What You Need to Know about Bus Accidents

Riding in a bus is a relatively safe way to travel. There are significantly fewer injuries and deaths as a result of bus accidents per year compared to car accidents and motorcycle accidents.

In 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board did a study on motorcoach safety and found that “During 2009, the bus occupant fatality rate was 45 deaths per 100,000 accidents compared with 251 deaths per 100,000 accidents for passenger car occupants.”

Despite the general safety of riding in a bus, there are still a significant amount of injuries due to bus accidents each year. Another unfortunate fact is that, when these accidents do happen, injuries are often worse.

There are a couple of reasons for this: One, buses are not equipped with the same safety measures that cars are required to have. There are no seat belts or safety restraints of any kind, and there are no air bags. Second, buses have a higher rollover risk.

Main Causes of Bus Accidents

There are many different variables that can contribute to a bus accident, so it can often be difficult to determine fault. If you are able, it’s always a good idea to take your own pictures at the accident scene as they may help in the investigation later on; however, you never want to put yourself in danger or neglect any injuries you may have, so always put safety and medical care first.

Some of the most common causes of bus accidents include:

  1. The driver falling asleep at the wheel or driving drowsy
  2. Road conditions or construction
  3. Improper weight distribution
  4. Defective bus equipment

Filing Insurance Claims

Filing a bus accident claim is quite a bit different and often more complicated than filing a claim after a car accident. If another vehicle is responsible for the crash, you can usually file with the driver’s insurance as a third-party claim for any medical expenses or lost income due to injuries.

If the accident is the bus driver’s fault, things can get tricky. The primary reason is that the buses are often part of some government entity, whether it’s a public transportation bus or a school bus, and filing a claim against a body of the government is much more complicated than a typical insurance claim. This article published by NOLO explains:

If the bus's insurance (often government bodies like cities are self-insured, but this still counts as insurance) denies your claim, you will almost certainly need to file an injury claim or notice of claim with the government entity that is potentially liable for the bus accident. And you’ll need to file the claim or notice of claim within a relatively short period of time.

Filing a claim against a private bus company isn’t much better. Bus companies have a wealth of funds to hire a skilled attorney who will represent their interests, which is why it is important to have a strong lawyer on your side too.

There’s generally a time limit on filing your claim, but the time varies depending on the state. There is also certain paperwork you have to fill out in order for the claim to be valid.

If you’ve been involved in a bus accident, contact a skilled Colorado attorney at The Babcock Law Firm so we can help you navigate through the entire claim process. It can be very complex and we want to make sure you get the help and compensation you deserve.

If you’d like to learn more about Mack Babcock, follow him on Google+.

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