Bus Accident Lawyers in Dallas, Texas
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The bus is an increasingly popular form of transportation amongst Dallas residents. Many of those who ride Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) are looking to avoid city traffic and get a convenient ride. These DART patrons expect a properly maintained bus and drivers who take the proper precautions to transport them safely. Unfortunately, occasionally bus drivers act negligently, and there are cases where even locally-owned charter bus companies fail to perform the maintenance needed for their motorcoaches to transport Texans safely. A Zinda Law Group Dallas bus accident lawyer is here to help.
With drivers and bus companies failing to exercise ordinary care, passengers on board are put at risk for serious injury and possibly death. Furthermore, passenger vehicles sharing the road are endangered, as well. If you were injured in a bus accident, a Dallas bus accident lawyer at Zinda Law Group is ready to help you. Please contact us at (800) 863-5312 for your 100% free, initial consultation.
Why Do Bus Accidents happen in DALLAS?
According to crash statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Texas had nearly 3,000 bus crashes that resulted in over 2,500 injuries and 49 deaths from 2019 to 2021. Some of these accidents involved school buses; others involved municipal buses, such as those operated by the city of Dallas. In these kinds of cases, it is difficult to track down a person who will compensate you for your injuries.
Bus accidents happen for a myriad of reasons. They are vehicles with a heavy workload that require recurring maintenance and fixing. Additionally, your safety is in the hands of a driver who could be operating the bus negligently.
Having an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of accidents is valuable because the circumstances of a bus accident vary from case to case. They are often quite complicated, as many people sustain injuries at once.
In dealing with a bus accident, the facts of the case matter. You want an attorney who knows what causes bus crashes and related incidents. Like these common causes of bus accidents:
Hazardous Weather Conditions
Bad weather is one of the top causes of road accidents in the United States. Because a bus is a very large vehicle, it is difficult enough to drive. Add sleet, rain, or snow to the mix, and it becomes extremely difficult. Buses require a much longer stopping distance than motor vehicles in regular conditions, so if the bus driver neglects this fact in inclement weather, the result could be injurious and potentially deadly.
Considering the size of a bus, the act of speeding may almost be inherently reckless. Whether it’s a charter coach or a school bus, the driver must recognize the danger that he is creating by driving over the speed limit. Speeding may result in the driver losing control of the vehicle, perhaps ending up sliding onto its side or off the highway.
Reckless driving constitutes a conscious disregard of a known risk. This includes going over the speed limit, but also extends to many other forms of conduct.
Reckless driving could include weaving in and out of traffic, tailing gating, and failing to signal before turning. When a driver engages in reckless driving, they are creating unwarranted risk for the bus passengers and everyone on the roads around them.
Distracted driving is becoming commonplace today. Whenever you catch a glimpse into a vehicle on the road, the driver is often operating their phone when they should be focused on operating the vehicle. If a bus driver is engaging in this behavior, then the lives of the bus passengers are at stake.
Although distracted driving is not prevalent among bus drivers, it has been known to occur in the DFW metroplex. No matter the importance of the distraction, when a driver chooses to place their focus on something other than the road, they are putting everyone in danger.
Bus drivers work long days driving the same paths over and over. It is important that they take breaks from driving or else they may become drowsy or fatigued. Tired driving can lead to slower reaction times and may lead to the driver falling asleep at the wheel.
Look out for this on charter buses, such as those headed north on I-35 or east on I-20. Many of these carry casino patrons up to Oklahoma or over to Shreveport. Since they have longer ride times than DART buses, their drivers may become too tired to remain alert, especially in inclement weather.
Drunk driving is the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. Getting behind the wheel when drunk is never a good idea, but it’s an especially bad idea when you are driving a large bus with a lot of passengers on it. By driving a bus drunk, the driver is putting all lives on the road and in the bus at risk.
Types of Bus ACCIDENTs in Dallas, as Seen by a Dallas Bus Accident Lawyer
Texans are known for our independent spirit, and owning our own means of transportation was until recently an absolute necessity. It seemed every true Texan had at least one car or truck to call their own. But bus transportation is necessary for more and more people in the Dallas area nowadays, especially since we’ve recently had floods of newcomers from other states.
From downtown workers to school children, a lot of people rely on buses. When the bus is used for public transport, the passengers are usually coming to and from work or needing a ride across town to pay a utility bill. When they use the bus, they expect a certain level of safety.
School Bus Accidents
School children are just waking up when they get on the bus. Their parents are trusting that the school bus is safe and that the driver is safe. When this trust is broken, it can leave parents feeling helpless.
School bus-related accidents have been in the news, such as the 2016 tragedy in Tennessee, in which six children were killed. Not only are accidents like that one avoidable, but they most often occur because of negligence.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), school bus-related crashes killed 54 people nationwide in 2020. But the NSC expects there to be an increase in those numbers as more buses return to the road following the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is estimated that over 470,000 school buses provided transportation services daily in the 2018-2019 school year. The NSC has stated that school buses are the best option for transporting kids to school, and that they are also safer riding school buses than walking or driving a car. But this doesn’t mean that school bus accidents don’t happen.
It is difficult to determine liability in some of these cases. Multiple parties may have acted negligently, including:
- the school district
- the person driving the bus
- a bus company hired by the school
Often the school district has contracted a third-party company to handle the maintenance of the bus or even the actual driving of the bus. These entities are usually nongovernmental and thus not immune from civil litigation.
Public Bus Accidents
For many passengers of public transit in North Texas, their livelihood depends on the proper operation of the bus. They count on the bus being there on time, and if it is not or if they are in the bus when it crashes, passengers are left feeling they have not received the level of care they were owed.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) offers a valuable service to Dallas metroplex residents and visitors. These buses are designed with safety in mind, but there is the risk of serious accidents, nonetheless. To drive these buses, drivers need a commercial driver’s license, which is a serious professional undertaking and responsibility.
Unfortunately, public bus drivers are human so some still do take unnecessary risks when driving. Their unsafe maneuvering elevates the level of risk for any one circumstance.
Regardless of the location of public transit collisions, many factors were at play. For example, the road could be poorly maintained, for which the municipality is responsible.
When a public transit bus is involved in a collision, it can be hard to determine who is liable. The municipality is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the public bus system, so they will usually be the first to be considered the defendant in these cases.
If the injury suffered was severe, it is likely that the DART transit authority will launch their own investigation to resolve the question of whether they themselves may be liable. A Dallas personal injury lawyer from Zinda Law Group can help you make sure that the investigation is complete and that proper procedures are followed.
Charter Bus Accidents
People traveling through Dallas may be headed south to Houston or to tour the capital in Austin, or to visit the Dinosaur Valley State Park on the other side of Ft. Worth. In cases where they are on a bus for long rides, Texans are likely traveling on a charter bus. Regardless, the principle remains that there is an expectation that safety is a priority.
Charter buses are designed to carry many passengers and are usually used for long trips. Due to the typical length of a trip in a charter bus, driver fatigue is a common cause of crashes. These buses usually weigh over 50,000 pounds, so when they are involved in a collision, the damage is likely to be catastrophic.
In these types of cases, it’s not always clear who is legally responsible for your injuries. Various factors could cause an accident to occur, including issues with the bus itself. During litigation, many important factors need to be considered before you can expect to receive a monetary settlement or other compensation for damages.
First, there could be multiple parties who are liable, or to blame for the accident. These parties which could be liable include:
- the charter vehicle driver
- the company which hired him or her
- the company that owns the charter bus
- the entity in charge of maintaining the road
It is often the case that the company behind the charter bus holds the liability in the accident, but you will likely need an attorney to help make this determination. For example, a charter bus could have defective parts. Or the bus company could in some way fail to comply with the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Additionally, the charter company which has accepted the responsibility of ensuring a safe and well maintained bus may have failed to perform routine safety checks.
Furthermore, the bus company or charter company could also negligently hire unsafe drivers. Charter bus drivers need a commercial license and a safe driving record. Your first inclination after an accident may be to hold the driver liable when in fact the bus company hired them knowing that they had not met the minimum requirements.
Getting legal help to determine liability is one of the first things that must be done after you have suffered a bus accident injury. Thankfully, Zinda Law Group is here in Dallas to advocate on your behalf and hold the correct party accountable for your losses.
What to do after a bus accident
After a bus accident, you may be suffering from a range of medical problems. Your injuries could range from bumps and bruises to more serious harm, such as broken bones or internal bleeding. These are the result of a heavy bus colliding with a smaller passenger vehicle.
1. Get Medical Attention
The first thing that the passengers of the bus should do when there is an accident is receive immediate medical attention. Your injury may not be readily apparent, so you will need a medical professional to make sure that you are okay. Bottom line is to seek immediate medical attention.
2. Document the Accident Scene
Once you’ve received medical treatment, begin documenting the accident. Take photos of the scene if possible and talk to other people who witnessed the crash or were victims themselves. If you were removed from the scene of the accident due to your injuries, take the needed time to heal and recover. When you are ready, write down any details you remember from the accident.
3. Make No Statements
As stated, your injuries may seem minor, but in fact you could be seriously injured. Being that the severity of your injuries is yet unknown, avoid making a statement about the accident or your injuries. In fact, it is best not to say anything until you can speak with a personal injury attorney.
A Dallas bus accident lawyer from Zinda Law Group is prepared to help you exercise your rights. The insurance adjusters for the bus company and their team of lawyers will do everything possible to reduce your claims. They will be looking for statements that minimize the amount of your suffering.
Their possible misrepresentation of your statements about your condition could affect the settlement amount they will eventually offer to you. Therefore, to be fairly compensated for your medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering, speak with a Dallas bus accident attorney at Zinda Law Group as soon as possible.
GET HELP FROM a Dallas bus accident lawyer
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced team of attorneys focuses on protecting your rights and preparing your case after a bus accident. If you or a loved one were injured in a bus accident, we have a Dallas injury attorney who can help you and your family pursue maximum compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and much more.
Experienced personal injury attorneys know that bus accident injuries are potentially life-changing. Zinda Law Group can work to seek awards for your losses and hold negligent parties accountable.
Moreover, we offer 100% free, initial consultations, which means you will pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your injury case. That is our No Win No Fee Guarantee!
A Dallas bus accident lawyer from Zinda Law Group would be honored to serve you during this challenging time. If you were injured in a bus accident, call us at (800) 863-5312 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Dallas personal injury lawyer.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.