Austin Bus Accident Attorney
Riding a bus is an everyday occurrence for many Austin area residents, from charters to their regular Capital Metro route. Few of passengers realize a bus ride is just as risky as driving a car. National statistics show the number of bus accidents per million passenger miles is comparable to the number of car accidents per million driven miles. Seventeen bus accidents took place in Texas in 2017.
Usually, when buses are involved in accidents, many passengers are onboard, and those passengers often get injured. Buses usually do not have seat belts for riders, and even then bus riders rarely think to wear them. More often than not, a crash causes the bus to flip on its side or roll over. All these facts mean that if passengers are involved in an accident, their chances of walking away from the wreck unharmed can be slim.
When you are injured in a bus accident, hire an experienced bus accident injury attorney to protect your rights.
Why Hire an Austin Bus Accident Attorney?
At the Law Offices of George Salinas, we have represented victims of bus accidents and helped them recover compensation from insurance companies and other parties responsible for their injuries. Our Testimonials page features statements from our former clients about what it’s like to work with us. We are particularly proud of our commitment to clear communication with clients, both for the purpose of understanding their stories and ensuring they known what we’re doing for them.
Because we have knowledge and experience in this area of law, we know we can help you if you suffered an injury, or if someone you love has died in a bus crash. Take advantage of our free consultation by calling now at (512) 851-1004.
Austin Bus Accident Injuries
Bus injuries following a crash are similar to injuries sustained in other motor vehicle accidents but can sometimes be more severe due to the passenger-on-passenger contact upon impact and the lack of safety devices, such as seat belts. Also, the high-sided design of motor coaches makes them susceptible to flipping.
Injuries in an Austin bus accident may include:
- Head and face injuries
- Neck trauma
- Chest lacerations and bruising
- Abdomen and pelvis sprains, fractures, and dislocations
- Upper extremity damage
- Lower extremity trauma
Seeing fellow passengers injured, or being trapped in a life-threatening situation for hours while rescue workers struggle to pick apart the wreckage of a bus rollover, can also leave lasting emotional scars.
Any of these injuries can leave victims of a bus accident and their families with significant expenses for treatment and long-term care, not to mention lost wages and the costs of their pain and suffering.
Liability Related to Austin Bus Accidents
As in any vehicle accident, bus wrecks have some specific causes, including:
- Drowsy driving - The long hauls that bus drivers are often assigned, coupled with the odd sleep schedule they keep means the possibility of a driver being fatigued when behind the wheel is a real issue.
- Distracted driving - Bus drivers, like other drivers, have distractions. The number of people riding in the vehicle alone could cause a bus driver to turn to look at a passenger who is talking to him or her. The driver may use the mirror to see a disruption that is taking place. The driver may use a device to receive a message from the next bus station or from headquarters.
- Driving under the influence - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drug testing for commercial bus drivers who use public roads and highways. The drivers are pre-employment tested, randomly tested, and post-accident tested. After a reportable accident (which results in a fatality, a citation, an injury, or disabling damage to a vehicle), drivers are required to produce a urine sample. Drivers must also submit to reasonable suspicion testing, return to duty testing, and follow-up testing.
- Bus company negligence
- Left-turn crashes
- Inclement weather
- Bus driver negligence
- Other driver mistakes
- Bus fires
- Maintenance failures
- Lack of effective driver training
Possible Damage Recovery After a Bus Accident
Depending on the case and the factors involved in the accident, you may require compensation for injuries or other hardships you have suffered due to a bus crash. Victims of a bus accident who need medical care often, although not always, have coverage for their injuries through some sort of insurance. But medical expenses are just the tip of the iceberg for those victims and their families. In the past, our clients have also received compensation from insurance companies and responsible parties for:
- Medical expenses, including the costs of long-term care and rehabilitation services
- Lost income due to time off work to recover from an injury or to care for an injured family member
- Lost future income
- Loss of consortium
- Future medical expenses
- Inability to work
- Pain and suffering resulting from the accident and the difficulty of living with the long-term consequences
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
In addition, under Texas law, some of our clients have recovered punitive damages that serve to punish the responsible parties and ensure that others are not injured in the same way.
The full scope of the damages you can receive after a bus accident will depend on the facts of your case. Working with an attorney experienced in bus accident cases can be the most reliable way to ensure that you recover the compensation you deserve for your injury or the loss of your loved one.
Who Bears Responsibility for Bus Accident Injuries?
Many parties may contribute to a bus accident, depending on the circumstances. At the Law Offices of George Salinas, we represent clients who were injured in bus accidents because of the wrongful actions or negligence of third parties. For example, a bus company operator may not have maintained its buses in a reasonably safe manner, resulting in a crash. A bus driver, or the driver of the other vehicle in a bus collision, may have worked longer than permitted, or operated the bus under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Road crews may not have maintained a road surface in a safe condition for a bus to travel over.
With years of experience representing victims of vehicle accidents, our attorneys have a track record for investigating our clients’ cases, identifying parties who are at fault, and seeking compensation from them and their insurers.
Why Getting Your Compensation Can Be Difficult
In a perfect world, if a person becomes injured due to someone else’s negligence, the negligent person would see to it that reimbursement of any monetary expenditure on the part of the victim would occur. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
Insurance companies and responsible parties rarely want to pay for your injuries. They may try to avoid paying their fair share by pointing the finger at someone else, including the accident victim. That tendency is an especially difficult problem in bus accident cases, where the damage caused by an accident can be so widespread that it gives accident investigators lots of different theories to choose from for who might incur fault.
When a bus accident happens, potentially responsible parties may start building a case that the accident “wasn’t their fault.” For victims and their families, calling on an attorney with experience in bus accident cases can help ensure that insurance companies and responsible parties do not try to pull a fast one and get them to sign releases or to accept inadequate settlement offers.
In general, your or another party’s insurance company will drag its feet if you present a claim. This is because:
- The insurance company wants to observe the extent of your injuries.
- The higher the dollar amount of your claim, the longer it will take to settle.
- Insurance companies may make a low-ball offer before they agree to mediate your case.
Hiring an Austin Bus Accident Lawyer to Help
A personal injury claim is seldom straightforward. If you hire an attorney to assist you in seeking compensation for your injuries, your lawyer will be able to help with:
- Determining liability
- Conducting witness interviews
- Obtaining the police report
- Negotiating with your insurance company
- Negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company
- Providing a statement to the other party’s insurance company
- Avoiding the dreaded Wage and Medical Authorization (allows the company to search your records)
- Learning adjusting techniques
- Resolving your auto damage claim, and more
Hire the Law Offices of George Salinas if You Suffered a Bus Accident in Austin
When expenses associated with a bus accident injury or death begin to mount, the last thing a victim or the victim’s family wants to worry about is the cost of a lawyer. At the Law Offices of George Salinas, we offer free initial case consultations, and in appropriate cases, we may agree to represent a client on a contingency fee basis in which we only collect fees out of money we recover on our client’s behalf. In such an arrangement, we may also be willing to cover the court costs associated with pursuing a case, if appropriate. Please do not feel afraid to tell us about your situation and ask us if your or your loved one’s bus accident case may be appropriate for a contingency fee arrangement.
If you need legal assistance, our experienced bus accident lawyers have what it takes to get you the justice you deserve. Give our Austin office a call today at (512) 851-1004 or visit our contact page to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options.