There Are Many Parties That Might Be Held Responsible for Bus Accident Injuries
There are many different ways a bus accident can occur, which can complicate determining who is liable for injuries and other losses. It’s critical for your lawyer to identify specific parties early on in the lawsuit, such as the bus owner, the business that operates it, and the firm in charge of performing repairs and keeping the bus in safe mechanical condition.
It’s critical to choose an attorney who can track down all possible perpetrators. That is who you have found in DLC Law. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us at (626) 285-8815 for a consultation.
The bus company
A bus accident might happen when a bus company sends out a bus with malfunctioning brakes, a wobbly steering column, or overused tires. The company’s actions in employing unqualified drivers, maintenance workers, and other employees, or in improperly teaching or overseeing them, may also play a role in the accident.
Furthermore, the firm might be held liable for a bus accident and passenger injuries as a result of its failure to implement or enforce sufficient safety protocols.
If the bus business hires a separate firm to keep the vehicles in safe mechanical condition, that company might be held liable for improper maintenance that results in a collision or accident.
State or local government
Your injuries may also be the fault of local governments, such as cities and counties. When a government-owned transit bus is involved in an accident and the cause of the accident is the bus driver’s or a municipal worker’s carelessness while performing his job responsibilities, government liability may arise.
Dangerous road conditions may also be the fault of government agencies. Depending on the situation, and the government’s failure to remedy unsafe conditions, the government could be found negligent and liable for damages.
School districts/school boards
As the employer of bus drivers, the school board could be held accountable for their actions. Furthermore, if a school board fails to establish or enforce sufficient safety rules, children may be at risk of being injured in a school bus accident. If the accident could have been avoided by establishing and enforcing reasonable safety rules, the school board might be held responsible.
When a tour operator offers a bus ride as part of a package, the tour business may be responsible for damages to passengers if a crash happens on an affiliated tour bus.
Accidents are frequently caused by the bus driver’s careless operation. Drivers may break traffic laws, fall asleep behind the wheel, or be distracted by non-driving-related diversions. Bus drivers who are engaged in a collision may be held personally liable for the passengers’ injuries. In practice, however, the firms that hire the bus driver, as well as their insurance companies, will almost always be held financially liable for bus accidents and injuries.
Owners and drivers of other automobiles, trucks, and other vehicles, as well as their employers, may be held liable for injuries caused by careless or reckless driving.
Passengers are put in an excessive amount of danger and probable harm when a bus manufacturer transfers a faulty vehicle from the production to the market. As a result, if a bus crash happens, the bus manufacturer could be held liable for damages. Similarly, the makers and sellers of defective bus parts that may have contributed to the bus disaster may be held responsible for the passengers’ injuries.
School bus accidents are different
Newer school buses include restraint mechanisms. New school buses in California must be fitted with lap and shoulder restraint systems similar to those used in most vehicles (smaller buses purchased or leased after July 1, 2004; bigger buses purchased or leased after July 1, 2005).
The rules requiring the use of these restraints were enacted to safeguard children in the case of a collision. They were also placed in place to prevent bus drivers, instructors, and school boards from being held liable if a student in a bus accident used the lap or shoulder belt incorrectly or did not use it at all.
Retrofitting lap and shoulder restraints to older school buses that are still in operation is not mandatory. Children traveling in older school buses may not be much safer than they were 40 years ago since the basic architecture of older buses has not changed since 1977.
Children on older buses are at a higher risk of harm in a school bus crash than children in modern buses with standard restraints because these older buses lack what is now considered basic safety equipment. In a major collision, such as a rollover, the chance of harm is greater.
Children can also be harmed when there is insufficient monitoring at school drop-off and pick-up sites. Frequently, these mishaps occur when students board or disembark from a bus. In fact, bus accidents are more prevalent than those that occur on open road.
The state of California requires school bus drivers to follow a set of procedures to reduce the risk of unintentional harm in the aforementioned conditions. These include turning on flashing lights while picking up kids and aiding them in crossing streets.
Call for a legal consultation
As you can see, there are many potential parties who could be held responsible for injuries in a bus accident. To make sense of your case and determine what your options are, contact DLC Law at (626) 285-8815 for a consultation.