Your Bus Accident Attorneys
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that school buses are the safest vehicles on the road and that your child is much safer on a bus to and from school than traveling by car. In fact, it's 70 times more safe. Less than 1% of all traffic fatalities nationwide involve school transportation vehicles. In 2017, there were 73 school buses and 13 intercity buses involved in fatal crashes across the country.
While only a few school-age children die each year on school buses, other types of buses have been involved in serious accidents in Georgia. Accidents involve private motor coaches, courtesy shuttles (such as airport and hotel transportation), as well as charter and tour buses.
The Federal Motor Carrier Administration reports that in 2017, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes—a 9% increase from the prior year. The FMCA also found that on average, from 2007 to 2017, intercity buses accounted for 13%, school buses 40%, and transit buses 35% of all buses involved in fatal crashes.
It is important to remember that pedestrians, bicyclists, and others outside the bus are also injury victims and fatalities. These individuals and their families also need to be compensated.
Buses, like motorcycles, have some unique characteristics that are not found with passenger automobiles. One is that the risk of a tip-over or rollover accident is greater. Also, there typically are no safety restraints, seat belts, or airbags. Bus accidents also can cause substantial property damage.
Factors in Bus Accident Cases
The bus accident attorneys at Tosi Law will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine who may be liable or at fault for your injuries in a bus accident. There are many factors that may cause or contribute to a bus accident. They include:
- overloaded buses;
- improperly loaded buses;
- the bus was assembled with a defect;
- buses and equipment that is not properly maintained; and
- violation of Georgia's bus regulations.
In addition to these factors, Georgia bus accidents are frequently caused by the negligence of the bus driver. These specific causes for bus accidents involving the bus driver's operation of the vehicle include:
- fatigued drivers who are operating the bus;
- drivers who lack adequate training or screening;
- drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- drivers who are unaware of their surroundings and road conditions;
- the driver's improper maneuvering or operation of the vehicle; and
- drivers who violate traffic laws, such as speeding.
In a successful negligence action involving a bus accident, the injured party must satisfy each of the following elements:
- The defendant driver or bus owner owed the plaintiff a duty of care; in other words, the defendant was legally obligated to treat the plaintiff with care;
- The defendant breached its duty or failed to act with reasonable care toward the plaintiff;
- The defendant's action (or inaction) caused the plaintiff's injuries; and
- The plaintiff suffered an injury.
Government Buses and Bus Drivers
A significant aspect of legal actions involving bus accidents is the fact that many buses are owned by the State of Georgia, government agencies, or municipalities. For instance, the elementary school bus on which your children ride to school is probably owned by a government entity. So are the MARTA buses in Atlanta, those with METRA Transit in Columbus, and those belonging to the Macon Transit Authority. Because these buses are owned by the government, the drivers—who are in many cases responsible for the accident—have protection against legal action when on duty.
Sovereign immunity is immunity from lawsuits. But usually, the government will allow a lawsuit to move forward by waiving immunity. Personal injury actions involving the government's sovereign immunity involve special procedural requirements. The bus accident attorneys at Tosi Law have years of experience with these types of actions and are ready to help you with your case. Contact them immediately because there are shortened deadlines for bringing a claim when an injury involves a city, county, or state vehicle.
Contact a Reputable Personal Injury Attorney
A personal injury claim stemming from a bus injury will depend upon the specifics of your accident. In Georgia, you need an attorney that knows the law and knows how to win. Contact the Tosi Law.
Call us at 888-311-8292 today for your free consultation. We're available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.