KATY BUS ACCIDENT LAWYER
From businesspeople to travelers to schoolchildren, buses are a staple in the lives of many. Right here in Katy, METRO’s Grand Parkway Park & Ride service is popular with commuters. Drivers also frequently share the roads with Greyhound buses. By transporting many passengers at once, buses keep millions of cars off the road, saving fuel and reducing pollution!
But these benefits don’t come without risks.
Across America there are approximately 65,000 bus crashes every year. According to recent data collected by the FMCSA, Texas had more bus accidents than any other state. Last year across the state of Texas, there were 3,300 bus accidents and 1,247 school bus accidents. 21 of these accidents were fatal.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Katy bus accident, you deserve fair and full compensation.
Whether you were a bus passenger, a pedestrian, a cyclist, or another motorist, a Katy bus accident lawyer can help. Get a FREE confidential consultation from one of our live experts by calling or read on below for more information about Katy bus accidents.
What Causes Katy Bus Accidents?
Houston traffic is notorious, and disastrous bus accidents can lead to some serious rubbernecking. But what are the causes of these wrecks? Here are a few we commonly see:
Large Size & Weight: The larger the vehicle is, the harder it is to maneuver. Special skills are required. This is why all Katy bus drivers must hold a Texas commercial driver’s license (CDL), and Katy school bus drivers need an additional endorsement. All buses are susceptible to rollover accidents, and they also require more time and space to come to a complete stop. If an accident happens, a bus may also block multiple lanes of traffic, causing a multi-car pile-up.
Blind Spots: Bigger vehicles have bigger blind spots. If a bus driver neglects to check their blind spots before turning or changing lanes, accidents are bound to happen.
Bus Driver Fatigue: Bus driver fatigue is a serious problem. As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created “hours of service” rules to limit the amount of time a bus driver can be on the road. A bus driver cannot drive more than 10 consecutive hours without stopping for a rest period of at least 8 hours, and they cannot be on duty for over 60 hours in any 7-day period. Bus drivers must also track these hours by keeping daily log books.
Speeding: Think back to physics class and recall how, in a collision between two objects, traveling at higher speeds creates a greater force of impact. In auto accidents with buses, this force can be crushing. Unfortunately, bus drivers may sometimes speed to stay on their tight schedules, or impatient motorists may speed to get around buses.
Overloading: A bus is prone to a rollover accident if it suffers from improper weight distribution. This includes exceeding the maximum bus rider capacity or overloading the bus with luggage and cargo.
Poor Bus Maintenance: A bus company is responsible for caring for the vehicles in its fleet. If routine maintenance and inspections are not performed, a serious problem or faulty auto part could be overlooked and an accident could happen. Something as minor as low tire pressure could lead to a bus fire. In cases like these, a bus company can be held liable for an accident.
Distracted Driving: Disruptive passengers can distract a bus driver. However, other distracted drivers sharing the road with the bus can also be responsible for accidents, whether they’re tailgating, using their cell phones, drifting into a blind spot, or all of the above!
Driving Under the Influence: The blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for commercial drivers is .04%, half the legal limit for an average driver. According to the The 1991 Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, it is a bus company’s duty to run thorough background checks and drug tests on every driver it employs, but negligent drivers may still choose to take chances and drive under the influence. That’s why post-accident tests are required as well.
School Bus Accidents: The majority of school bus accidents happen while picking students up or dropping them off, not on the road. The Katy Independent School District has a fleet of 374 regular school buses and 161 special needs buses, making it the 65th largest school bus fleet in the United States and the 7th largest in Texas. These vehicles transport 25,000 students every day, driving a combined total of over 4 million miles per year.
Bad Weather: No one wants to get stuck behind a bus in the rain. Poor visibility and wet or icy roads can be a recipe for disaster.
Poor Road Conditions: The Houston area is notorious for its potholes. If roads aren’t properly maintained by the city, they may cause auto accidents.
The age of a bus driver also comes into play. According to data collected by the National Safety Council, the most accident-prone bus drivers are either below 25 or above 55.
Once you know the cause of the accident — whatever it may be — you and your Katy bus accident attorney can determine liability. To learn more, get a free case evaluation from one of our experts.
Common Katy Bus Accident Injuries
Due to the number of passengers and the size of the vehicles involved, bus accidents can be catastrophic, causing thousands of serious injuries and dozens of tragic deaths.
Many buses lack safety features like passenger airbags and seat belts. Overcrowded riders may also be standing while the vehicle is in motion, making them more vulnerable to injury. Loose bags and other passenger possessions also fly about during a crash, colliding with people and causing further harm.
Injuries commonly suffered by victims of bus accidents include but are not limited to:
Head Injury: In a bus accident, a passenger may suffer head trauma from a projectile, from hitting a window, or from hitting the seat in front of them. This can cause a concussion, a fractured skull, or another kind of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Head injuries require extensive medical care and round-the-clock monitoring. Sometimes, victims are left with lifelong cognitive deficiencies or mood disorders.
Spinal Cord Injury: When a passenger’s body is jolted back and forth in a bus accident, soft tissue damage, whiplash, and spinal cord injuries may occur. These injuries may require surgery and can even lead to paralysis.
Broken Bones: Broken bones are common among bus passengers involved in accidents, and even more common when a bus hits a pedestrian or bicycle rider. Broken bones often require expensive surgeries, and the victim’s mobility or range of motion may be permanently limited.
Burns: When buses catch fire, innocent victims can be scarred and burned. They will deal with the consequences for the rest of their lives, needing expensive skin grafts and rehabilitation.
Cuts & Lacerations: Windows shatter in many auto accidents. Broken glass can cut passengers, leading to scars and infections that require medical care.
The emotional fallout of a bus accident is also nothing to overlook. Bus accident victims may suffer from frequent nightmares and PTSD and need years of therapy to cope.
If you are suffering from any of these injuries or other problems after a bus accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about paying for your own treatment. A Katy bus accident lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Our live experts are here for you 24/7, ready to provide free consultations and answer any questions you may have during this stressful time.
How Can I Collect Compensation After A Katy Bus Accident?
Hurt in a Katy bus crash? You may be entitled to compensation. You can receive money to help pay for your accident-related expenses — called “damages” in legal terms — by filing an accident injury claim.
Damages are divided into two categories known as “economic” and “non-economic.” Economic losses are expenses that can be easily quantified thanks to receipts, bills, medical records, and more. Non-economic losses are more abstract and difficult to calculate, as they refer to the emotional pain a victim and their family go through.
- Medical bills for surgeries, scans, tests, and more
- Prescription medication
- Prosthetic devices, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- In-home care and transportation
- Property damage
- Lost wages from missing work
- Funeral/burial expenses, in the event of wrongful death
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional turmoil
- Scarring, disability, or disfigurement
- Lost earning potential or forced career change
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Note: If a victim is still undergoing treatment when their claim settles, these damages will include projected future costs as well.
Exemplary Damages from Bus Accidents
Texas bus accident victims can also pursue exemplary damages, also known as punitive damages. According to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.003, juries can award punitive damages to punish careless parties for their actions once an injured victim has proven there was clear and convincing evidence of fraud, malice, or egregious negligence.
Victims who can potentially recover compensation after a bus accident include:
Don’t miss out on the advocacy and advice you need. Speak with a Katy bus accident attorney now to find out more about your options. Our consultations are always free and confidential.
Who is Liable in A Bus Accident?
Operating any motor vehicle is a big responsibility, but when the lives of dozens of other passengers are in your hands, proper training is imperative. In a bus accident, the blame often falls upon the bus company who owns the vehicle and failed to provide proper training. In some cases, more than one party may be at fault.
Texas is a comparative fault state, meaning fault for an accident can be divided among multiple parties according to their degree of responsibility. (If you are less than 51% at fault for an accident, you can still receive some compensation.)
Determining liability is complicated, but a Katy bus accident lawyer can provide the answers you need.
To begin, here are some parties who may be found at fault for a bus accident:
Bus Driver: Bus drivers may drive recklessly while distracted, fatigued, or under the influence. If they cause an accident due to their careless behavior, they can be liable for the damage.
Bus Company: If a bus company failed to properly train the drivers it employs, run background checks on bus drivers, or routinely inspect its fleet, it may be responsible for accidents involving its buses.
Bus Passengers: Disruptive bus passengers who distract a bus driver or violate the law may be found partially at fault for bus accidents they are involved in.
Other Drivers: If another driver on the road behaves aggressively or irresponsibly around a bus, they can cause an accident.
Pedestrians or Cyclists Without the Right of Way: If a pedestrian or bicycle rider enters a crosswalk or otherwise crosses paths with a bus when they do not have the right of way, they can be blamed for a resulting bus accident.
Need help determining liability after a bus accident? Speak to an experienced Katy bus accident lawyer today.
What to Do After A Bus Accident?
First things first: Your wellbeing is of utmost importance. If you are injured in a bus accident, remain calm and wait for help to arrive.
However, if you are safely able to follow these steps, they can help your bus accident insurance claim:
- Call 911: Ambulances and police cars should respond to the scene of the accident. Even if no one is severely hurt, police still need to create an accident report to record important details. This police report is useful for your injury claim.
- Collect Witness Information: Collect names and contact info for anyone who was a witness to the accident. Their testimony can be used later when determining liability.
- Take Photos: Use your phone to take plenty of photos of the wreck, including any nearby signs and damage to other vehicles.
- Receive Medical Treatment: Never neglect this step or try to “brush off” an accident. While adrenaline and shock may numb some of your pain, you don’t want to let an injury or internal bleeding go unnoticed until it’s too late. See a doctor as soon as possible after any auto accident!
- Contact A Katy Bus Accident Lawyer: Get help from professionals who not only know your rights, but vow to protect them, too! Never give a recorded statement to anyone without first consulting a lawyer. A Katy bus accident lawyer can connect you to the resources you need, help you file a claim, and gather evidence to support your case.
When Should I File A Bus Accident Claim?
Right away! The sooner you file, the better your results will be. The statute of limitations in Texas for bus accidents is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for any injuries.
Two years may seem like a long time, but If you wait too long or have a gap in treatment, your claim may be dismissed entirely. A Katy bus accident lawyer can help you build your case and meet all necessary deadlines.
Don’t fall for those early lowball settlement offers from the insurance company. Team up with a dedicated Katy bus accident attorney and get what you deserve.
How Much Does A Katy Bus Accident Lawyer Cost?
After an accident, many people shy away from involving a lawyer because they’re afraid of the cost. Luckily, our Katy bus accident attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means we do not get paid unless you do!
You will pay absolutely nothing upfront. Instead, your Katy bus accident lawyer will collect their payment from a percentage of your settlement award after your case is resolved.
Get Help from A Katy Bus Accident Lawyer Now
Since establishing our headquarters in Houston, Texas in 1999, our personal injury firm has garnered nationwide recognition and growth. We’ve helped hundreds of Katy bus accident victims obtain successful settlements, and our next victory could be yours!
Whether you were in an accident with a school bus, shuttle bus, Greyhound bus, or METRO bus, we here at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, are committed to your full recovery.
For over 20 years, we’ve proudly protected the rights of injured victims. Don’t wait any longer. Call now for your FREE consultation and learn how to get the money you need. 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 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
6701 Highway Blvd, Suite 205
Katy, Texas 77494
Local Phone: (281) 990-4415
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