The size and heft of a bus make it one of the safer transportation methods, but those same qualities mean that when an accident happens, the consequences can be severe. If you are injured on a bus designed for public transportation or private charter, a Houston bus accident lawyer may be able to help you reach a fair settlement.
Buses must follow specific regulations, and operating a bus requires a special license. If a company fails to follow these procedures, it may be considered negligent and at fault for your injuries. It often takes a court case to determine negligence and an attorney to reach a favorable outcome.
Negligent Bus Accident Cases
Much like private passenger vehicles, buses can be considered negligent in an accident for poor driving practices such as cell phone use, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or falling asleep at the wheel. Buses have additional liabilities that private passenger vehicles do not. For example, if a bus is not maintained correctly, it could malfunction and lead to an accident or injury.
Bus accident claims may be for medical bills related to the injury, reimbursement for the injured parties’ time out of work, property damage, or any other issues. Bus accident lawyers are the experts at determining the best course of action for a favorable case outcome in Houston.
Interstate Commerce Law
An essential factor in a bus accident case is whether the vehicle involved is considered part of interstate commerce and therefore regulated by the federal government. Title 49 section 13501 of the United States Code states that any vehicle that provides interstate commerce is regulated by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).
This distinction is important to a bus accident case because the DOT has strict safety protocols for their vehicles, and a violation of these protocols may mean a negligence case.
A bus can be under interstate commerce regulations if it travels between two or more states or if it travels between the United States and any other country or territory.
The Department of Transportation also has rules on how many hours a bus driver can work and how many passengers are allowed on the bus at any given time. Failure to follow these rules may lead to a settlement in favor of the injured party. Having a Houston attorney familiar with DOT regulations is essential in a bus accident case.
Other Types of Bus Accident Claims
Even if there are no negligence or interstate considerations at play, there are many other types of bus crash cases that may be cause for a claim. Some things that may cause bus accidents include:
- Poor driver training
- Maintenance failures
- Defective bus parts
- Inoperative stoplights or arms
- Aggressive driving
Depending on the claim, liability can fall on the bus driver, bus owner, or the bus manufacturer. The court will consider what caused the accident and the injury to determine who is at fault.
Call a Houston Bus Accident Attorney for Legal Help
With many moving parts and legal considerations, a seasoned Houston bus accident lawyer may be the best call you can make for a favorable outcome in your injury case. Whether you were injured on a local or interstate bus, an attorney may be able to help you gather evidence and plead your case. You deserve a fair settlement; reach out today for a personal consultation.