What are the insurance coverage requirements for a bus?
As you might expect, buses are required to carry more insurance than a passenger vehicle. The reason for this is because buses can inflict more harm on more people than a typical passenger car can. And while it is generally a good thing that buses are required to be insured for a significant amount of money, it also means that when a bus driver causes an accident, they and their insurance carrier have an incentive to fight you: protecting their bottom line.
In this article we'll look at the insurance coverage requirements of buses and how that impacts your claim, if you've been injured in an accident involving a bus.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What is the minimum insurance coverage required for operating a bus?
- How much insurance is available if I've been injured by a bus?
- Are bus insurance carriers difficult to deal with?
How Much Insurance Do Buses Have?
According to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), if a bus carries over 15 passengers, the bus must carry at least $5,000,000 in liability insurance coverage. And buses carrying fewer than 15 passengers must carry at least $1,500,000 in insurance coverage.
While these amounts are considered to be the minimum limits, it's rare that buses will carry more than $5,000,000 in insurance. It's important to note that if a bus has $5,000,000 in insurance (or whatever the value of the policy) that is not $5,000,000 per injured person worth of coverage, rather, $5,000,000 is the most the insurance carrier would ever have to pay per crash, irrespective of the number of people injured. So if you're on a bus that has $1,500,000 in insurance coverage and there are 14 people injured in an accident (including yourself), that $1,500,000 will be split among all the injured parties, provided the case is won and the jury agrees that entire amount be paid out to those injured.
What that means for your bus accident case
Since, as we mentioned, buses are required to carry multi-million dollar insurance policies, yet they can often harm dozens of people in a single accident, the concern at the forefront of every bus accident victim's mind should be getting fair compensation when there are, in fact, too few dollars to go around. In our experience, what normally happens in a bus accident case, is that a handful of people will be injured, one of two of them will hire us, one of two of them will hire another competent law firm, and the rest of those injured will attempt to handle their claim themselves. As you can imagine, the victim's who are represented by attorneys end up getting the bulk of the available funds.
It's also worth noting that these insurance policies are not paid automatically to victims. In fact, the law requires that the insurance carrier defend the bus driver and bus company from claims made by accident victims. In other words, they will always fight back. The insurance carrier's number one concern is protecting their insurer and saving their company money, not helping you. These companies employ many tricky tactics to try and devalue or reject your claim. It is important to have an experienced bus accident attorney on your side who is wise to these tactics and can protect you for accidentally undermining your claim.
Don't make the mistake of trying to talk to the bus's insurance carriers yourself. You have too much to lose.[iparticle id=1]
Call Our Bus Accident Attorneys Today
Our firm has over 25 years of experienced handling bus accident cases. We've won literally thousands of personal injury claims, and we know this area of the law almost better than anyone. If you or someone you know has been injured in a bus accident, give our bus accident attorneys a call to learn about your options. We're confident we can put you in the best possible position to recover your losses.
Give us a call at (855) 326-0000. We're available to you 24/7.
Related articles for further reading:
- How Does Texas Personal Injury Law Work?
- Lawsuits Involving Commercial Buses
- Lawsuits Against Hotel Shuttle Buses