Phoenix Bus Accident Lawyers
Who’s Liable for Bus Accidents in Arizona?
Buses are generally considered to be one of the safest forms of transportation, and thanks to the environmental movement, public transportation is on the rise in Arizona. Unfortunately, even though many people view buses as being perfectly safe, accidents can still happen. And when they do, it’s not always easy to determine what happened, who’s at fault, or how long you have to file a claim.
While there are many different reasons a bus might get into an accident while on the road, there are some causes that are common in many cases. The most common causes of bus accidents are:
- Inclement weather
- Bad road conditions
- Defective or malfunctioning parts of the bus
- Driver error
- Bus fires
- Another driver on the road
- Negligence, on the part of the bus company or bus driver
- Improper left-hand turns
Because buses are larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, they can cause much more damage, and this is true for accident victims as well. There are many different types of injuries that could possibly be sustained during a bus accident, but below are the most common:
- Head, spinal, and brain injuries (including TBIs)
- Joint and bone injuries
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death
While you might think that insurance is going to protect you and provide you compensation or any and all injuries listed above (and possibly more), it’s important you contact a qualified personal injury attorney. They may be able to help you get compensation above and beyond what the insurance company is offering.
If you’re hurt in an Arizona bus accident, you’re going to want to do everything you can to make sure the person or people responsible are held accountable for it. Here in Phoenix, The Husband and Wife Law Team can help, but first it’s important to understand the different types of buses in Arizona, and who’s responsible for them.
- Public/city transit buses. City buses typically stay inside the city and are used by those who do not have their own vehicle, or simply don’t want to use their own vehicle. Finding who’s responsible for these vehicles can sometimes be tricky, but typically it’s either a bus company that’s been hired by the city, or the city itself, if the bus was partially at fault for damages that resulted from an accident.
- Private/charter buses. These buses can be just as big as city buses, but they are not for public use. Chartered buses are typically hired by a group of people to provide transportation to a specific place or area, for a specified period of time. This can include sporting events, corporate outings, or other occasions in which it doesn’t make sense to have multiple people drive. These buses are entirely private and so either the charter company will be responsible, and/or the driver of the bus can be held accountable for any bus accidents.
- Tour buses. Tour buses are similar to private or charter buses but they are primarily used to take a group of people to several different locations, or a location that is quite far away. Also unlike private or charter buses, these tours are arranged by the bus company. These cases can be tricky because, if the group of people using the bus hired the tour bus company directly, the company and/or the driver of the bus could be at fault. If however, the bus was hired through an intermediary on behalf of the group, that intermediary could also be liable in case an accident occurs.
- School bus accident. When an accident involving a school bus occurs, typically it’s the school board or school district that’s liable. However, if the school board hired a private company to handle transportation, that private bus company can also be held liable in addition to the school board.
- 15-passenger vans. These vans are designed to take a group that’s too large for one small vehicle, but not enough to fill a large bus, from one destination to another. These vans are typically rented from a rental or leasing company. If the van gets into an accident, it’s likely to be considered a bus accident due to the size of the vehicle. The rental company and/or the driver of the van at the time can be held liable in these situations.
Bus accidents are not like car accidents. They can be quite more traumatic, and the damages resulting from them can be far more severe. In addition to that, it can be difficult for a person to know where to go to get the compensation they deserve.
If it happens to you, don’t hesitate to call us at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. We are the Phoenix personal injury attorneys that have the experience you need in car and bus accidents. Don’t try to go it alone. Call us today at (602) 267-1280 for a free consultation.