Determining Fault in Bus Accidents
Buses are similar in a way to large trucks because of their size and weight compared to the average passenger vehicle. A fully loaded school bus weighs more than 40,000 pounds. This gives you an idea of what happens when a school bus and a passenger vehicle collide.
“Statistics show that the country recorded 13,000 bus accident related injuries in 2019.”
Owing to the sheer size and weight of the bus, the damage can be severe even when it is travelling at a low speed. If you sustain injuries in an accident involving a bus, you should contact a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible.
What Causes Bus Accidents?
There are various causes of bus accidents in the state. Let us look at a few common ones:
Lack of Maintenance of the Bus
Buses are just like other vehicles on the road – they experience mechanical issues over time due to wear and tear. Buses need to undergo regular inspections to identify any mechanical issues.
Bus companies are supposed to put in place maintenance schedules to ensure their buses are always in proper shape. However, many companies don’t follow this strictly because the bus inspection protocols are also not as effective.
Failure to perform regular maintenance on the buses is a recipe for catastrophe on the road.
Bus Driver Carelessness
Speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence and carelessness while on the road are common among many bus drivers. The law expects these drivers to follow strict operation hours to don’t stay too long behind the wheel without rest. Sadly, very few drivers follow these directives and end up causing accidents.
Controlling a bus when drunk can be tough considering its weight and size. Even without passengers, driving the bus when your decision is impaired can be tough.
Larger Blind Spots to Handle
The size of the bus comes with a larger blind spot compared to regular passenger vehicles. Most of the accidents that happen due to blind spots can be easily prevented if the driver uses side mirrors and pays attention to vehicles in the vicinity.
Other Careless Motorists
In some cases, other motorists fail to obey road rules, which force the bus driver to make emergency stops to avoid crashes. Some of these actions lead to bus accidents, putting the other driver at fault in the accident.
Determining Fault in a Bus Accident
When you find yourself in an accident involving a bus, you need to determine who is at fault to understand what to do next. Fault, in this case, means knowing what led to the accident and identify the negligent party.
The first step is to understand what happened a few seconds before the crash. Was the bus driver overspeeding, or did he switch lanes fast? Once you know what happened, you need to gather as much evidence as possible. Talk to witnesses and take as many pictures as you can, taking into consideration the fact that you need the pictures as evidence.
Don’t forget to call 911 to the scene of the accident. Emergency medical services are vital at this point because they help treat the injured. Police come in to secure the scene and come up with a police report. This report is vital in giving you a basis for filing a personal injury claim.
You also need to talk to witnesses to find out what they saw. Don’t forget to note down their phone numbers and addresses before leaving the accident scene.
While at the scene and afterwards, avoid talking to the insurance adjuster because he is out to make sure you don’t get compensated.
Finally, call a bus accident lawyer to inform them of what has transpired and ask him what to do next. Don’t be in a rush to make decisions because you might end up making a mistake that will cost you the case. Contact a accident lawyer today to secure your claim.