How Do Bus Accidents Occur?
In June of 2011, federal regulators suspended the bus company that owned the Sky Express touring company, citing multiple safety and operations violations. In March of that year, a World Wide Tours bus driver returning to Chinatown from a Connecticut casino swerved off Interstate 95 in the Bronx, slicing the bus in half and killing 15 people. Two days later, a Super Luxury Tours bus headed from Chinatown to Philadelphia crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike, killing two people including the driver.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that it had responded to the accidents by increasing enforcement, including conducting more than 3,000 surprise inspections of passenger buses during the first two weeks of May, which led to the suspensions of 127 drivers and 315 unsafe buses being taken out of service.
In New York, lawmakers have called for stricter regulations of the tour bus industry, including requiring carriers to apply to the city for permits in addition to the operating licenses they are required to obtain from the federal government.
“Why do these tragedies keep recurring with depressing regularity?” says bus crash attorney Rob Ammons of The Ammons Law Firm. “The problem is twofold. First, buses are not nearly as safe as they could be. Because of political pressure, inertia, or lack of will, safety features that can increase survivability in bus accidents are not required as standard equipment on buses.
“Second, the regulatory structure that is supposed to protect the traveling public is abysmal. Not only have regulators failed to require safer buses, they also aren’t enforcing the regulations that do exist. The result is an environment where bus operators and drivers feel free to operate outside the rules without fear of consequences.”
Common tour buses also lack the three basic components that keep passengers in buses during a crash, thereby increasing their chance of survival:
- Seat belts
- Strong roofs
- Window glazing
What to Do after a Bus Accident
After a bus accident, it is crucial for an accident victim to find a personal injury lawyer immediately. Bus accidents can result in horrible injuries to passengers, pedestrians, and riders in other vehicles. Bus accident victims often endure brain and spinal cord injuries, sprains, fractures, abrasions, internal and soft tissue injuries, burn injuries, and death. The victims of these accidents and their families often face enormous medical bills, and victims are often too disabled to work.
At The Ammons Law Firm, our Houston bus accident lawyers understand that dealing with bus companies, government investigators, and their insurance companies is nothing like the dealing with the legal issues involving a passenger car accident. Our attorneys know the steps to take to file the required notices and preserve your right to bring a claim against the responsible party.
Our bus accident attorneys are skilled at establishing liability. This is crucial for a bus accident victim, as liability can be more difficult to establish in cases in which a bus is owned by a government authority. Even when the bus driver is clearly at fault, the liable entity may attempt to avoid compensating injured persons on the basis of governmental immunity. Because governmental immunity laws vary by state and can be incredibly complicated, it is important to have an experienced bus accident lawyer on your side to protect your rights.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
At the The Ammons Law Firm, our years of experience representing individuals hurt in bus accidents means we know exactly how to properly prepare your case. Our Houston bus accident attorneys work with expert investigators and the latest technology to recreate accident scenarios and help prove liability in court.
You may be entitled to compensation if you have been injured or suffered lost wages/income in any way due to a bus accident or because of negligence on the bus driver’s part. Reach out to us today to discuss your legal rights and options during a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.
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