Recently, a scary situation occurred when a school bus, carrying about a dozen students slid on wet roads and rear-ended a passenger car a short distance from an elementary school. No one was hurt in the accident, and the bus was not damaged. However, the car was disabled in the accident and needed to be towed from the scene. While the situation wasn’t as bad as it could have been, it brings up a particularly dangerous type of accident.
In Texas, 10 fatal accidents involved buses in one year, including five rural crashes and five urban crashes. The statistics don’t reveal what type of bus was involved, but bus accidents may involve tour buses, city transport buses, buses that travel between cities, and school buses.
Nationally, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 73 school buses and 13 intercity buses involved in fatal accidents in 2017—the lowest number since 1975. A ten-year average of bus accidents reveal that about 13 percent of fatal bus accidents, city transport buses account for about 40 percent of fatal accidents, and school buses account for about 35 percent.
If you were injured or lost a loved one due to a bus accident, there may be money available to compensate you for your injuries and related expenses, or for your loss. An Corpus Christi personal injury lawyer at the Patel Firm can help you to understand the legal process of obtaining this compensation.
Just as with any type of motor vehicle accident, many things that may cause a bus to crash. While the bus accident described above involved inclement weather, which can make it harder for a vehicle to come to a safe stop, other factors—mostly related to human error—can also result in an accident.
Some of the most common reasons why buses crash include:
According to the National Safety Council, school bus accidents resulted in the deaths of 117 people in 2018. In those accidents, about 70 percent of the fatalities occurred to the occupants of other vehicles. About 17 percent were pedestrians. Five percent were school bus passengers, while 4 percent were school bus drivers, and 2 percent were bicyclists. Of the people injured in school bus accidents, about 35 percent were the passengers on the bus, 8 percent were the bus drivers, and half of those injured were occupants in other vehicles. The remainder were pedestrians or bicyclists.
Approximately 25 million children in the United States ride a school bus to and from school every day, with transportation being provided via more than 471,000 school buses.
Recently, six people were injured in the early morning hours when a big-rig crashed into a Greyhound bus in The Woodlands, Texas, including the driver of the truck and five of the passengers on the bus. The bus, which was disabled on the side of Interstate 45 at the time when the accident occurred, was struck by the truck, which was transporting a load of bottled water. In addition to the injuries, the accident caused the water bottles to be scattered across the roadway. Additionally, the truck took out a large roadway sign. The interstate was closed for several hours for clean up. Twenty-six passengers were riding the bus at the time of the accident.
Intercity bus service, such as that provided by Greyhound and other carriers, offers transportation to passengers from one area to another, often for far lower fares than those paid for Amtrak or airline service. After many years in which there were 30 to 45 fatal accidents involving this type of bus, recent years saw much lower accident rates, with 17 and 13 fatal accidents, respectively.
Recently, a 30-year-old man was killed when his car was struck by a Galveston Island Transit tourist bus. The accident happened when the bus made a left turn while traveling west. The eastbound car was traveling in the left lane when it collided with the bus at the intersection. The accident caused the man’s vehicle to be pinned beneath the bus. The man and his dog, who was traveling with him, both died at the scene. The bus driver was treated for his injuries. The bus had just completed its last stop and was out of service at the time when the accident occurred.
A recent tally of riders on Corpus Christi’s Regional Transport Authority’s buses revealed that about 415,000 riders boarded buses in the city in a month’s time—a sharp increase from 391,500 boardings in December of 2017.
The RTA recently proposed the first rate increase in years, stating that the amount currently collected in fares was not enough to continue operation. The plan was met with concern by riders who stated that they cannot afford to pay the increased fares. In addition to covering operating expenses, the RTA noted, the increased fares would allow for increased security and enhanced experience for riders.
If you were injured in a bus accident in Corpus Christi, one of the major questions that must be answered when it comes to determining your eligibility to pursue compensation for your injury-related expenses is who was liable for the accident.
Multiple liable parties may cause bus accidents, including:
For each potentially liable party, your attorney can study the facts of the case to determine if negligence can be established. Negligence is established by proving the following elements:
Texas law allows the pursuit of accident-related expenses such as:
Insurance companies are in the business to make money. One of the ways they do this is by avoiding large payouts on third-party claims against their insured. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident in Corpus Christi, your strongest opportunity to obtain a settlement or award that adequately covers your accident-related expenses is by hiring an experienced personal injury attorney.
Some services your personal injury attorney may provide include:
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If you were injured in a Corpus Christi bus accident, let us help you understand your legal options. Contact The Patel Firm online or by calling (361) 400-2036 to schedule your initial consultation.