Huntsville Bus Accident Attorneys
Buses offer us a convenient means of getting around. When you can leave the hassle of fighting traffic and finding parking to someone else, it’s a good thing. When you jump on a bus, the last thing you expect is to be injured in the process. The fact is, however, that bus accidents happen, and they are often quite serious. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, you need an experienced Huntsville bus accident lawyers at Cloud, Ryan & Rouse are here to help.
When you think about bus accidents, you probably think about city buses, but this area of the law extends further than that, including:
- School buses
- Public transit buses
- Commercial coaches
- Tour buses
- Hotel and airport shuttles
Practically any kind of large public conveyance qualifies.
The Bus Driver
When serious bus accidents occur, bus driver negligence can be at fault. Bus drivers are professional drivers, and as such, they are held to much stricter safety standards than we, as noncommercial drivers, are. Bus driver negligence can come in a variety of forms that include:
- Distraction – Whenever we get behind the wheel, we take on the immense responsibility of helping to keep the roadways safer for everyone who travels on them. Part of this responsibility includes focusing our full attention on the task at hand, which is driving safely. Bus drivers who allow themselves to become distracted by anything other than the road ahead of them are far more apt to cause dangerous accidents. The advent of the smartphone leaves all of us more easily distracted, and smartphones are easily the most dangerous distraction of all. While bus drivers face a variety of distractions, including their passengers, safe bus drivers make sure that they don’t allow such distractions to divert their attention away from performing their jobs safely.
- Impairment – We all know that getting behind the wheel after hoisting a few drinks is extremely dangerous, and this is just as true for bus drivers (if not more so). Again, bus drivers are professional drivers who are held to more exacting standards, and this includes a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol consumption. An impaired bus driver is obviously an exceedingly dangerous bus driver.
- Exhaustion – No one performs as well when they are tired, and a drowsy driver is especially dangerous. The rules and regulations that apply to commercial drivers have strict hours-of-service guidelines that must be carefully adhered to for this very reason. A sleepy bus driver is far more likely to make dangerous driving decisions that put everyone at risk.
- Speed – Speed limits are set in place for one very good reason, and that is to help keep our roads safer. When truck drivers exceed the speed limit, they endanger everyone who shares the road. Excess speed closely correlates to the seriousness of traffic accidents. The greater the speed, the greater the danger.
- Adverse Weather and Road Conditions – Bad weather can seriously affect the condition of the road. In fact, any sort of precipitation necessitates driving at slower speeds to facilitate safety. When the precipitation involves ice and/or snow, it’s that much more dangerous and requires further adjustments in both one’s driving speed and the degree of caution exerted. Bus drivers are responsible for operating their buses in accordance with the condition of the road, whether it’s affected by inclement weather or is poorly maintained and in disrepair in the first place.
Bus drivers are responsible for ferrying passengers safely from place to place, and when they’re negligent in this duty, serious accidents can ensue.
The Bus Company
Liability for dangerous bus accidents doesn’t end with the bus driver. In fact, the bus company itself bears a great deal of responsibility for keeping its buses running safely. These responsibilities include:
- Hiring safe, experienced bus drivers who have the requisite skills and credentials
- Keeping their fleet of buses well maintained and operating safely
- Employing experienced bus mechanics who have the requisite skills and credentials
- Adhering to all safety standards implemented for the bussing industry
Bus companies that fail to meet their responsibilities can be held accountable for any accidents that happen as a result.
The Bus Manufacturer
The bus manufacturer can also play a role in bus accident cases. When buses have manufacturing faults, incorporate damaged or faulty parts, or are poorly designed, they can contribute to and/or cause dangerous bus accidents. Every element of the bus accident must be carefully considered to ensure that every liable party is held accountable.
Not every bus accident is caused by the bus driver. Unsafe motorists are out there, and their negligence sometimes leads to serious bus crashes. Noncommercial-driver negligence can take all of the dangerous forms that bus driver negligence does.
If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, the damages you incur can be extensive, including:
- Medical Costs – A bus accident can lead to the costs associated with emergency treatment and transportation, surgery and follow-up care, treatment from doctors and specialists, physical and occupational therapy, prescription medications, adaptive physical devices, adaptations to your home, home healthcare, and more. Further, a serious injury can lead to ongoing health consequences that require treatment into your future.
- Lost Wages – If you’ve suffered a serious injury in a bus accident, you are likely to miss a significant amount of work, which means lost wages. Depending upon the severity of your injury, it can also affect your earning potential into the future and could even alter the trajectory of your career. The potential financial and emotional damages associated with such losses are difficult to overstate.
- Pain and Suffering – The terror, physical pain, and emotional consequences of being injured in a bus accident are often immense and should never be discounted.
All told, the physical, financial, and emotional damages associated with being injured in a bus accident can be overwhelming.
Your Bus Accident Case
While every case involving a traffic accident is complicated, bus accidents have additional layers of complications. If the bus involved is a form of public transit, the government can be named as a defendant, which requires additional rules and regulations. Further, the bus driver, the bus company, the bus manufacturer, parts manufacturers, and more can all be identified as defendants.
If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, you should first seek the medical attention you need and then consult with an experienced bus accident attorney as soon as you can. These cases are complicated and time-consuming, and the sooner you begin the legal process, the better prepared you’ll be to bring your strongest case. Because time has a way of eroding and/or erasing evidence and the clock is ticking, getting started sooner rather than later is in the best interest of both you and your case.
Consult with an Experienced Huntsville Bus Accident Attorney Today
Bus accidents are often highly dangerous. If a bus accident leaves you injured, the Huntsville bus accident lawyers at Cloud, Ryan & Rouse are here to help. Our legal team has extensive experience guiding cases like yours toward optimal resolutions. We’re on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 256-801-1000 for a free consultation today.