Houston Bus Accident Lawyers

If you or someone you love suffers injuries while riding public transportation, a school bus, or any other transport bus in Houston, you may recover compensation for your injuries. You may also receive costs for any medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages that are accident-related.

At AK Law Firm, our Houston bus accident attorneys are experienced advocates for bus accident victims and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys are the following:

  • Ready to take insurance companies to the task to get maximum compensation for you
  • Thoroughly educated in all bus accident laws including those involving private and government agencies
  • Dedicated to holding negligent actors accountable for the injuries they inflict on others

Contact AK Law Firm today and let us review your bus accident claim. Your evaluation is free, and there are no upfront costs if we take your personal injury case. Any information you provide to us is confidential.

Houston Bus Accident Lawyer

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Why Should I Hire a Bus Accident Lawyer?

Bus crashes causing catastrophic injuries affect you for the rest of your life, making it crucial to secure the necessary to pay for medical care, lost wages, future health care costs, and countless other damages. That is why it is imperative to speak with Houston bus accident lawyers at AK Law Firm before making any decisions about settling your bus accident claim.

Our bus accident attorneys will:

  • Conduct a thorough investigation of your bus wreck
  • Carefully prepare a strong case on your behalf
  • Aggressively negotiate on your behalf with any insurance company(s)
  • If needed, file and present your legal case before the court

We are committed to pursuing legal claims from start to finish. By allowing AK Law Firm to take care of the legal aspects of your bus accident, you are free to concentrate on your health and wellbeing. Calling us today is a step towards making sure those responsible for your bus accident are held accountable and deterred from hurting others in the future.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Bus Accident Claim?

Major bus operators are legally required to carry a multi-million-dollar liability insurance policy but will often offer little in compensation to an injury victim. It is best to discuss any settlement with a personal injury lawyer before agreeing to or signing anything from a bus company’s insurance carrier.

In most accident cases, compensation for bus crash injuries includes both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages for injuries are easily measurable items such as:

  • Lost wages due to time off work
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Medical expenses and doctor bills for emergency and continuing care
  • Property loss or replacement
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Hospital stay
  • Medical equipment

Non-economic damages are less easy to determine but include items such as:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Chronic pain
  • Mental and emotional trauma
  • Loss of consortium

Liability for a Bus Accident

Bus drivers go through a training program before earning their license to drive a bus. State law requires bus drivers have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDLs are standardized at the federal level; however, states’ may add to the requirements for bus driver’s licenses beyond the federal standards.

By law, buses are common carriers. A common carrier is a transport vehicle offered to anyone who pays the necessary fare. A private bus company carrier only transports select groups of people, not the public as a whole.

Private carriers are only required by law to provide “reasonable care” to their passengers. In other words, private carriers must do everything a reasonable person would do to make sure their passenger arrives safely at their destination.

Common carriers must provide a passenger with the “utmost care.” This requires a bus driver to go beyond what a reasonable person would do under the same circumstances.

There are a few exceptions, including:

  • Acts of nature
  • Utmost care only applies while passengers are on the bus
  • Utmost care does not protect any other parties involved in a bus crash

If bus drivers are careless, they may be personally liable like any other negligent driver. However, bus and car accidents are different when looking at liability. For instance, when a public transit bus is involved in an accident, the state is responsible for passenger injuries. To learn more about your bus accident case, speak with a Houston accident lawyer from our firm during a free consult. A Houston bus accident attorney from our firm can help recover the financial compensation you deserve for your severe injuries.

Texas Common Carrier Laws

Bus accidents are more complex than other car accidents because of how Texas’s common carrier laws influence liability. Since their primary business function is to provide safe transportation services, courts hold common carriers to a higher duty of care than regular drivers.

After an accident with a motorist, you will need to prove that the driver acted in a way that an ordinary and reasonable person would not have done under the same circumstances. With a common carrier, you will need to prove that the entity acted in a way that a very cautious, prudent, and competent person would not have.

Common carriers have to be more careful than the ordinary person because their passengers pay for a safe, reliable transportation service. Because of this standard, it can be easier to prove a common carrier lawsuit than a lawsuit against a private driver.

For example, say that you are driving during a snowstorm and collide into another driver. You allege that the driver was driving too fast for the inclement weather conditions, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and drift into your lane. However, the driver was under the speed limit at the time of the accident.

If the driver is a motorist, it may be difficult to convince the court to rule in your favor based on this claim alone, since he or she did not technically break traffic law. However, if the driver was operating a public bus, you could make the argument that a very cautious driver would have operated at a slower speed under the same circumstances.

What are the Most Common Causes of Bus Accidents?

Unfortunately, not all bus companies uphold proper training and licensing standards, resulting in serious accidents. Driver negligence and careless actions can contribute to these collisions, including the following:

Distracted Driving

Bus drivers need to keep their eyes, mind, and hands on the act of driving, and any distractions can be extremely dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 400,000 people suffered injuries in distracted driving collisions during 2018. Drivers who fiddle with controls, use a cell phone, or talk to passengers while driving can cause serious accidents.

Improper Training

All Texas bus drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license and undergo proper training before operating a public transportation vehicle. However, some companies may fail to adequately train their drivers or verify their employees’ credentials, leading to unqualified drivers on the road.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Bus companies have a responsibility to keep their vehicles in good condition, conducting regular inspections and performing necessary repairs. However, some entities may fail to perform this maintenance, leading to dangerous conditions for passengers.

Hazardous Weather

Snow, sleet, rain, hail, fog, and other inclement weather conditions can make the road dangerous for any vehicle, especially heavy-duty ones. Bus drivers need proper training to know how to drive in these conditions and what precautions to take in order to avoid an accident. If a driver does not have this training or fails to drive safely enough for the weather, he or she can lose control of the vehicle.

Impaired Driving

It is very dangerous for a bus driver to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These substances can impact judgement, concentration, fine motor skills, and reaction time, which bus drivers need to operate their vehicles responsibly. Driving under the influence showcases a reckless disregard for passengers’ safety.

How Do Bus Accidents Differ from Car Accidents?

There are many types of buses, including school buses, municipal transit buses, metros, tour buses, city buses, and airport buses. All carry multiple passengers at a time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines “bus” as “any vehicle used to transport nine or more people.”

Bus accidents are rare. However, when bus accidents do occur, they have the potential to be deadly. Buses have unique risk factors, including:

  • Buses have a longer starting and stopping distance than small vehicles.
  • Buses are at an increased chance of rollover in an accident.
  • Buses contain passengers’ items that may come loose and hit others in a serious accident.
  • Bus crashes involve multiple people.
  • Most buses do not have seat belts.
  • Bus passengers are not always paying attention and are unable to brace for impact.
  • Bus passengers are often standing.
  • Buses are bigger than cars and more dangerous to car passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and others.

Because buses are large commercial vehicles, their drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely and carefully. Bus drivers must have proper training and licensing to transport passengers, and companies operating bus fleets must ensure that their vehicles are in safe condition.

What Are the Most Common Bus Accident Injuries?

For all of the above reasons, the injuries suffered in a bus accident are sometimes far more significant than accidents involving only passenger vehicles. Some common bus accident injuries are:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Torn tendons and ligaments
  • Severe cuts, lacerations, and bruising
  • Burns
  • Brain injuries, such as concussions or skull fractures
  • Back sprains
  • Neck strains
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal cord trauma
  • Amputation
  • Wrongful death

Contact Our Houston Bus Accident Lawyers Today

If you have questions about a bus accident or bus accident compensation, call AK Law Firm today. Our Houston bus accident attorneys are client-focused and compassionate about your recovery and long-term, successful recovery. We want you to receive maximum compensation you need to live your life.

Our attorneys have a track record of success and handle all client personal injury cases transparently. There are never any charges unless we reach a settlement or receive a verdict in your favor. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your accident case with a qualified bus accident lawyer in the Houston area.