The bus is an increasingly popular form of transportation amongst Dallas residents, with many relying on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system to avoid city traffic and get a convenient ride. However, bus crashes sometimes happen, and that’s when you need an experienced Dallas bus accident lawyer on your side.
With drivers and bus companies failing to exercise ordinary care, passengers on board are put at risk for serious injury and possibly death. If you were injured while riding the bus in Dallas, a bus accident lawyer at Zinda Law Group is ready to help you.
Why do Bus Accidents in Dallas Happen?
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.
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 a personal injury attorney 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. Several common causes are often at the root of these crashes.
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 normal conditions, so if the bus driver neglects this fact in inclement weather, the result could be dangerous and potentially deadly.
Considering the size of a bus, speeding may almost be inherently reckless. Whether it’s a charter coach or a school bus, the driver must recognize the danger he creates by driving over the speed limit. Speeding may result in the driver losing control of the vehicle, perhaps sliding onto its side or off the highway.
Reckless driving constitutes a conscious disregard of a known risk. This includes exceeding the speed limit and extending to other forms of conduct.
Reckless driving could include weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and failing to signal before turning. When a driver engages in reckless driving, they create 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 engages in this behavior, then the lives of the bus passengers are at risk.
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 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. They must 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 like 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 especially bad when driving a large bus with many passengers. By driving a bus while drunk, the driver is putting all lives on the road and in the bus at risk.
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For a free legal consultation with a bus accidents lawyer serving Dallas, call 800-863-5312
Types of Bus Accidents in Dallas
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, many people rely on buses. When the bus is used for public transport, the passengers usually come to and from work or need a ride across town to pay a utility bill. When they use the bus, they expect a certain level of safety. If this standard is breeched, a Dallas bus accident lawyer from our firm can help you secure damages.
School Bus Accidents
School children are just waking up when they get on the bus. Their parents trust that the school bus and driver are 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 an increase in those numbers as more buses return to the road following the Covid-19 pandemic.
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 bus maintenance or even the bus’s actual driving. These entities are usually nongovernmental and thus not immune from civil litigation.
Public Bus Accidents
For many public transit passengers in North Texas, their livelihood depends on proper bus operation. They count on the bus being there on time, and if it is not or if they are on 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. Unfortunately, public bus drivers are human, so some still take unnecessary risks when driving. Their unsafe maneuvering elevates the level of risk for any one circumstance.
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 were severe, the DART transit authority would likely launch its investigation to resolve whether it may be liable. One of the benefits of a bus accident lawyer in Dallas is they can help you ensure that the investigation is complete and that proper procedures are followed.
Charter Bus Accidents
People traveling through Dallas may be headed south to Houston, to tour the capitol 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 – and it’s not always clear who is responsible.
First, multiple parties could be liable or to blame for the accident. These parties which could be liable include:
- The charter vehicle driver
- The company which hired them
- 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. Furthermore, the bus 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 the bus company hired them, knowing 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, an experienced bus accident attorney in Dallas can advocate and hold the correct party accountable for your losses.
Bus Accident in Dallas lawyers near me 800-863-5312
Get Help from a Dallas Bus Accident Lawyer Today
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!
Zinda Law Group would be honored to serve you during this challenging time. If you were injured in a bus accident, schedule a free consultation with an experienced Dallas personal injury lawyer.
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