Indianapolis Bus Crash Lawyers
Using public transportation such as city buses, school buses, and tour buses (or motorcoaches) can help cut down on traffic, pollution, and alleviate the stress of a commute. While this form of transportation is usually quite safe, accidents can happen. The result of these accidents can include anything from minor bumps and bruises to more serious injuries such as broken bones, internal injuries or even death.
Roughly 20,000 people are injured each year in common carrier bus crash accidents. There are several conditions and situations that may be a factor in bus crashes including: driver error, excessive speed, mechanical failure, and vehicle maintenance issues.
Injuries from bus crashes can be quite severe in nature due to the lack of seatbelts or seatbelt use. Without the use of a seatbelt, a passenger can be thrown from their seat during a crash and possibly be ejected from the vehicle increasing their chance for severe injury.
In addition to injuries caused by ejection from lack of seatbelt, use other bus passenger safety concerns include emergency evacuation access, fire safety, and roof strength. Emergency exits on commercial passenger vehicles need to be clearly marked and made accessible to its occupants. Failure to provide access and instruction regarding the use of emergency exits and evacuation plans can put passengers at risk for injury. Fire safety is another concern for passengers of motorcoaches, school buses, and city buses. Fire extinguishers, flame retardant seat materials, and fire-resistant materials surrounding the engine compartment can all protect passengers from fire-related bus injuries whether the incident occurs because of an engine malfunction or the impact of a crash. Finally, bus manufacturers can better protect passengers from injury by engineering and testing the tensile strength of the bus roof to avoid collapse during rollovers or collisions.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) established the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2000 to serve to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities. The FMCSA enforces safety regulations, increases safety awareness, and evaluates and strengthens safety and operational standards of commercial motor vehicles. The FMCSA also possesses the power to shut down a bus operations of any company that it finds to be an imminent hazard to public safety based on reports of safety violations such as employing drivers without a valid commercial driver’s license or failure to implement drug and alcohol testing of its vehicle operators.
Public transportation passengers can protect themselves by viewing the safety records of a bus operator by visiting the FMCSA website for more information which includes a mobile application that can be downloaded to a smartphone.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a bus crash, our Indiana personal injury bus crash lawyers can help you. The amount of damages you may be entitled to depends upon the circumstances of each individual bus accident. In instances where more than one party bears responsibility for the bus crash, monetary damages will need to be apportioned according to fault. Contact us today to discuss your unique situation and learn of your legal rights and options. We will not collect our legal fees until you win your claim and receive your compensation for your injuries.