Most of the time, buses are some of the safest vehicles on the road. You are far more likely to be in an accident while in an average passenger car than a bus. But, that doesn’t mean that buses are accident-proof—and bus accidents do happen in Buford. Bus drivers face the same issues as any other driver, including distraction and reckless driving. And when a bus driver makes a mistake, there is the potential for serious injury—often to multiple people at once. If you’ve been hurt, a Buford bus accident lawyer can help you.
Our lawyers understand how confusing it can be to be involved in a bus accident. In addition to the pain, you’re likely facing medical costs, questions about why our buses aren’t safer, and possibly even multiple parties calling you and pressuring you to agree to an insurance settlement. Let us connect you a lawyer who can get you answers and help you get the money you deserve. Call us for a FREE consultation. Dial (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
Who is the victim in a bus accident case?
Anyone injured by the bus accident is a victim and all victims have legal protections. There are actually quite a few types people that can be injured by a bus. It’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer if you fit any of the following descriptions:
- Drivers or passengers in other vehicles. A bus is much like any other driver on the road in that if it causes an accident, it can be responsible for the damages that the crash causes to others.
- Pedestrians. Buses tend to travel where there is a lot of foot traffic, and pedestrians frequently get on and off the bus. School buses in particular are often around school-age children, which can be a dangerous combination unless the driver is very attentive. ANY accident that involves a pedestrian is likely to be the bus driver’s fault, at least in part.
- Motorcyclists. The size difference between a bus and a motorcycle is substantial. A bus driver may not be on the lookout for a motorcyclist, and that lack of awareness can lead to an accident. In many situations, the bus driver will be at fault.
- Bus passengers. Any time a passenger is injured on the bus, whether it was because of a crash or for another reason, that passenger may be able to sue the bus driver or the bus company. Keep in mind that even when a bus driver avoids a crash with another person, they can still be responsible for injuries that result from that type of near-miss situation—for example, whiplash or being thrown against the window, seat or other objects.
- Bicyclists. A bus driver may have trouble seeing a bicyclist in the same way that they would have problems see a motorcycle. But, bicyclists can sometimes be on the sidewalk or in bike lanes, unlike a motorcycle. If a bus driver doesn’t keep a close eye on what is happening around them, an accident can result.
Virtually anyone who was harmed by a bus may have a legal claim. In fact, there may even be a liability if the bus driver is also responsible for protecting children against one another, as is often the case on a school bus. Regardless of how the injuries occurred, you need to speak with a bus accident lawyer to examine your potential legal options in-depth after a bus accident.
What legal obligations does a bus driver have to their passengers?
A bus is a “common carrier.” That means that it offers a transportation service that the public relies upon. Those passengers place a lot of trust in a bus driver to ensure that they arrive safely to their destination—and they pay for that service. A school, private company, or government entity offers this service for individuals, and those people expect that a bus driver will be extremely cautious and follow the rules of the road.
There is a heightened duty to passengers as a bus driver compared to a driver of a simple passenger vehicle. They are required to exercise “extraordinary care” for passenger safety. Georgia law provides that common carriers, including bus drivers and bus companies, will be liable for accidents unless there are extraordinary circumstances. That means that it’s a lot harder for bus drivers to “get away with” reckless or careless driving—and much easier for passenger victims to get compensation for their losses.
Common carriers like the busing system cannot limit their liability by putting some kind of notice of the risk on their tickets or anything of that nature. There is no real way for common carriers to decrease their obligation to their passengers, unless you enter an express contract (that you sign) with the carrier. Bus companies will rarely do this, and even if they did, it’s a good idea not to sign such an agreement.
The duty to passengers extends to both getting on and getting off the bus as well. The commitment continues until the passenger can move about freely and can look out for their own safety. That means that if you trip and fall while getting off the bus, the bus driver or company may still be responsible for your injuries.
There are, of course, limits to bus driver liability. If the bus driver did everything that they were supposed to, but an accident still occurred—such as where another driver ran into the bus—then the bus driver likely won’t take any of the blame. Instead, the focus of that type of bus accident case should be on the passenger car driver that caused the accident. In fact, working with the bus driver or busing company in that type of situation may be a good idea. Your bus accident lawyer will be able to help you through these complex issues.
Talk to a Buford Bus Accident Lawyer for Free
Have you recently been involved in a bus accident or harmed on a bus? You might have a legal case that can get you money for things like medical expenses, lost wages, and more. We can put you in touch with some of the most experienced bus accident lawyers in Georgia—and give you a FREE consultation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to schedule your free consultation today.