, and the law imposes upon them an extraordinary duty to keep their passengers safe. Common carriers (including bus operators) can be held liable for injuries to their passengers not only for failing to follow regulations, but also for failing to exercise diligence in protecting their passengers from injuries. In legal terms, this means that the designation of a defendant as a common carrier in a negligence action makes proving the defendant’s breach of duty slightly easier on the plaintiff.

Common Bus Accident and Injury Scenarios

Due to their unique size, shape, and frequent stops and starts, the types of accidents buses get into differing somewhat from those of ordinary passenger vehicles. Some of the most common types of accidents and injuries associated with buses include:

  • Turning accidents: Because buses are much longer than ordinary passenger vehicles, they make very wide turns similar to semi trucks. The bus can often strike other cars or pedestrians if the driver is not exercising appropriate care when making a turn.
  • Sudden stopping or acceleration: If the bus driver stops the bus very suddenly or accelerates too rapidly, passengers can be thrown either forward or backward. This can cause severe injuries, especially since many buses (especially city buses and school buses) are not equipped with seatbelts.
  • Striking pedestrians or cyclists: Buses often operate in busy urban areas where pedestrian and bicycle traffic is much higher than in suburban or rural areas. Not only are pedestrians and cyclists harder for a bus driver to see than passenger vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists often suffer much more severe injuries after being hit than do occupants of passenger vehicles.
  • Engaging in negligent or reckless driving: Bus drivers must go through special training in order to gain the privilege of carrying passengers, but they are still human and are prone to making mistakes. Just as human error is a very common cause of passenger vehicle accidents, the same holds true for bus drivers.

Contact Laurel Bus Accident Attorney Thomas E. Pyles Today 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other losses. At the Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles, we know how to navigate the claim process, whether your case is a school bus accident or you were injured on a private charter bus. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 301-705-5006 or contact us online to discuss your case with someone who knows how to get results.  We have offices in Waldorf and Leonardtown for your convenience.