Bus AccidentsWhen a Bus Driver is at Fault: Liability After a Crash

February 15, 20240

Bus drivers have a huge responsibility to transport passengers safely. When a crash occurs involving a bus, there are many factors that determine if and to what extent the bus driver is liable. Determining liability and fault of the parties involved impacts insurance claims and potential legal action after a bus collision.

Driver Negligence

If a bus driver operates the vehicle in a negligent manner, they can be found fully or partially at fault for a crash. Common acts of negligent driving by bus operators include speeding, distracted or drowsy driving, failure to obey traffic signs/signals, improper lane changes, and tailgating.

A thorough post-crash investigation will piece together the bus driver’s actions leading up to the collision to assess if and how their negligence contributed. Eyewitness statements, video footage, recorded data from the bus, and forensic analysis of the scene will shed light on fault due to driver behavior.

Vehicle Defects

Fault may also lay with the bus operator if they fail to properly inspect and maintain their vehicle. Buses require routine checks and maintenance services to ensure the proper functioning of features like brakes, tires, lights, mirrors, etc. If a crash investigation reveals a mechanical failure or defect was present, the bus company and driver may share liability for not identifying and resolving it before putting passengers at risk.

Employer Policies

Bus companies can be held responsible if their policies promote unsafe driving behaviors. Requiring drivers to meet unrealistic timetables could encourage them to speed and rush their routes. Lacking protocols for shift changes, break times, and regular maintenance checks can also set drivers up for mistakes causing collisions. Bus operators must alert supervisors of scheduling concerns, though employers who dismiss such claims or retaliate can share the blame for crashes that result.

Passenger Injuries

If the negligence, errors or oversights of a bus driver or company contributed to a crash where passengers sustain injuries, those parties bear liability for damages. Medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses experienced by injured passengers may be claimed by way of settlements or personal injury lawsuits.

The extent of liability often corresponds to the driver/company’s percentage of fault determined in crash investigations. Their insurance policies should cover such claims up to certain limits.

Assessing liability after a bus collision relies heavily on determining the role driver behavior, vehicle condition, and employer protocols played. Thorough crash probes can reveal if and where fault lies so injured passengers receive fair restitution while incentivizing improved safety regulations for bus transit. Legal action may proceed if negligence is demonstrated and settlement offers do not adequately cover a claimant’s losses.

After being injured in a bus accident, it is crucial to have an experienced personal injury lawyer from the Binder Law Group on your side. We understand liability laws and insurance claims, conduct comprehensive investigations to build strong cases proving others’ fault, accurately calculate damages owed, negotiate fair settlements, and competently represent our clients in court if a favorable trial verdict becomes necessary.

You can visit our office at 16633 Ventura Blvd. #602 Encino, CA 91436.

Call now for a free consultation on (818) 659-8588.