Denver Colorado Bus Accident Lawyer
Any Denver CO bus accident lawyer is familiar with the potential dangers of using public transportation. Riding on a bus offers convenience and can help you save money on gas and parking fees. However, as with any other vehicle, buses can get into accidents. Because buses are so large and heavy, these accidents often result in life-threatening injuries. If this happened to you or to a loved one, a bus accident lawyer in Denver CO can review the circumstances to see if you are eligible for compensation for injury costs.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of bus accidents:
- Driver Fatigue: Fatigue is one of the most common reasons why bus drivers get into accidents. When bus drivers are running on little sleep, they may have trouble concentrating on the road. They may even fall asleep behind the wheel. Some bus drivers work a lot of hours and sleep less than eight hours every night. It is important for drivers to be fully rested before getting behind the wheel of a bus. If they are working too many hours, they should inform their employer. If they are scheduled for too many hours, liability may fall onto the employer. A Denver CO bus accident lawyer from Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. can investigate the circumstances to determine who should be held responsible for your injury.
- Improper Training: Driving a bus is a lot different than driving a car. Buses are much larger vehicles and can be more tricky to operate on busy roads. That’s why bus drivers must go through extensive training before they are allowed behind the wheel. If bus companies fail to give bus drivers the training they need, the drivers are more likely to cause accidents. A Denver CO bus accident lawyer can represent your best interests by filing a personal injury claim against the bus company.
- Rowdy Passengers: Some bus passengers are loud and refuse to follow the rules, no matter how many times they are told to do so. These unruly passengers can distract bus drivers and cause them to take their eyes of the road. It’s important for bus drivers to know when it’s time to remove passengers. A Denver CO bus accident lawyer may name the driver as well as the passenger and bus company as liable parties, if the evidence points to their responsibility.
- Speeding: Speeding is another common cause of bus accidents. If bus drivers fall behind schedule, they might drive above the speed limit to make up time. Unfortunately, speeding lowers bus drivers reactions times and increases the risk of them crashing into other vehicles.
- Equipment Failure: Just like all other vehicles, buses require regular maintenance. If they aren’t properly maintained, brakes and other equipment are more likely to malfunction and lead to accidents. Bus companies can be held liable if they don’t inspect and repair their buses and an accident occurs because of it.
- Drugs and Alcohol: Drugs and alcohol can dramatically affect bus drivers’ judgment and reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents. These drugs don’t have to be illegal either. Some bus drivers can become drowsy and dizzy from taking prescription drugs and crash into another vehicle.
When Your Child is Injured in a School Bus Accident
When you send your child off to wait for the school bus, your assumption is that he or she will be in safe hands. Though this is true more often than not, it’s a sad fact that thousands of school bus accidents occur every year in America. Even sadder is the fact that too many schoolchildren are injured as a result, sometimes fatally. If your child was injured or killed while riding the school bus, you may have legal recourse. Receiving a settlement or jury award can’t erase what happened, but it can provide you the financial compensation necessary to make sure your child gets the medical care they need. In cases where a fatality occurs, a wrongful death suit can help make reduce the likelihood of a similar accident occurring due to negligence.
Determining Who Is at Fault for Your Child’s Injury
When you work with a personal injury attorney from our firm, determining who is at fault for the accident will be a top priority. Because a school bus accident can involve more than one defendant, it’s important that we perform a thorough investigation. In most cases, those who are held responsible due to negligence and/or carelessness fall into one or more of the below categories:
- School District. There are many reasons why the school district could be held accountable for your child’s injury. Did they hire a bus company with a notorious record for having reckless and negligent drivers? Did they ensure that there was adequate adult supervision of the children as they exited the school and boarded the buses? Was the traffic flow of pedestrians and vehicles safe? Ultimately, your bus accident lawyer may have to conduct an independent investigation of the accident to determine who was at fault.
- Bus Company. Did the bus company perform background checks on people who applied for driver positions? Did they make sure the buses went in for scheduled maintenance and were repaired or serviced as needed? Did they follow up on any manufacturer vehicle recalls to make sure their buses were safe? Did they adequately train the bus driver involved in the accident?
- Bus Driver. Did the driver’s negligence or carelessness cause the accident which was an otherwise avoidable catastrophe? Were they driving while distracted? Under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or other medication?
- Bus or Parts Manufacturer. Was there a known defect or hazard associated with the vehicle or a critical part that they were aware of, and which caused or contributed to the accident? Did they fail to issue a recall or alert bus operators of a known problem?
- Bus Maintenance Company. Did they perform all required and recommended maintenance, including preventative maintenance? Did they address any problems that were reported to them about the vehicle? Are their maintenance workers properly trained and certified? Was anyone who performed work on the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time?
- Municipality. Did the accident occur because of a road hazard that the local government in charge of roadway maintenance should have addressed? For example, say that a section of road consistently develops a very large pothole due to drainage issues. If the municipality in charge of the road does not repair the problem, the pothole could cause the school bus driver to lose control of the vehicle. If something similar to this happened and it resulted in an injury to your child, your attorney could file a claim or lawsuit against the municipality. He or she may name additional defendants as well, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Victims of bus accidents can suffer very serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. They may have to stay in a hospital for a while and miss a lot of time from work. If you were hurt in a bus accident, it may be in your best interest to speak to a bus accident lawyer that victims hire in similar circumstances. You may be entitled to compensation. Call the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. to speak with a Denver CO bus accident lawyer who may help you get the justice you deserve.