Who Is Liable for Injuries in Bus Accidents

A bus accident attorney understands that for many people, public transportation is a part of their everyday life and it is what they depend on as their primary mode of transportation. Every day, there are hundreds of thousands of commuters around the country who take the bus to work or school at least five days per week. That many buses on the nation’s roads can and does lead to bus accidents, and as a result, bus accident injuries.

Bus Accident Fault

In most vehicle accident, it is typically fairly easy to determine who the at-fault driver is. Once fault is determined, that is the driver who will be responsible (via their vehicle insurance policy) who will be responsible for damages for any victims suffered. But a bus accident can be more complex when trying to determine fault.

Early this year, at least five people were injured when a school bus and a car collided in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago. Yet another accident left 25 people injured, including several high school basketball players, when a car sideswiped a school bus. In most car accidents, it is relatively simple to determine who is at fault and, therefore, who is liable for any injuries sustained, but when a bus is involved, there may be many factors involved that can affect who is responsible for covering the damages.

In order to determine fault, the first step is to determine the cause of the accident. Two of the most common reasons for bus crashes include negligent or reckless bus driver behavior or failure of the bus company to maintain and repair the bus.

Just like a tractor-trailer driver, people who drive buses are considered common carrier drivers and are required to follow the same federal and state regulations.  If the driver fails to obey the required standards, then he or she may be deemed liable for the crash. In addition to the driver, the company that employs the driver would also be deemed at-fault and liable for the victim’s injuries and losses for failing to ensure their drivers follows the required standards of care.

If the bus accident was caused by malfunctioning or defective equipment, the at-fault parties could be the bus company, for failing to make sure the bus was in good working order, and the company that manufactured the defective part.

In some bus accidents, the at-fault driver may be another driver on the road who crashes into the bus. In those types of crashes, the injury claim would be filed against that driver’s insurance company.

Call a Bus Accident Attorney for Help

Bus accident claims can be complex. In addition to the regular tort laws of state, if the bus is owned by a municipal agency, there are additional rules when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit. Failure to follow those requirements could result in the claim being dismissed. This is why you should consider contacting an attorney for assistance. Contact Charlottesville VA injury lawyers today.


Thanks to our friends from MartinWren, P.C., for their insight into bus accidents.