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How Do Lawsuits Against Charter Buses Work?

Texas Bus Accident Attorney Michael Grossman Explains How Charter Bus Liability Works

Unlike the operators of city buses and school buses, charter bus operators can be held fully accountable under Texas law for their negligence. They are afforded no special protection, and the law imposes upon them the duty to exercise a reasonable degree of care to protect other mnotorists and an incredibly high degree of care when it comes to protecting their passengers.

In this article, the Texas bus accident attorneys of Grossman Law Offices will discuss how personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against charter buses work.

Questions answered in this article:
  • What is a charter bus?
  • When can you sue charter bus companies?
  • How are lawsuits with charter bus accidents different than other bus accidents?
  • How can an attorney help me in a lawsuit against a charter bus company?

What are charter buses?

Charter bus companies are businesses that lease out buses to people in the general public for a variety of reasons. Charter buses are different from city buses and school buses because they don't run a specific route. Instead, they are leased out by a person or company to take people back and forth from one location to another, on a one-time basis. For example, a charter bus may be rented out by an event planner to take convention attendees from a hotel to a convention hall. In other words, they are buses that are used more or less like a taxi.

The various types of charter buses and their uses can vary greatly depending on their size and purpose. Below are examples of charter buses:

  • Motorcoach or Double Decker Buses - These buses are larger in size compared to other buses, and they can hold as many as 60 people. They are typically used for long distance group trips, music touring groups, etc.
  • Entertainer or Party Bus - These buses vary in size, but they are typically utilized for the purpose of having a party on the bus and taking passengers to various party locations if the passengers are planning on drinking.
  • Mini Bus - These buses are usually smaller in size. They are typically used to for airport shuttles, event transfers, field trips, convention shuttles, etc.
  • School Bus - In some cases, school buses can be rented out to individuals that is not related to a school or school function in any way.

The types of buses available to use as charter bus and their possible uses can vary greatly, but if one is involved in an accident, it is important to know what rights you have as a passenger to seek compensation if you were injured.

Under What Circumstances Can I Sue a Charter Bus Company?

Any time there is a charter bus accident that was caused by a negligent bus driver, the injured passengers and the families who lost someone in a bus accident can hold the driver and charter bus company responsible. Under Texas law, charter bus drivers are considered to be professionals, and they are held to a higher standard than your typical motorist on the road. They must exercise a higher duty of care when operating a charter bus because they are responsible for the safety of their passengers and other people on the road. If they fail in upholding these duties, they can be considered negligent, and a lawsuit could be filed against them.

Some examples of how a charter bus driver could be considered negligent:

  • Following too closely to other vehicles
  • Not braking in time
  • Falling asleep at wheel
  • Failing to take evasive action or improper evasive action
  • Failing to maintain proper lane
  • Not following proper railroad crossing procedures
  • Failing to properly maintain a vehicle or operating a vehicle with known safety hazards

After a charter bus accident, it is important to have a lawyer help you with your claim because a lawyer can launch a full investigation and collect the necessary evidence to help you win your case. Even if another motorist was at fault, you will still want to launch a full investigation into the accident to see if filing a claim against the charter bus company is possible. A full investigation is important because it could lead to evidence that the bus driver may have failed to react in a timely manner or contributed to causing the accident. In instances where evidence points to the bus driver being negligent, the injured person could hold all negligent parties accountable.

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Obstacles In a Charter Bus Accident Case

Charter bus accident lawsuits can be challenging to navigate for a number of reasons, including insurance coverage issues, determining who truly owns the bus, whether or not the driver is an employee or a contractor, etc. Even if the charter bus company has the minimum Federal requirement of liability insurance of $5 million or more, there may be other injured people from the accident who are trying to file claims that are in direct competition with you, creating a potential scarcity of funds. With insurance funds being limited, it is important to act as quickly as possible to ensure you get the most amount of money possible for your compensation, because all of the injury claims could exceed the insurance policy limit.

Charter bus accidents can also be tricky because you may be wondering where to file your lawsuit, and the answer could vary based on a number of circumstances. Typically, one could file the lawsuit in the county where the accident occurred, where the charter bus company is based, or where the plaintiff (negligent person or party) lives. But exactly which of these three locations is the "best" location to file depends on a variety of factors. As such, you'll need an attorney to help you navigate through the process.

Don't Handle Your Case Alone

With charter bus accidents involving so many different areas of the law, don't face the process alone. You need an experience attorney that knows the laws and proper steps to take that will give you the best chance of winning. The attorneys for insurance and charter bus companies know what they are doing, but the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices, based in Dallas, TX, have more then 25 years of experience in dealing with these types of cases. They will work to get you the most compensation possible by holding the negligent party responsible for their actions. For a free consultation or if you have any questions, call us a 1-855-326-0000.

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