How is Bus Accident Liability Determined?
Busses are efficient ways to get from one place to another. When you choose public transportation, you’re reducing your carbon footprint as well as saving money compared to owning your own vehicle and all the costs that come along with it. Busses are reliable, and you usually consider them to be safe because they’re so large.
But in some ways, busses can be very dangerous. When collisions happen, passengers can suffer from injuries because they likely aren’t wearing seatbelts and can slam into objects within the vessel. When busses hit other vehicles, they can cause devastating injuries to passengers of other cars or pedestrians because of their large size and weight.
Liability in these accidents can be tricky. Let’s look into how bus accident liability is determined.
Causes of Bus Crashes
When determining who is liable in a wreck involving a bus, it’s important to look at the scenario and who caused the collision to happen in the first place. Here are some of the different situations that cause bus accidents to happen:
- Bus driver error. Even though bus drivers are trained and experienced, they still can make mistakes. If they’re distracted, fatigued, under the influence, or engaging in any other reckless or negligent behavior, then they can make a mistake that leads to a collision. They could also misjudge a distance for braking and end up crashing into the vehicle in front of them.
- Other driver error. Just like bus drivers, other drivers can make errors that lead to accidents between them and a bus. Distraction and other negligent acts can cause them to collide with the bus, or if they are speeding or cut the bus off, they could cause the bus driver to make a quick reaction that makes the bus swerve and crash.
- Bus company negligence. Sometimes the drivers aren’t the ones to cause the wreck. If bus companies don’t perform enough safety checks, inspections, or ensure that their busses are in good condition, then their negligence could lead to a crash when the bus doesn’t perform as it should.
- Defective auto parts. Even if the drivers are careful and the bus companies conduct regular inspections, bus parts could fail because they’re defective. Bad tires or defective brakes could lead to a serious collision between a bus and another driver. Other vehicles could also have defective parts that lead to them crashing into a bus.
- Bad weather. Bad weather can make anyone lose control if they’re not driving carefully. Since busses run in all weather, they could end up driving through heavy rains, snow, and ice. This could cause them to slide on the road.
- Left turns. These are some of the most common times that busses get into accidents. Since they’re bigger and longer than regular cars, when busses make left turns, they are more susceptible to getting into collisions.
These situations could all cause a bus accident to happen and can help a lawyer determine who was liable for the collision. Let’s take a look at how a bus accident lawyer will figure out who was liable.
Proving Liability in a Bus Accident
When you were in a bus accident and suffered from injuries, you will want to file a legal claim against the party who was responsible for causing the collision. Since Illinois follows the contributory negligence law, there could end up being multiple parties who are considered to be liable in the collision. This makes determining fault complicated, and that’s why you’ll need the help of an attorney.
In order to figure out who is responsible for what happened, your lawyer will first investigate what happened, and narrow down the causes to one of the situations listed above. Once that’s figured out, they can start digging deeper into the evidence to solidify who caused the accident.
The evidence that they’ll use includes police reports, photographs of the scene, witness statements, and any traffic or dash cams that are at intersections or on the bus. From there, they will work to prove that one or more parties were negligent, and it directly led to your accident. They will also collect all the proof of your injuries so that they can link those to the accident and use them to calculate what you’re owed.
Even if you were at fault for a small portion of the accident, you still might be able to recover compensation. If a bus driver, another driver, the bus company, a part manufacturer, or another entity are more at fault, then you will likely still get compensation.
Prince Law Firm Will Work For You
Bus accident claims can be difficult to navigate in general, let alone without any legal help. You’re dealing with physical and emotional injuries as well as figuring out how you’re going to keep paying for your new and existing bills. A Marion, IL bus accident lawyer from Prince Law Firm will be by your side and provide you with the support that you need.
We’ll handle the legal side of things and work hard to determine who was liable for what happened to you. Reach out to our office today so that we can get started as soon as possible.