A recent accident involving a bus and 2 cars demonstrated how dangerous bus accidents can be.
One person died and 3 others were critically injured on I75 in Pasco County after a chartered bus carrying baseball players from Hiram College in Ohio failed to slow down where the traffic merges from 3 to 2 lanes. The bus rear-ended a car, which then rammed into the car in front. The fatality occurred in the middle car. None of the baseball players was injured in the crash although the bus driver had minor injuries. The accident remains under investigation and it is unknown at this time whether the driver will be charged.
Many travelers use bus transportation for its broad geographical coverage and cost-effectiveness. In addition to school sports teams, church groups, tourists, airport transfers and many in urban areas rely on buses for everyday and special event transportation.
Bus Accidents Can Be Deadly for Other Involved Vehicles
Because of the sheer size and weight of large buses, smaller vehicles, motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians are at a huge disadvantage if involved in a bus accident. Accident victims may suffer injuries such as fractures and lacerations and even more serious injuries like traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord damage.
Many buses don’t have seatbelts for passengers so bus occupants are at risk for injury during a crash. In 2009 there were more than 153 bus accidents every day in the U.S., and 16% of these resulted in injuries. Florida averages 2 bus accident fatalities each year. (statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) The team involved in the Pasco County accident was lucky in that they escaped injury and were able to play their game on schedule.
Risk factors for bus accidents are largely driver-related including:
- Driver inattention
- Driver risk-taking
- Driver fatigue
- Driver are - under age 25 or over age 55
Determining Liability in a Bus Accident
Who is to blame for a bus accident? This can be a complex question.
There may be multiple defendants involved in addition to the driver. The company that owns and operates the bus has a responsibility to transport passengers safely and securely and so may be liable if the bus was poorly or inadequately maintained. A manufacturer can be liable if the bus or its parts were defective.
If the bus involved in an accident is publicly owned, then a school district or other government agency may be to blame.
Let Us Help if You Have Been Injured in a Bus Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in a bus accident or in other type of accident or personal injury, we can help! We will work hard for you and pursue compensation for damages including lost wages, medical bills, lost earnings capacity and pain and suffering. Please call The Francis Law Group for a free consultation. Attorney Tony Francis, personal injury attorney in Orlando, will fight to get you the compensation that you and your family deserve. You can reach us at 407-363-9939 or contact us via the website.