Buses can be a great way to get to where you need to go. Unfortunately, they can get into an accident just like any other vehicle on the road, which can result in serious, life-threatening injuries for their passengers. If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a bus accident, you need to understand the basics of your claim and how to get the compensation you need.
The bus accident attorneys at Slappey & Sadd know how to hold bus drivers and bus companies accountable for your injuries. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident and need someone on your side, contact us at 888-474-9616 to schedule a free consultation today.
The Hazards of Being a Passenger on a Bus
Despite their low-cost and convenience, buses pose a number of unique hazards to their passengers in the event of an accident. This is because they often do not have seatbelts, airbags, or other standard safety equipment. In the event that the bus leaves the road or is in a rollover accident, passengers can suffer severe injuries and even death.
Buses are Common Carriers
Under Georgia law, buses are considered “common carriers.” A common carrier is any person or company that regularly transports goods or passengers for money on a regular basis. More importantly, Georgia law requires common carriers to “exercise extraordinary diligence to protect the lives and persons of his passengers.” This means that bus drivers and bus companies owe their passengers a higher duty of care than other drivers on the road.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents can result from a variety of circumstances. Most are caused in the same way as other car accidents – driver error. Here are some examples where negligence on the part of the driver can lead to an accident:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to pay full time and attention
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Drowsy driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Because bus drivers are subject to a heightened duty of care, they may be held liable for even a minor traffic infraction. That said, the accident may not have been the driver’s fault – it may be the fault of the bus company. Here are some of the ways that the bus company may breach its duty to its passengers:
- Failure to perform routine maintenance or necessary repairs
- Failure to comply with local, state, or federal safety regulations
- Failure to ensure that their drivers are properly trained
- Failure to adequately supervise their drivers to ensure that they are driving safely
Of course, the accident may be a combination of both the driver and the bus company’s negligence.
The Challenges of Bus Accidents
As a passenger on the bus, it’s quite likely that you did not witness what happened. If there are no other witnesses, you may have to rely solely on the driver’s account, which could be shaded to protect the bus company or their job. The bus company, whether municipal or private, is unlikely to cooperate or admit fault on their part or on the part of their driver. An experienced bus accident attorney can investigate the accident, determine who was at fault, and assemble the evidence you need to successfully make a claim.
Contact the Atlanta Bus Attorneys at Slappey & Sadd Today for a Free Case Evaluation
If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The bus accident attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can help you get the compensation you need to get back on your feet. To schedule a free consultation about your case and how we can help, call us at 888-474-9616 or visit us online today.