Buses are still a popular form of transportation. Whether they help you get around the city, get you from city to city on longer trips, or take your children to school, buses are not bound by tracks, and can get passengers virtually anywhere. They are also responsible for the lives and safety of those they carry, and those around them.
If you have been injured as a passenger on a bus or as another driver in a bus accident, you need a lawyer that can help you recover for your injuries. Busses are usually owned by large companies that hire powerful legal teams to fight the claims against them. It takes an equally strong legal team to fight these companies to get what you deserve. Bennett and Heyman, P.A. has been fighting for our clients in Baltimore for decades, and has the experience and legal strength to take on bussing companies and transportation authorities to get you the compensation you need.
Bus Accident Cases in Maryland
A bus company is a typical example of what is classically called a “common carrier.” Even under some of the oldest laws in the United States, which predate the technologies themselves, common carriers like trains, busses, cars, and airplanes are held to the highest duty of care for their passengers. That means driving safely, preventing injury to their riders, and keeping their luggage safe.
In general, any negligence case for injury requires proving four main elements to get recovery:
- The defendant owed some duty to the plaintiff.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff an injury.
- There are damages a court can award the injured plaintiff to make up for the injuries.
In a bus accident, like with any common carrier, the duty is extremely high. Because of this, any driving errors, sudden stops, swerving, and accidents caused by the bus driver violate this duty if they cause passengers injury.
This means passengers can recover against a bus driver. Just because an accident occurred does not automatically mean passengers can recover against the driver. They must first be able to prove they were injured, which is usually not the hard part. They must also prove that it was the driver’s fault – not the fault of someone else outside the bus, another passenger, or the injured passenger him/herself.
Proving this kind of case sometimes requires taking the case before a judge and jury and proving what happened. An experienced personal injury and bus accident attorney can help you tell your story. That might require bringing in experts to reconstruct the bus accident or explain the proper techniques for carefully driving a large bus. In the end, this battle is not easily won without a strong attorney on your side.
Holding Bus Companies Responsible for Accidents
The bus driver is often not the only one responsible for the crash. Whenever someone causes injuries while they are on the job, there is a chance their employer can be held responsible, too. Since the bus driver is an employee of the bus company, acting on the bus company’s behalf, the bus driver’s negligence is the bus company’s negligence.
This is a form of “vicarious liability” under a very old legal doctrine called “respondeat superior.” This doctrine allows a court to hold an employer responsible for negligence that occurs while an employee is working within the scope of their employment. That means, since the bus driver is paid to drive a bus, any accident they cause while driving should be considered “within the scope of employment.”
Sometimes, bus companies can also be held responsible for their own negligence. For instance, if the bus company failed to properly service a bus, or remove a damaged bus from service, that is their own fault. If the bus company was negligent in hiring a driver (or keeping the driver on staff), then that is also their negligence. For instance, hiring a driver with a history of bad driving, drunk driving convictions, or a history of accidents on the job, shows they were putting passengers at risk.
Joining the bus company in the lawsuit helps guarantee there is enough money to fully cover your injuries and get you the compensation you deserve.
Bus Accident Injury Compensation
Injuries from any auto accident can be devastating. Car crashes are usually bad enough, but those drivers and passengers are usually protected by the sophisticated construction of their cars. Crumple-zones, airbags, and seatbelts are all designed to protect the occupants of a car in a crash. School busses, public transit busses, and even some charter busses have no seatbelts, and when they do, passengers often ignore them.
In a bus accident, passengers may suffer injuries from the impact of the crash itself, but also frm being thrown from their seats. On public transit, many passengers might even be standing, and get thrown from their feet when a crash occurs. The possibility of being tossed around the inside of the bus greatly increases the risk and types of injuries you can sustain in a bus crash.
Regardless of the injuries sustained, damages might be available. A lawsuit against a bus driver and the bus company can get you monetary damages to make up for your pain and suffering. It can also get you any income you missed during your recovery, or income you will lose if you can no longer work. Finally, you can cover your medical bills, including MRIs, X-Rays, physical therapy, and any other medical costs and equipment costs required for your injuries.
Talk to a Baltimore Bus Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bus accident and now suffers from injuries, or a loved one has died in a bus accident, talk to a lawyer about it. The lawyers of Bennett and Heyman, P.A., have been working with clients in personal injury cases for decades, and want to hear about your case, too.
To talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in Baltimore, call today. Act fast, because your case might have deadlines attached. For a free consultation, call (410) 727-2168.