School buses, transit buses, and tour buses are an integral part of life in St. Johns County. Unfortunately, buses are also involved in numerous accidents every year. Because these vehicles are large, heavy, and typically lack seat belts, airbags, or other safety features, accidents involving them can be seriously harmful.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a bus accident that you believe was caused by another person’s failure to exercise reasonable care, consider consulting an experienced personal injury attorney. A St. Johns County bus accident lawyer could review your case, explain your rights, and set forth a strategy for potentially recovering compensation.
Bus Accident Statistics and Resulting Injuries
According to the United States Department of Transportation, 35,000 people were injured in bus crashes in 2016. Bus accident injuries might range from minor cuts and bruises to permanent disability or death, but some particularly common include:
- Fractured or broken bones
- Internal bleeding or trauma
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury.
Depending on their severity, some of these injuries could dramatically impact victims’ lives, potentially leaving them unable to work. A St. Johns County bus crash attorney may be able to help an injured victim navigate the legal system and determine if they have a valid claim for recovering monetary damages.
Identifying Potential Defendants
When seeking compensation for personal injuries suffered in a bus accident, one of the most fundamental inquiries is determining who was at fault. It is also important to note that some instances involve more than one responsible party. A bus accident lawyer in St. Johns County could investigate a particular case and identify all potential defendants and potential methods of damage recovery.
Bus drivers could miss a red light or fail to see a pedestrian entering a crosswalk. In other cases, bus drivers may speed recklessly, which could lead to high impact collisions with other vehicles, or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In short, if they are negligent or wantonly reckless in any way, a bus driver may be at fault.
Drivers of Other Motor Vehicles
Other drivers can also drive negligently or recklessly in a way that causes a collision with a bus. If another driver is responsible for causing an accident and consequent damages, they may be held liable to pay damages just as a negligent bus driver would.
The bus companies that employ drivers and own or lease the equipment are usually responsible for ensuring safe operation and maintenance of their buses. If the driver was not sufficiently trained or the equipment not appropriately serviced, a bus company could potentially be held responsible for a crash that results.
Manufacturers and Municipal Entities
Where accidents are caused by a defect in the design or manufacturing of a bus or its parts, the companies responsible for designing and manufacturing the equipment could be deemed liable to injured plaintiffs. Likewise, in the event that unsafe road conditions such as hazardous debris or broken traffic signals caused an accident, the local, state, or federal agencies charged with road safety and maintenance may be liable.
Consult with a St. Johns County Bus Accident Attorney
Bus accident injuries can lead to life-changing disabilities, severe pain, unexpected medical costs, and loss of income. Fortunately, a skilled attorney may be able to help you win compensation that could alleviate the financial burden that you and your family may be facing. Lawsuits seeking civil damages for personal injuries must be filed within four years, so call a St. Johns County bus accident lawyer today.