Since establishing our headquarters in Houston, Texas in 1999, our firm has grown to numerous locations across the country, including hubs in Dallas, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. Along the way, we’ve built a trusted network of partners throughout all 50 states who share our values and our commitment to excellence.
**No matter where you are, it’s our mission to insure that you have the finest representation for your case.**
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Helping People Injured in Bus Accidents Recover from Their Losses
, 67,000 crashes involved buses in a recent year—more than 183 bus accidents every day, causing untold property damage and suffering to victims throughout the United States. If there’s a silver lining, the law entitles many bus accident victims to compensation for accident-related losses, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, property damage, and lost quality of life. If you were injured in a bus accident, speak to an attorney as soon as you possibly can.
For 20 years, the team of experienced personal injury attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, has represented the rights of bus accident victims and helped them recover compensation for their losses. We understand the unique legal issues that arise in accidents involving school buses, charter buses, and buses operated by government entities. We know how to get our clients the compensation they deserve and are not intimidated by large insurance companies who only care about their bottom line.
If you were in a bus accident, please do not wait to contact our Bus Accident Lawyers to learn how we can help you. With our no-recovery, no-fee guarantee, we don’t get paid unless you get paid. Our intake department is available for your free consultation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at (800) 898-4877, or you may contact us now.
What Causes Bus Accidents?
When buses are involved in traffic accidents, disaster follows. But what are the causes?
Fewer safety features – Many buses are not equipped with seatbelts or other safety features found in most cars. Passengers may also be standing up during transport. This means they are more vulnerable to injury in the event of a bus accident.
Large size and weight – Buses are much larger and weigh much more than most other vehicles. The force with which they can strike other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists can result in catastrophic injuries and property damage. During an accident, buses can block several lanes and easily create a multi-car pile-up. Buses also require more distance to come to a complete stop, and they are more prone to rollover accidents.
Inexperienced drivers – All bus drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), but these are sometimes earned via on-the-job training. After 1991’s Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, bus drivers must also pass background checks and routine drug testing, but this is not always properly enforced.
Faulty auto parts – When it comes to the routine inspection of buses, different states have different laws. But even if a bus company stays on schedule, faulty parts may be overlooked during an inspection, or recalled bus parts might not be promptly replaced. These defective bus parts can lead to malfunctions that cause severe accidents.
For these reasons and more, many bus accident cases involve settlements or awards well into the six and seven-figure ranges—meaning insurance companies will fight tooth and nail against them.
People who can potentially recover compensation after a bus accident include:
Remember, when more money is at stake, big insurance companies and other liable parties have all the more incentive to dispute a case. That’s why it is imperative for people injured in bus accidents to retain qualified legal counsel who can effectively fight against experienced bus accident defense attorneys.
Serious Injuries in Bus Accidents
Common injuries that people can sustain in serious bus accidents include:
Traumatic brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries can happen in accidents where a person’s head strikes another object or jolts backward and forward with force sufficient to cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull. Even mild traumatic brain injuries like concussions are capable of causing debilitating symptoms that can last for weeks, months, or even years. These symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, depression, problems sleeping, and other issues that can prevent people from working, going to school, or engaging in everyday activities that they enjoyed before their accidents. In more serious cases, TBI victims can develop long-term cognitive or physical problems that require around-the-clock medical care or mobility aids. In the most severe TBIs, victims can go into persistent vegetative states that can last for the rest of their lives.
Spinal cord injuries – The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the back to the pelvis. Its function is to transmit nerve signals between the brain and the rest of the body, controlling movement and sensation. A damaged spinal cord can result in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, or even paralysis. An accident that completely severs the spinal cord or damages it to an extent that the brain cannot communicate with the rest of the body will cause complete paralysis below the injury site. There is no accepted medical treatment for spinal cord injuries that restores function to people who have suffered paralysis as a result of spinal cord injuries.
Broken bones – The forces involved in bus accidents often break the bones of passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and occupants of other vehicles. Accidents can throw bus passengers against the interior of the bus or even through windows or windshields. Buses can smash into other vehicles, often exposing those occupants to extreme forces that can easily crush bones and cause other serious injuries. Broken bones are usually extremely painful and take months to fully heal. In some cases, they may require surgeries to correct and can even leave victims with permanent complications, scars, or disfigurement.
Burns – Some bus accidents result in fires or explosions, causing serious burn injuries for victims. Burns are among the most painful injuries that individuals can sustain and often require treatments in highly specialized burn units for weeks or even months. In some cases, victims may need to go through several rounds of skin graft surgeries—and even then, accidents can leave them with significant scars that will last for the rest of their lives.
People can sustain these and other injuries in serious bus accidents, and may be struggling to cope with significant economic and non-economic losses.
Bus accident victims should only accept a settlement amount that will compensate them for their future losses in addition to the losses they have already sustained. For example, paralyzed spinal cord injury victims should recover compensation not only for the medical care they have already received, but also for the medical care they will require in the future—which typically means for the rest of their lives. The same holds true for future lost income, future pain and suffering, and any other ongoing losses.
Victims may establish these future losses through the use of independent actuaries who can estimate what their injuries will cost during the course of their lifetimes. The team of lawyers and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, has an established network of actuaries, economists, and other professionals we work with to ensure that our clients obtain the compensation to which they are entitled.
The Risk of Public Bus Accidents
Millions of people ride public buses each day, typically without incident. Unfortunately, those that do fall victim to an accident can sustain extremely serious injuries on city and regional buses. In most cases, these vehicles are not equipped with seatbelts, and many riders on overcrowded buses stand while holding onto railings or fabric straps. A collision can throw riders against the hard interior surfaces of the bus, into each other, or even completely eject them from the bus.
From the perspective of other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists, city buses pose significant injury risks. They are much bigger than most other vehicles and often operate in urban areas on narrow streets and around significant amounts of other traffic. In addition, city bus drivers are susceptible to driver fatigue—they often work long hours and may need to drive the same route several times during the same shift. When buses hit other vehicles, they can cause significant property damage and bodily injuries.
Because city or state agencies operate many public buses, a special set of laws may govern legal claims arising from public bus accidents. Because governments, their subdivisions and agencies are immune from lawsuits under traditional legal rules, special laws (typically called tort claims acts) must authorize these claims. Typically, these statutes or analogous laws or regulations place significant limits on how much time victims have to file claims and how much compensation they can ultimately recover. For this reason, people injured in public bus accidents should immediately contact an attorney with experience making bus accident claims so as to avoid any legal issues with this sensitive type of case.
Greyhound Bus Accidents
Private companies like Greyhound and Megabus offer consumers relatively cheap ways to get from city to city. Despite taking much longer to reach their destinations than other forms of transportation, bus trips often cost a fraction of other types of travel, which makes taking the bus an attractive option for many people. These buses, often referred to as motor coaches, pose many of the same risks as other types of buses. Motorcoach passengers can suffer serious injuries in accidents, and other motorists often sustain extremely serious injuries when motor coaches collide with them.
Because Greyhound and similar companies are in the business of transporting passengers along regular routes for fixed rates, they are considered common carriers under the law. As a result, most jurisdictions require them to exercise the highest degree of care for the safety of their passengers. This means that the passengers that are injured in Greyhound bus accidents are typically entitled to compensation for any losses they experience as a result of the accident. That said, victims should retain an attorney to ensure that any settlement they’re offered by the insurance company adequately compensates them for all of their losses.
School Bus Accidents
Millions of children ride a school bus on a daily basis. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school buses are the safest vehicles on the road, and children are significantly safer taking a bus to school than they are traveling by car.
Still, school bus accidents injure a significant number of people each year. Kids in school bus accidents can suffer serious injuries that may stay with them for the rest of their lives, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, soft tissue injuries, scars and disfigurement.
Likewise, motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians injured in school bus accidents can sustain serious injuries that result in significant medical expenses and other compensable losses.
In cases where a public school district operates a school bus, the rules we mentioned above regarding claims against public entities will likely apply. Therefore, it’s in a victim’s best interest to hire an attorney with experience bringing claims against public schools. Victims should take action as soon as they possibly can, because even a slight delay could result in forfeiting the right to recover compensation.
Cases involving privately-operated school buses typically proceed just like any other personal injury case involving private parties. You must also act quickly in these, too, because waiting too long to start your claim can result in the loss or destruction of evidence critical to your case.
Who is At Fault in a Bus Accident?
Determining liability is tricky, but it’s an incredibly important part of your bus accident case. When your attorney can successfully prove liability, they can begin taking steps to obtain compensation for you from that party. (When multiple parties are found at fault in a personal injury case, they will each pay out a portion of the damages.)
Below are some the parties who may be found at fault for a bus accident:
The bus driver – If a bus driver is behaving recklessly, taking their eyes off the road, or taking their hands off the wheel, they may be liable for the accident.
The bus driver’s employer – If a bus driver’s employer failed to provide proper training, background checks, or vehicle inspections, they may be held liable for any accidents involving their bus fleet.
Bus passengers – That’s right, bus passengers may be found at fault for a crash they are involved in, especially if they distracted the driver or broke a law.
Other drivers – In a bus accident, driver error doesn’t always mean bus driver error. Sure, we all get impatient when we get stuck behind a bus, but if another driver improperly passes or cuts off a bus, they may cause an accident.
Pedestrians or cyclists without the right of way – If a pedestrian or bicyclist enters a crosswalk or crosses the path of a bus when they do not have the right of way, they may be held responsible for a bus accident.
The city – The city itself may be liable for a bus accident if it took place on a road that was poorly designed or maintained. While these cases can be especially complex, your local government is responsible for maintaining safe roads. If inadequate signage, pothole damage, or other factors contributed to a bus wreck, the city may be found partially or entirely at fault.
Should You Speak with an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney Now?
If you were hurt in a bus accident, speak to an attorney as soon as you can. The nationally recognized team of bus accident lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, understands how seriously these accidents can damage victims.
For over two decades, we’ve proudly protected the rights of injured victims of bus accidents. We do everything we can to ensure that our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.
If you were hurt in a bus accident, don’t waste any more time. Don’t miss out on your opportunity for compensation. Call our office now for your free consultation. Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you pay nothing unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877, or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
See what past clients have to say:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Mr. Guss was wonderful. He fought hard against the insurance company to get us what we deserved. I went from owing almost $5000 in medical bills to actually getting money in my pocket. Absolutely Amazing!!!!! A big thank you from me and my family!!!”