Call (800) 863-5312 To Speak With a Houston Bus Accident Lawyer For Free
Riding the bus is a cost-efficient and environmentally safe way of traveling. In Houston, traveling by bus is a great way to get around to see the different sights and sounds of the great city. However, riding the bus can turn into a nightmare when there is a crash. Because a victim has little protection when a bus accident occurs, they may suffer severe injuries. When that happens, they will want Houston bus accident lawyers who can comfort and guide them through what happens next.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bus accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation today with a Houston bus accident lawyer.
Bus Accident Statistics
A 2010 study from the University of Michigan revealed that, on average, approximately 63,000 buses are involved in an accident every year. Of those accidents, 14,000 result in an injury and 325 result in a fatality. Additionally, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2019 there were 84 school buses, 15 intercity buses, and 78 transit buses involved in fatal crashes. These numbers demonstrate that bus accidents are responsible for numerous deaths to bus passengers and to others sharing the road.
Typical Victims of Bus Accidents
The most common bus accident victims are:
- bus passengers
- other motorists
- property owners
Unlike simple car accidents, bus accidents have a greater tendency to cause intense damage to a multitude of other vehicles, property, and people. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that from 2011-2020 approximately 86% of fatal injuries in school-bus related crashes involved occupants of vehicles other than the school bus or pedestrians. Importantly, the NHTSA found that bus passengers made up 33% of the reported injuries. The likely explanation is that the sheer size and weight of most buses will lead to higher injury rate for pedestrians or individuals in other vehicles who will have less protection if an accident occurs.
Read More: Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
Types of Buses Involved In Accidents
Bus accidents can occur anytime, anywhere. There are several types of buses frequently involved in accidents:
School buses are usually safe modes of transportation for bringing children to school. However, when accidents occur children are often injured as a result. That’s why it’s important for bus drivers and passengers to follow relevant safety rules when possible.
City and public buses are helpful for work commuters and travelers wanting to see Houston for an inexpensive price. Unfortunately, the amount of people served on the buses each day takes a toll which can lead to mechanical problems and a bad accident. Passengers and drivers must observe safety protocols at all times to prevent or mitigate a bus crash.
Private And Charter Buses
Private and charter buses often carry large amounts of people as part of a tour or private party. When a bus accident happens, there is a high potential for large groups to suffer injuries as a result. If you were injured on a private or charter bus, you may have a claim against the bus company’s insurance policy.
Hotels and airports use shuttles to conveniently transport large amounts of people to and from nearby locations. Due to their unusual shape and frequent stops, shuttles are prone to additional accidents.
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Common Bus Accident Injuries
Due to the sheer size of buses and the lack of seatbelts used, injuries from a bus accident are typically more severe than a regular vehicle.
A non-exhaustive list of potential injuries include:
- traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions
- neck pain
- road rash
- broken bones
- internal bleeding
- permanent disability
- psychological trauma
How Do Bus Accidents Happen?
There are countless ways that a bus accident may take place. If the bus driver causes the accident, it could be the result of:
- driving while fatigued
- operating while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- not using the bus’s turn signal before changing lanes
- making a wide turn
- bad weather and/or road conditions
- other types of distractions
If the bus driver is not the reason for the accident, it may instead be the result of:
- a poorly maintained bus
- parts of the bus improperly put together
- the bus company inadequately training the bus driver
- lack of safety equipment
- the bus catching on fire
What You Should Do After A Bus Accident
There are important steps to take after going through a bus accident.
1. Seek Medical Attention If Injured
In the immediate aftermath of a bus accident, you should examine yourself to determine whether your injuries are serious enough to warrant immediate medical attention. If you are critically injured, get to the emergency room as soon as possible. Even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt, schedule a medical evaluation immediately after the accident in case of hidden injuries.
Furthermore, you should document any and all medical expenses you received while treating your injuries. Include information regarding how the injury from the accident has negatively interfered with your day to day life. This will greatly assist a personal injury attorney in determining how much your claim is worth.
2. Contact the Police
After evaluating your health, contact the police to report the accident. A police officer will arrive on the scene shortly to evaluate the accident and obtain information. Make sure to provide the police with your side of the story. Be mindful of the words you use and avoid admitting any fault.
Obtain the police officer’s name, badge number, and police report number. Make sure to ask the police officer for a copy of the report after the officer completes their evaluation. The report will help if you decide to pursue a lawsuit.
3. Document Evidence
If it is safe, take photos of the accident, including any injuries you suffered, the bus, the driver, any other party who is responsible, the area where the accident occurred, damaged property, and anything else that will provide evidence of the destruction caused by the accident. If there are witnesses, make sure to obtain their name and contact information, as they will be helpful in proving your side of the case if you pursue a claim.
Since memories fade, it is important to document as much relevant information as you can while the event is fresh in your mind. That includes taking notes about the accident, including how it happened, the cause, and any other details that you feel could be helpful.
4. Obtain A Houston Bus Accident Lawyer
Your next step should be to hire an experienced Houston injury attorney who can navigate through the relevant laws and talk to the insurance companies. The lawyer will know how to investigate and present your claim in the best way so that you can obtain maximum compensation.
Who Is At Fault FOR A BUS ACCIDENT?
It can be difficult to determine who is the responsible party for a bus accident, which is why it should be examined on a case by case basis. That being said, there are several types of parties who are usually responsible for a bus accident:
The Bus Driver
A bus driver is the first party to look to when evaluating the merits of a lawsuit. A driver may be responsible if their negligence caused the bus accident. Negligence means that a party failed to behave in a manner that an ordinary person would have. For example, if a bus accident occurs because the driver was texting on their cellphone, they may be negligent, as a reasonable person operating a bus would focus on the road. A driver is also responsible for the bus accident if the driver operated the vehicle in a reckless manner, while intoxicated, or lost control of the wheel.
The Bus Company
The owner of a bus may be a private company, a school, or a local government municipality. Bus companies can be negligent when an accident occurs. Examples include:
- poor hiring practices
- improper bus driver training
- no safety policies in place
- failing to enforce safety policies
- not maintaining proper conditions for the bus
Under vicarious liability, lawsuits often name the bus driver and the bus driver at the same time after a bus accident. Vicarious liability means that one party is responsible for the unlawful activity of another party. The doctrine is especially common in the employer-employee relationship, such as a bus driver and the bus company who employs the driver.
By choosing to employ a driver, a bus company is potentially liable for any mistake the driver makes while on the job. For example, if a bus driver causes an accident due to not having the proper training on how to safely navigate during adverse weather conditions, you can claim that the bus company neglected to fulfill its obligation to provide sufficient training to its employees.
Further, buses that are not inherently local (school buses and inter-city buses) are subject to federal regulations due to crossing state lines. These buses are common carriers. A common carrier bus has the highest duty to ensure that the buses are operating safely and getting passengers to their destination.
The Bus Manufacturer
A manufacturer has the obligation to make sure that their products work as intended and are safe for consumers. In a situation where an important component of the bus failed to work such as a defective electrical system, brake failure, or improperly installed fuel tank, the bus manufacturer is likely to blame. If you have questions about products liability, Zinda Law Group’s accident lawyers can answer your questions.
The Driver of Another Vehicle
The driver of another vehicle could be responsible for the bus accident if the driver:
- was speeding
- driving recklessly
- failing to brake behind a stopped bus
- ignoring a bus’s stop sign
- tailgating behind the bus
Again, this speaks to the reasonability standard in determining negligence. If a driver fails to behave like a reasonable person would have, then they could be liable for the accident and resulting injuries.
The state or local municipality may be liable for injuries incurred by a public bus. According to state law, the state of Texas is liable for money damages for a maximum amount of $250,000 per person, $500,000 for each single occurrence for bodily injury or death, and $100,000 for each single occurrence for injury to our destruction to property. Additionally, Texas Torts Claim Act allows an individual to bring a lawsuit against a local government, such as Houston, as well under the same damage caps amount.
Importantly, the city of Houston controls the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO), which is a popular mode of transportation that services millions of citizens annually. You can bring a lawsuit against the city of Houston if you can demonstrate that METRO is responsible for the equipment malfunction, destroyed tires, or any electrical or mechanical failure contributed to the accident.
Your personal injury lawyer in Houston will advise you on which party or parties are responsible for your bus accident.
I had the privilege of working with Zinda Law Group recently and was thoroughly impressed with the level of service and support they provided. When we began, I had reservations about the likelihood of reaching a settlement, but the team's professionalism, intelligence, and dedication quickly put those doubts to rest. They went above and beyond to ensure that I was informed and comfortable throughout the process, and their hard work and strong advocacy ultimately led to a successful outcome. I cannot thank Zinda Law Group and their staff enough for their exceptional service and support, and I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal assistance. Their commitment to their clients and their willingness to fight for what's right truly sets them apart. In short, I give them a rating of five stars for their outstanding work. Zinda Law Group is amazing! My husband was in an accident and they made the process super easy and hassle free. 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I really appreciate all of their hard work and dedication, I highly recommend.Thank you all again for your help and your time.Sincerely,Pat.b I was very satisfied with the professionalism of my attorney and the paralegals, they helped me threw this accident and got me a great settlement, all while keeping me involved and informed. Zinda law group made me feel comfortable and I trusted them to fight for me. The trust was well placed! Thank Yous, I appreciate all that Yous done for me and my family!! I’ve had such a great experience with Zinda law group! They’ve handled everything relatively quickly and professionally. They really have made my life a lot easier. I recommend anyone dealing with auto accidents (or similarly) to Zinda Law group.I felt I was very important to them and that my feelings and thoughts were validated. They treated me with much care and respect, not like “just another client”. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. 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I hired Zinda for a crazy situation involving an 18 wheeler where an object flew off a trailer and blasted through my windshield.I reached out to Zinda and spoke with Michael Cupero, my attorney at Zinda, after the accident once I realized this is affecting my day to day life in a significant way (PTSD from a "Final Destination" type of incident) and Michael was nothing short of fantastic through the entire process.The Zinda team, including Michael and Mary-Catherine Holt and several others, guided me through the entire process from initial settlement offers, filing the lawsuit, depositions, the whole 9.They listened to my concerns, provided clarity and perspective when needed, and not once did I feel that my best interest was not at the forefront of their actions and behavior through my experience as a client.Thank you Michael, Mary-Catherine and Zinda!If you want a team that will treat you with professionalism, respect, and understanding then do yourself a favor and reach out to Zinda! Extremely professional and communicative . They explained the process as we went along and made it very clear weighting pros and cons. They understood my pain and my worries but kept their expertise always on the top of things finding elements for me to win my case. I am thankful to have had Zinda Law Group to support me during those two years as it finalized and I can keep on living. My experience with Zinda law group has been wonderful from start to finish. Natasha and Emily explained everything very well and answered any questions I had, communicated well throughout the whole process , and handled the case very professionally, they worked very hard on my case I would definitely highly recommend to friends and family. I found myself in a situation where I needed legal representation. After looking over reviews in the area, I decided to contact Natasha at Zinda law group in the hopes that she could represent me . 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Joe's expertise in personal injury lawsuits helped alleviate the stress and anxiety that follows the aftermath of an auto accident. Thanks again Joe! You are truly an amazing, kind person and attorney! Zinda Law was incredibly amazing. I had the pleasure of working with Michael and his incredibly hard working team after my wreck in November. They went above and beyond keeping up with my health, bills, insurance companies, all that fun stuff I had no time for. After what felt like such a short amount of time, they were able to win every last penny from the "bad guys" insurance (loved that term). I couldn't happier, and even though I went through something traumatic, it was still the best experience I could have ever asked for. Thank you Michael and everyone that helped with my case, yall are the best!! 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I’m so happy and thankful to Zinda law group!!!!!! Zinda Law Group did an excellent job with my case. The staff was super friendly and super effective as far as communicating with me throughout the entire case. I highly recommend Zinda Law Group for your next case and for any of your future cases. 5 Stars across the board thank you so much for everything! Joh Harper, Priyonka Bhikha, and the rest of the team gave my case a quick and satisfactory conclusion. The attorney, Mr. Harper did an absolutely amazing job keeping me on the same page as far as the case goes. Honestly, if anybody is hurt in a car wreck or another personal injury case, I WILL STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU SPEAK TO THEM. I was in a motor vehicle collision about two years ago. From the minute I picked up the phone to speak with a representative to the case finally settling, it was a great experience. I worked with Burgess Williams and his team (Kathy, Ryan, and Linda) throughout the process. They were all very professional and helpful when I needed them the most. Great Firm. I was in motorcycle accident- T-boned at a full stop with my daughter riding on back. Zinda's team was instantly responsive. Christina was very compassionate, organized and scheduled time before every legal event to discuss goals and overview. The process was 2 years but during that time the lawyers and staff (John and Shane were also great) were always available and understanding. The team is focused on doing what is right and by the book. I would highly recommend this firm to anyone who is suffering from a motorcycle accident. Jason Aldridge and his paralegal Mara did an absolutely amazing job on my case. They were very responsive to all emails, calls and even texts. They treated me with dignity and respect from start to finish. I never once felt like my case was at the back of the list or anything. 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I would recommend them to anyone that's been involved in an accident and feels skeptical in engaging an attorney.When one gets into an accident, you're traumatized, confused, angry and helpless.That was me last year, getting all kinds of advice becomes your next norm, to use or not to use an attorney.I was in so much pain from my injuries but at the same time knew I had to act fast.I called Zinda Law Group for consultation, they took my case seriously and treated me with respect, they were very professional and understanding.Elizabeth, kudos to you, you're true to your word, Integrity should be your last name.Jason Aldridge my attorney went to work immediately, he assured me that all be well and I should concentrate on my healing and he will do the rest. Thank your Sir, You did just that.His team, Mara, Zuleyma and Andrew, they all become my support system, so professional and lots of respect in each and everyphone call or email. Thank you guys.I would recommend anyone to use Zinda Law Group. I honestly loved not dealing with the hospital bills while I was recuperating. It gave me peace of mind going through this process and Zinda took care of everything. They found awesome health providers for me and haven't had to worry about anything while they've been taking my case. I've been well informed, communicated with, responded to and understood by Zinda. They have been efficient and effective while working on my case and I'm so glad I choose to go with this law firm. When I was injured in a car accident in March of 2020 the insurance companies were not concerned with my well being. I called Zinda Law group & spoke with Reagan, who went over my concerns & later had Jono contact me. After reviewing my information with Jono my case was immediately put in motion. I worked mainly with Sam Thomas who truly was a blessing to me, he was very supportive & genuinely concerned with my well being, everything wasn't simply about the case it was about me being healed & getting the proper treatment that I needed. Sam was also emotionally supportive when I went through several losses in my family & is a great friend. In all everyone was extremely supportive & all worked for me which was quite a different legal experience for me from Law groups in my past. I was well supported, always informed, treated with respect & made the priority in all decisions. Zinda Law Group made sure I was compensated completely & that I didn't have financial stresses over hospital bills after all was said & done. Sam, Katrina, Mary Catherine, Reagan & Jono I just want to thank you & all of Zinda for the incredible experience & the wonderful caring people that you all are, you are truly Golden in your field. I am so glad I got in touch with Zinda! 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I had an excellent experience working with the attorneys at Zinda Law Group! They were knowledgeable, professional and patient. They walked me through every step of the long process of getting treatment after my car wreck and kept me updated with timeframes and next steps. I would absolutely recommend anyone working with them! They helped me with so much! I had a dog bite happen 2019 and it was very heart breaking! This law group made everything so easy to help me through a rough time! John Rogers and Shane Eckert were very easy to talk to and open about if I needed to talk about frustrations I had with bills. Everything got closed before Christmas and I was so blessed! I highly recommend them no matter what! Thank you guys so much! Zinda Law Group helped me with my personal injury case after an auto accident. I was hurt pretty badly and I wasn't sure which attorney to call, I looked at reviews for Zinda Law and called right away.Kaitlin Nares and her team were so responsive and helpful. Kaitlin called me right away and helped me navigate through a very difficult process and time in my life. Being hurt in a car accident changes you!!! My case settled for more than I thought it would, and a lot quicker. I know sometimes things are more complicated, but my case was settled in only 3 months after my accident. Mary-Catherine was also so helpful in making sure everything was finalized! I have referred two people who have recently been in auto accident because it's not IF, its WHEN these days... I usually don't write reviews unless I feel strongly about sharing my experience to help others! Thank you!!! I was referred here by a family member. Our lawyer jason and his team did and amazing job. They kept me updated in everything made sure I understood what was going on. My son was hit by a van in the hospital jason came right over. He's awesome so much down to earth straight forward. I would recommend him and his firm to everyone and I have thank you zinda but most of all thank you Jason for being there for us for being a friend Zinda Law Group was recommended to me from another satisfied client and I certainly received excellent service. The attorneys and staff are very proactive with communication and I knew every step of the way what was happening on my case. I never felt pressured with decision making and they went above & beyond to answer questions with satifactory explanations. This is a very professional group of attorneys & support staff. In addition, they were willing to meet me at a location more convenient for me. I appreciated their concern for my time. Could not speak highly enough of the firm. I was involved in my first accident and thankfully had Zinda Law Group supporting me through the scary time. Jono took care of me every step of the way. He made me feel like I was a priority through the entire process. A big thank you to Jono and the rest of the Zinda crew!
HOW MUCH CAN YOU RECOVER AFTER A BUS ACCIDENT?
For a personal injury lawsuit under Texas law, you have the ability to obtain economic damages, non-economic damages, and possibly punitive damages. In a circumstance where the victim of the bus accident passes away due to their injury, a loved one can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the victim. The same type of compensation is available whether you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit.
Economic damages is compensation for monetary losses such as medical expenses (past and future), loss of earnings, loss of use of property, and loss of future employment. To ensure you receive accurate compensation for your economic damages, keep documents which demonstrate your medical expenses, property damages, and missed work.
Non-economic damages is compensation for non-monetary losses such as pain & suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, and loss of companionship. Non-economic damages are harder to quantify than economic damages, however, your attorney will help determine the value of your non-monetary losses.
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages punish the responsible party rather than making the victim “whole again.” You must meet a very high standard to obtain punitive damages. A court may award punitive damages in addition to economic damages in a situation where the responsible party was reckless or acted intentionally.
Even if you are able to meet the threshold for punitive damages, state law has a damage cap on what you can receive. In Texas, the cap for punitive damages is:
- $200,000 or
- twice the amount of economic damages plus an equal amount of non-economic damages up to $750,000.
Consult with your Houston personal injury lawyer to determine whether you should pursue punitive damages.
What Are the Statutes of Limitations?
In Texas, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party (or parties). In Houston alone, if the accident occurred because of the METRO you only have 90 days after the date of the accident to file a claim against the municipal government.
CALL A ZINDA LAW GROUP HOUSTON BUS ACCIDENT LAWYER NOW
If you were involved in a bus accident, you should focus on your health, rehabilitation, and getting back to where you were prior to the accident. Your Houston bus accident attorney will walk you through the legal process and help you with your case.
At Zinda Law Group, our Houston bus accident attorneys have the experience and knowledge to pursue maximum compensation for the injury. You do not owe us any money unless we win your case. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. Call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (2016-2020)
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), & NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021)
AWARDED TO JACK ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017)
LIFETIME MEMBERS JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA & JOE CAPUTO