Unfortunately, a wealth of Americans experience bus accidents every year. United States bus passengers ride over a combined twenty-eight billion miles per year—and that means that there are tens of thousands of commercial buses on the road at any given time. If you have suffered injuries due to a bus accident then learn what our San Antionio bus accident lawyers can do for you.
Many accidents involving buses lead to serious injury for other motor vehicle passengers. Busses’ sheer size and weight render them incredibly dangerous in the event of a crash. Accident victims often face sky-high bills from medical care and material damage caused by these accidents. Those who undergo additional pain and suffering or loss of quality of life are forced to suffer even further.
If you or a loved one were injured in a bus accident, it’s important to seek medical attention and ensure your wellbeing as soon as possible. Once your health is in good standing and your safety has been established, chances are that you stand to benefit from partnering with a trustworthy bus accident attorney.
A qualified and experienced San Antonio bus accident lawyer can help you understand your right to compensation. They’ll also act as your guiding hand as you gather documentation, speak to various care providers, and begin to pursue the legal process.
Causes of Bus Accidents
There’s no way to accurately predict which factors lead to every bus accident. With that being said, attorneys, first responders, and insurance companies have all picked up on a handful of patterns that tend to appear repeatedly in the event of bus accidents.
Most bus accidents come down to driver error on the bus driver’s part. Navigating such an imposing vehicle through crowded streets and bustling locations can prove difficult— unfortunately, that often spells out bad news for vehicle drivers and passengers within a bus’ vicinity.
Some bus drivers even practice distracted driving, an incredibly dangerous decision that has the potential to lead to the loss of human life. Texting while driving, failing to pay ample attention to road conditions, and getting distracted by rowdy passengers can all impact a diver’s navigational abilities.
Bus company negligence can also be found at the root of thousands of bus accidents each year. While bus companies are legally mandated to ensure that their vehicles are road-safe, some organizations fail to adhere to these stringent regulations. A bus that’s been improperly maintained or relies on defective auto components poses a considerable threat on the road. If you have more questions regarding dangerous or improperly maintained vehicles leading to accidents schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of George Salinas today.
Crashes and Injuries In San Antonio
Common Bus Accident Injuries
Because so many bus accidents result in serious injuries for those in the other vehicles involved, it’s important for bus accident victims to understand which injuries they may sustain.
If you sustain severe or life-threatening injuries in a bus accident, you’ll likely be transported to the hospital for emergency medical treatment. Victims who are not transported to the hospital should still prioritize making an appointment with their primary care provider. Some injuries remain all but invisible until some time after an accident; others may be overlooked in the chaos of the accident scene.
Some of the most common bus accident injuries include:
- Neck injuries – Whiplash, muscle spasms, soft tissue damage, vocal cord damage
- Spinal cord injuries – Disc herniation, dislocated or fractured vertebrae
- Traumatic brain injury – Concussion, hematoma, hemorrhage
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations – These may occur anywhere on the body and range from mild to severe
- Broken bones – Anywhere on the body and varying in severity
Remember that the severity of your injuries does not dictate your right to compensation. Those with more severe injuries often rack up higher medical bills and may receive more damages to account for this, but pain and suffering have no physical limitations. Never be afraid to ask for compensation because you feel your injuries were not severe enough.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Bus Accident?
Many bus accident victims are left wondering what sort of compensation they’re entitled to after their experiences. While not every case is the same, many bus accident victims incur:
- Medical expenses – Including any past, present, or predicted future medical bills related to the accident; emergency transport services (if applicable), etc.
- Property damage – To account for damage done to the victim’s vehicle and their belongings inside
- Diminished earning capacity – If the bus accident renders the victim unable to earn the same wages as they could before the accident
- Pain and suffering and mental anguish – To account for physical or mental suffering brought on by the accident
San Antonio Bus Accident FAQ
We receive many questions about San Antonio bus accidents. We provide the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below.
Can I recover compensation for injuries I suffered in a San Antonio bus accident?
If you suffered injuries in a bus accident, the question of whether you can seek damage compensation is a very good one, particularly if you are facing massive medical bills and lost time at work as a result of the accident.
You can seek compensation from the entity responsible for the accident. If, for example, a bus’s brakes are worn and can no longer effectively stop the bus, the company responsible for inspecting and repairing the brakes is arguably responsible for a resulting accident. Since they bore responsibility for the safe condition of the brakes, the failure of the brakes to work properly arguably constitutes negligence, or a violation of the duty of care they owed the public.
Victims of bus accidents can seek compensation for:
- Medical bills for injuries caused directly by the accident including doctor’s visits, emergency transport and care, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medication, assistive devices, physical therapy, required home care, and more.
- Wages lost from work, if the injuries prevent the victim from returning to work.
- Property damage, if the victim’s personal property (such as a car) suffers damage in the accident.
- Pain and suffering stemming from the injuries that may be physical, emotional, or mental.
Do I have to involve my own car insurance company?
Texas is a fault state. If a person or company causes an accident in Texas, victims can seek compensation from them or their insurance company.
What if my loved one died in a San Antonio bus accident?
Tragically, people die every year in Texas as a result of bus accidents. Buses are huge, and in a collision, a smaller vehicle or a pedestrian may have little or no protection from their weight and size.
Texas law provides that eligible family members can bring a lawsuit if the deceased would have had grounds to pursue a personal injury claim had they lived. (In other words, another party must bear responsibility for the death.)
These wrongful death lawsuits compensate surviving loved ones for both financial and emotional losses. They can also compensate the deceased’s estate for financial loss.
Those who are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit are:
- Surviving spouses;
- Children (including adoptees children and adult children);
- Parents (including adoptive parents); and
- The executor or personal representative of the deceased’s estate, if none of the above bring a lawsuit.
Note that not all family members are entitled to bring a lawsuit. Siblings, for example, cannot bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas, even if they are the only surviving relatives of the deceased.
What damages are allowable in San Antonio wrongful death lawsuits?
Eligible family members can seek the following in damage compensation following a loved one’s death:
- Funeral costs;
- Emotional and mental pain, suffering, and anguish;
- Lost love and companionship;
- Lost services, care, maintenance, support, and counsel once supplied by the deceased;
- Lost income and financial support once supplied by the deceased; and
- Lost inheritance value, if the death affected the estate’s value.
Who bears responsibility for a San Antonio bus accident?
We all know that vehicle accidents stem from many causes. Drivers may exhibit carelessness on the road. Vehicles may malfunction or not receive proper maintenance and repair. Defects can happen in the manufacturing or repair of vehicles.
Buses are no exception. Bus accidents can result from poor driver judgment or inadequate driver training, particularly if the driver does not possess the commercial driver’s license or endorsement required of bus drivers in Texas. If the latter is true, companies responsible for background and credential checks may bear responsibility for the accident. Commercial vehicles should receive regular maintenance, inspection, and repair.
If failures in these areas cause an accident, the bus company or subcontractors can bear responsibility. And component or bus manufacturers may bear responsibility if faulty production causes accidents. Other motorists may also cause bus accidents.
Finally, although we don’t usually think of pedestrians as responsible for accidents, they may bear responsibility for a bus accident. Pedestrians who try to cross a street in front of a turning bus, for example, may cause the driver to slam on the brakes and make other sudden maneuvers to attempt to avoid the pedestrian.
In short, potential responsibility is borne by:
- The driver;
- The bus company;
- Companies inspecting, repairing, and maintaining the bus, if different from the bus company;
- Companies responsible for background and credential checks, if different from the bus company;
- Component manufacturers;
- Bus manufacturers;
- Other motorists; and
Investigators must often determine responsibility for bus accidents.
How frequent are bus accidents?
Bus accidents may involve school buses, public transportation buses, and charter buses. In Texas as a whole, regular buses are in 3,300 accidents annually, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Nineteen deadly accidents involved buses, as did 31 accidents resulting in serious injury and 274 accidents that caused non-incapacitating injuries in the most recent year for which data is available. An additional 2 fatal accidents involved school buses, as did 57 accidents resulting in serious injuries, and 274 accidents causing non-incapacitating injuries.
What’s the statute of limitations for a San Antonio bus accident case?
A statute of limitations is the time period in which accident victims can file a lawsuit. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a bus accident is two years from the date of the accident. Courts will refuse to hear a case after that point.
If you are thinking about bringing a lawsuit, however, the most prudent course of action is to consult with a lawyer as soon as you can. Don’t wait for the statute of limitations to draw closer!
The reason? Evidence such as police reports and medical records may become difficult to find or even lost. Eyewitness testimony—and even your own memory of the accident—may fade. Evidence is crucial to proving fault in a bus accident case.
If you need more information, contact a San Antonio bus accident lawyer at the Law Offices of George Salinas.
Call Our San Antonio Bus Accident Attorneys Today
It’s normal for accident victims to feel lost once their life has a chance to slow down after the crash. The initial rush of experiencing an accident, receiving medical care, and collecting and sharing identifying information can feel like a whirlwind. Many individuals find themselves unsure of where to land and which steps to pursue next after the initial chaos of the accident passes.
One of the most important steps that a bus accident victim can take is to find a reliable personal injury attorney. A legal professional can help paint a clear picture of how to approach your recovery and begin the legal process. If you’re unsure of who else you should be speaking to—like doctors and insurance companies—a lawyer will be able to help guide you towards the appropriate parties.
A bus accident attorney may also be able to help you fight for the compensation that you deserve after experiencing a crash. Because so many bus accidents occur at the fault of bus drivers, most accident victims can and do receive damages to account for the loss that they have suffered.
If you or a loved one have received injuries or undergone emotional distress as a result of a bus accident, contact our team online or call us at (210) 225-0909 today for further information. The Law Offices of George Salinas are committed to offering potential clients thorough consultations to determine whether our services could help change their lives for the better.
“I must say my overall experience with George was great. No matter what issues I had he went above and beyond for our family..It’s hard to find a lawyer you trust but I’m going to say he has definitely changed my mind. I will always be grateful for his representation and his compassion for our case. Please don’t hesitate to have him by your side. His paralegal is very involved as well. Keep up the good work.” – Patricia M., November 2019
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Law Offices of George Salinas
6243 IH-10 West, Suite 955
San Antonio, TX 78201