How Cases Against Commercial Buses Work
There's a wide variety of commercial buses that operate throughout Texas for many different purposes. But like any other vehicle on the road, there is a chance they could be involved in an accident. The effects of these accident can be devastating to passengers on the bus and to other people on the road.
If you've been injured or someone you love has died in a commercial bus accident, then Texas law says you can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit. In this article, we'll discuss how the law regards commercial bus accidents, as well as some of the circumstances that could affect your case.
Questions answered in this section:
- What does the law say about the responsibility of bus drivers to their passengers and others on the road?
- What types of commercial buses exist?
- Are commercial bus companies required to carry insurance?
- How much compensation can I get if I am injured in a commercial bus accident?
- After a bus accident, how can an attorney help me?
Commercial Bus Drivers Responsibilities Under Texas Law
Under Texas law, commercial bus companies are considered "Common Carriers." This term applies to commercial transport companies whose sole purpose as a business is to be hired by the public to carry passengers from one location to another. Given the fact that a common carrier's sole purpose is to carry passengers, commercial bus drivers are expected to exercise a higher duty of care to their passengers and other people on the road than do typical drivers. The reason commercial bus companies are held to a higher standard is because they are business and their employees are considered professional drivers.
Some examples of the responsibilities and duties for commercial bus drivers that exist outside of normal traffic laws include:
- Keeping a safe distance between the bus and other vehicles
- Staying alert and focused at all times
- Not falling asleep at the wheel
- Exercising extreme caustion when driving through parking lots
- Taking proper evasive actions when necessary
- Ensuring passengers enter and exit the vehicle safely
- Properly maintaining the commercial bus, etc.
If there is an accident caused by a bus driver violating any of the above duties, that could constitute negligence on their part. If you have a personal injury or wrongful death claim, your lawyer must be able to prove the injury was caused by the negligent party or the negligent party contributed to the cause of the wreck. If you can prove the driver was negligent, the court should hold the commercial bus company accountable. Further, juries tend to me be a lot harsher with commercial bus companies whose driver cause accidents precisely because their are supposed to be professionals.[iparticle id="1"]
Commercial Bus Accident Insurance and Compensation
With commercial bus accidents, the two things to consider when filing a lawsuit would be how much insurance the company carries and the possible number of injured people from the accident who may seek compensation.
In the state of Texas, commercial bus companies are required to be insured for a minimum of $5 million in liability coverage, and many companies will purchase several million dollars in additional insurance in the form of an umbrella policy.
On the surface, one might think a higher amount of insurance could put an injured person in a much better position to receive compensation, and that's partially right. Unfortunately, this may also not be the case, because there are usually many people injured in a bus accident, which means that the insurance will get divided up. Since commercial buses can seat anywhere from 16-60 people, if there's an accident, the number of injured claimants can greatly affect how much one could be compensated for damages. Under these insurance policies, the $5 million insurance policy would be split among the different injured parties. So, it is important to act quickly in filing a claim to ensure you are awarded the most compensation possible
The various forms of compensation one could possibly be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Personal Injury Damages - Lost wages during recovery or rehabilitation, medical expenses, mental anguish felt during rehab, pain and suffering experienced while suffering the injury, or possible long-term debilities.
- Wrongful Death Damages - Compensation for psychological therapy to deal with trauma, loss of companionship and society, loss of financial support, loss of spousal services, loss of parental services for a child losing a parent, or loss of child's services for a parent losing a child.
- Survival Damages - Medical bills incurred before a loved one dies, funeral bills, compensation for physical pain experienced during the accident, restitution for the emotionally damaging realization that death was imminent, and exemplary damages. For survival damages, only one relative can pursue survival damages on behalf of the estate.
Examples of Commercial Buses
Commercial buses are utilized in a variety of ways, including sports team travel, touring music groups, long distance transportation, etc. Some examples of commercial bus companies who have been sued for accidents include:
- Lux Bus
Grossman Law Offices Can Help With Your Commercial Bus Accident
Successfully pursuing compensation after a bus accident that injures you, or robs you of a loved one, is a complex issue with many factors that demands the knowledgeable touch of an experienced bus accident attorney. At Grossman Law Offices of Dallas, TX, we have been litigating commercial bus accident cases for over two decades and may be able to help you win your case by providing our experience and know-how. To learn how we can help and discuss your options, give us a call now for a free consultation at 1-855-326-0000.
Related articles for further reading:
- Filing Suit Against Bus Manufacturers for Dangerous and Defective Vehicles
- Lawsuits Involving Charter Buses
- Insurance Coverage Requirements for Commercial Buses