Like any traffic accident, buses are not immune to accidents. Injuries from bus accidents are no different from a common car accident. The injuries resulting from this may range from whiplash-type og injuries to serious head trauma and broken bones.
But, in bus accidents there more added safety risk. One, buses has a higher risk of tip-over or rollover accident. Second, many buses don’t feature any form of safety restraint like seatbelts. For this lack of safety feature, there is a higher chance of serious injury when caught in bus collision.
What are the Factors that contribute to Bus Accidents?
Most buses are safe to ride since bus drivers have standards for obtaining driver’s license. These standards to be a bus driver’s license means that they need to pass exams on safety precautions. Buses are particularly not a dangerous vehicle.
Yet, when an accident happens, it is a catastrophe. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 261 buses involved in fatal crashes, in the year 2015. Of this fatal crashes in 2015, 24,000 people were injured.
These are the few factors that contribute to this:
- Buses have longer starting and stopping distance, unlike small vehicles. This means that there is a higher risk for collisions. Like trucks, they are also more likely to roll over in an accident. Since buses have full of loose objects, it very dangerous in the event of an accident.
- Bus accidents often have a larger area of collision. Since buses have bigger capacity, there are more people involved. Buses have a longer body which means collusion may involve dozens or even hundreds of people at once.
- Other road users outside the bus are also at risk as injuries resulting from bus accidents are not only limited to automobile bikers. Pedestrians can also be victims of this collision. As a matter of fact, these parties are more likely to receive fatal injuries or worse get killed in bus accidents.
- People getting on and off buses are often than not also at risk. This type of factors should not be underestimated especially with children. If you are a parent, you must familiarize yourself with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s bus safety recommendations. You must also educate your child not only on bus safety but also when crossing pedestrian’s lane.
Most Common Injuries resulting from Bus Accidents
Like any other traffic accident, bus accidents can also either be a minor accident or a catastrophic collision. When a catastrophic bus accident happens, most injuries are serious. This may range from whiplash injuries to serious head trauma and broken bones.
Brain and Head Injuries
Drivers and their passenger often suffer brain injuries due to extreme forces involved in a bus collision. Brain injury can vary from mild to severe. However, brain injuries may cause permanent life-altering effects.
On head injuries, this can range from minor facial injury to severe internal bleeding. It is of utmost importance to immediately check for this kind of injury.
Spinal Cord and back Injuries
Like brain injury, spinal cord injury should not be taken lightly. Spinal cord injury can lead to paralysis from partial to total body paralysis.
Chest pain after an accident can be a sign of serious injury. If after a collision your chest hurts or feel a lingering discomfort in the chest, seek medical care immediately for proper diagnosis.
Arm and Leg Injuries
In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, arm and leg injuries are the most common injury from motor vehicle accidents. Thus, it is common with bus accidents not only with the passengers but also with other vehicles and pedestrians involved.
There is a huge force in bus collision that exerts significant force on the body. Neck for one isn’t built for this forceful impact. This kind of injury can be temporary and manageable or can be severe too.
Victims gained pelvic and abdominal injuries in a bus collision often need extensive medical treatment such as surgery, physical therapy and other forms of rehabilitation.
Scrapes, Cuts, and Soft Tissue Injuries
Scrapes and cuts are often manageable, unlike other injuries. However, victims still require treatments and a visit from a doctor. On the other hand, soft tissue injury is often a life-long injury that leads victim unable to work.
Compensation for Damages
Bus accidents are often catastrophic, but it is also incredibly not a common occurrence. While buses also lack seatbelts and airbags, victims often suffer serious and life-threatening injuries. In addition, it is difficult to determine who’s liable in a bus accident.
From cases to cases, bus collisions may be caused by a third-party. Liable parties could include other drivers on the road, pedestrians, or cyclists. The victims may name these other parties as liable if they exhibit negligence leading to a bus accident.
Third-party also have the duty to prevent harm or may have breached that duty in the event of an accident. An example of breaching this duty is when a third party in the event changes lanes without using a turning signal.
In some cases, the bus drivers are liable for the accidents. As we all know, bus drive has difficulty job and greater responsibility to operate the vehicle safely. If a bus driver becomes negligent of his responsibility and duties, he could be liable for an accident. An example of negligence includes driving while intoxicated or texting while driving.
Filing for a lawsuit for a bus accident can be complicated when the driver is at fault. The reason is many buses are government owned and operated.
The government entity in this event has a shorter statute of limitation. This means that within six months after the accident, victims must file for personal injury lawsuit.
When the bus driver is liable for the accident and is operated by the government, victims need to file a claim directly with the local government. Once the file is reviewed and accepted by the government, the victim may claim for the damages. However, if the claim is rejected, they must proceed in the civil court.
There are many potential liable parties in bus accident lawsuits. It is important to thoroughly investigate a case to determine the correct liable party.
Seek Legal Help
If you or someone you know is a victim of a bus accident, do not hesitate to seek help from an experienced attorney. There are lawyers who specialize in the complexities of bus accident litigation. You have the choice to know your rights and options relating to the injury you suffered.