Dallas Bus Accident Lawyer
School buses and passenger buses are a great way for people to get where they need to go, whether that’s the local elementary school, a doctor appointment across town, or vacation in another state. But when a bus collides with a passenger vehicle, chaos ensues, and many people can get injured.
In 2020, there were nearly 967,500 buses of every kind in the U.S., traveling 15.1 billion miles on urban, rural, and interstate roadways, according to U.S. Bureau of Transportation data. These buses include private charters, school buses, interurban, and municipal bus systems. There are thousands of bus accidents each year in the U.S., ranging from simple property damage to multiple-fatality collisions.
When buses crash into cars – either because of distracted driving, bad weather, or poor maintenance – it is often occupants of the passenger vehicles who suffer the most serious injuries. That’s because the average bus is almost 10 times heavier and much larger than an average car.
From 2010 to 2019 there were 1,080 school-transportation-related crashes in the U.S., and 1,199 people of all ages were killed in those crashes— an average of 120 fatalities per year, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of those killed, 126 were occupants in school transportation vehicles (58 drivers, 68 passengers). The majority of fatalities (69%) were occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash. National Safety Council data shows that victims injured in school bus accidents include 33% bus passengers, 8% bus drivers, and 54% occupants of other vehicles. Additional injured victims included pedestrians, bicyclists, and others. Every year, thousands of people are injured in crashes with charter and municipal buses.
Bus Accident Lawyers in Dallas Will Fight for Compensation
HOW MUCH CAN I GET FOR MY DALLAS BUS ACCIDENT INJURY?
There is no “average” payout for a bus accident injury, because each case is unique, and the amount of compensation depends on several factors. Some of these factors are:
- The severity of your injuries
- Number of defendants
- Cost of medical care now and in the future
- Level of property damage
- Amount of time off work
- Whether punitive damages are imposed to punish the defendant(s).
The best way to find out what your case might be worth is to talk directly to a Dallas bus accident lawyer so he can give you an estimate. Generally, there are two types of damages – economic and non-economic – that you could be entitled to.
- Hospital, doctor, and medical bills now and in the future
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Property damage including your car, electronic equipment, and personal items
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
Occasionally, a judge can also impose “punitive damages” over and above the economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for his or her egregious disregard for the safety of others and to send a warning to potential wrongdoers in the future who may be tempted to behave similarly. To find out what your case may be worth, call us at 214-522-9404.
A bus accident can involve severe injuries and several parties, which makes dealing with the crash much more difficult. A skilled and experienced Dallas bus accident lawyer will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Bus Accident FAQs
BUS ACCIDENT LAWYERS ANSWER CLIENTS’ QUESTIONS.
Our Dallas bus accident lawyers hear a lot of the same questions from clients who have been injured in collisions. Following are some frequently asked questions, and we hope the answers are helpful.
How much does an average passenger bus weigh?
A: The average weight of a passenger bus can vary depending on its size and capacity, but weight typically ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 pounds. For example, a standard Greyhound bus weighs about 35,100 pounds, but when passengers and luggage are added, that number jumps to 44,000 to 48,000 pounds. A Greyhound bus measures about 45 feet in length and carries 60 or more people.
How many school buses are there in Dallas?
A: There are approximately 900 school buses transporting students in the City of Dallas. There are several different types of school buses approved for use in Texas, ranging from smaller vans to standard-size yellow buses to specially equipped vehicles designed to transport disabled students, according to the 2018 Texas School Bus Specifications report by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
How many people die in school bus accidents each year in the U.S.?
A: School bus-related crashes killed 54 people nationwide in 2020, down more than 50% from 2019 fatalities, according to the National Safety Council. Many others were injured in school bus collisions. The majority of fatalities and injuries in school bus crashes are among passengers in other vehicles or pedestrians.
Can I sue a bus manufacturer?
A: Yes, in some cases. If your lawyer believes that your injury arose from a collision caused by a bus with a manufacturing defect – such as faulty brakes or defective steering — then you can name a bus manufacturer as a defendant in your lawsuit.
What happens if a bus driver is drunk?
A: If a bus driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the state limit in Texas for commercial drivers (0.08%) when the crash occurred, then the driver could face criminal charges as well as a civil lawsuit. If you were injured in a bus collision with a drunk bus driver, you likely have a compelling case for collecting compensation.
Can I file a wrongful death claim if my loved one died in a bus accident?
A: Yes. If your loved one was killed in a bus collision caused by someone else’s negligence, you can file a wrongful death claim asking for economic and non-economic damages, including funeral and burial costs.
What’s the difference between settling and going to trial in a bus accident case?
A: A “settlement” is a negotiated agreement between your attorney and defendants (often insurance companies) that establishes a dollar amount that you will receive to compensate you for your injuries, out-of-pocket costs, and suffering. If a settlement amount cannot be agreed upon in advance, then a case can go to trial before a judge and jury. During a trial, your attorney will argue the merits of your case and the court will decide if and how much money you will receive in damages.
Our bus accident lawyers have helped countless clients get the compensation they deserve so they can put their lives back together after being injured in a collision. Our clients focus on healing while our legal team focuses on getting justice.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Several things can cause a bus accident, from human error to defective manufacturing. Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Driver failing to adhere to the rules of the road
- Distracted driving (driving while texting, eating, making a phone call, etc.)
- Driver fatigue
- Drunk or impaired driving
- Bus company’s failure to train, equip, and regulate drivers
- Bus company’s failure to repair and maintenance vehicles
- Defective parts made by bus manufacturers
- Rain, ice, or snow on the roadway and other inclement weather
- Poor visibility
- Missing guardrails, debris, or animal on the road.
Many factors can contribute to the cause of a bus accident. A crash may involve only your car and the bus, or it could involve several cars, trucks, SUVs, and the bus in a multi-vehicle pile-up. Your Dallas bus accident lawyer will review accident scene photos and reports to determine how the accident happened.
Injuries in Bus Crashes
Unfortunately, you might have suffered serious injuries, which should be compensated by the responsible party. While most buses are built to keep passengers safe, a bus accident can still be traumatic. You’ll need to seek medical care immediately after your accident. Even if you feel fine, you might have an injury you won’t feel until later.
As such, you’ll need to watch out for the serious injuries you might have suffered because of a careless party. Some of the more common bus wreck injuries we’ve seen include the following:
- Traumatic head injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Cuts, lacerations, and puncture wounds
- Wrongful death.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, seek medical attention right away. This not only will prevent further injury and ensure your safety, but it will also create medical records that document your injuries, which can be used in a future legal action.
Our Dallas bus accident lawyers will fight hard for your rights so you can focus on recovering and getting on with life.
Who’s Responsible for the Bus Accident?
A BUS ACCIDENT ATTORNEY WILL COLLECT EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH FAULT.
Whether you’re in a bus accident or car accident, your attorney will gather evidence, review police reports, and interview witnesses to determine who was at fault for the crash. Texas is a fault state, which means the person responsible for injuring others is also the one financially responsible for their recovery. There may be one person at fault – like the bus driver – or there could be several guilty parties, such as the driver, the bus company, the bus manufacturer, and even a municipal agency. The bus company may not have provided adequate training to their drivers, or the bus manufacturer may have multiple safety violations and recalls for building buses with defective brakes. Your Dallas bus accident lawyer will review all these issues when building a legal claim on your behalf.
Modified Comparative Negligence Laws
In calculating damages/compensation, Texas uses a modified comparative negligence formula (also known as “proportionate responsibility”). This means that if you are found partially at fault for causing the injury, then your damages can be reduced proportionately. For example, if you were speeding when your car was hit by a bus that failed to stop at a stoplight, then the court might find that you were 25% responsible for the accident and the bus driver was 75% responsible. If the total payout awarded was $100,000, then the amount you receive would be reduced by 25% (you would receive $75,000). As long as you are not more than 50% at fault for the accident, you are eligible to collect damages if your case is successful.
However, if you end up being more than 50% at fault for the crash, you will no longer be able to seek compensation for your losses, and you may even find that the other involved party is filing a claim against you for your actions. Your lawyer may be able to estimate what percentage of blame you carry, if any, and how your claim will be affected based on this liability.
Steps to Take If You’ve Been Injured in a Bus Crash
If you’ve been hurt in a bus accident, there are several important steps you should take. These include:
- Seek medical attention right away.
- Call 911 and ask police to respond to the scene.
- Get the bus driver’s name, license, and insurance information.
- Be polite, but do not engage in conversation with the bus driver.
- Get the names and contact info of any witnesses or bystanders.
- If you are able, use your smartphone to take pictures of your injuries, the accident scene, and any damage to your vehicle and the bus.
- Answer police officers’ questions honestly and succinctly, but do not elaborate or over-explain.
- DO NOT, under any circumstances, acknowledge fault for the accident.
- Hire a Dallas bus accident lawyer to represent you.
In some cases, insurance representatives for the bus company may offer you a quick settlement check for your injuries, even showing up at your house with a check in hand. Do not accept or cash such a check without speaking to your attorney first. These initial offers are often significantly less money than you could be entitled to. If insurance representatives call or send letters to you, tell them to speak to your attorney. You don’t want to accept a low-ball offer if your attorney can get you a significantly higher payout through negotiation or litigation.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Texas
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Texas is two years. The clock begins running on the date of the bus accident, or from the date you were diagnosed with injuries caused by the accident. If you miss the two-year window to file a claim, a court will likely dismiss your case. That’s why it’s so important to talk to a Dallas bus accident lawyer right away to find out what compensation you may be entitled to and to file your claim.
Choosing the Best Bus Accident Attorneys in Dallas
There are many bus accident attorneys in Dallas to choose from, but few are as skilled and experienced as our attorneys at Crain Brogdon, LLP. We have achieved outstanding case results, and we provide top-notch client service. We understand that being injured in an accident can have life-altering consequences. Our legal team is compassionate, professional, and willing to go the extra mile to get the justice you deserve.
Our attorneys will gather evidence, conduct crash-site investigations, review police reports, interview witnesses who saw the collision, and even hire expert witnesses if needed to build a strong legal case on your behalf. We’ll leave no stone unturned in fighting for your rights. Let us do the legal heavy lifting while you focus on recovering and getting your life back to normal. After all, that’s why you hired us. We will focus on the law and the courts, while you focus on your family, your job, your home, and your community.
Contact a Dallas Bus Accident Lawyer Today
When you’re injured in a bus accident, you need help getting the full compensation you deserve. Bus crashes can be difficult, overwhelming experiences, and it’s tough to go it alone. You will likely need help to fully understand what you’re eligible for and how to get it.
Fortunately, our attorneys at Crain Brogdon, LLP. can guide you throughout the process, starting with a free consultation. We’ll discuss your bus crash claim, answer your questions, and give you a sense of the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. It’s obligation-free, so you don’t have to worry about the costs until you’re ready to work with us.
Ready to get started? So are we! A Dallas bus accident lawyer at Crain Brogdon, LLP is standing by and ready to take your call. We would be happy to answer any questions, assess your claim, and give you an idea of what your case might be worth. The initial consultation is free, so call us at 214-522-9404 or complete the online form below. You’ll be glad you did.