Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer in New Orleans If You've Been Injured in a Bus Accident
With an annual ridership of around 18 million, the public transportation system in New Orleans is the largest in the state of Louisiana. Everyday many residents of New Orleans ride the bus or streetcar all over the city. There are also many private buses in New Orleans, like charter buses, Greyhound buses, coach bus companies and limo buses. Unfortunately some companies place profit over passenger safety, and bus accidents occur.
As a passenger on a bus in New Orleans, you're entrusting your well-being and safety to another person. Since many buses do not incorporate seat belts into their seats passengers are vulnerable whether they are standing or sitting down. Even if you are not riding the bus you can be vulnerable to a negligent bus driver or malfunctioning bus equipment. If a pedestrian is hit by a bus coming away unscathed from such an accident is low. Since many buses are twice the size of many passenger vehicles most accidents involving buses can be fatal, resulting in wrongful death. In 2014 – the latest year for which federal agencies have data available – 22,000 passengers suffered bodily injuries in bus accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Just like car or truck accidents there are many variables involved when a bus has an accident. By far though the biggest cause of bus accidents is driver fatigue. Many bus drivers work extended hours and some don't receive adequate training. According to Louisiana Civil Code Article 2320, employers are answerable for the damage caused by their employees, in the exercise of the job description in which they are employed. There are many other variables in play when deciding negligence of a bus crash, so you should always consult a professional New Orleans bus accident attorney quickly after an accident.
Causes of Bus Accidents
- Driver Fatigue
- Driver distractions: texting, looking at cellphones, not paying attention
- Faulty or malfunctioning bus equipment
- Aggressive drivers of passenger vehicles not following safe driving standards
- Mechanical problems
Who Is Liable for a Bus Accident
Bus companies are considered to be "common carriers" and subject to specific laws regulating them. A common carrier is a person or company that transports goods or people for a company. That means they bear the responsibility for any accident or negligence that an employee causes while performing their job. Though any kind of accident can be complex and multiple parties can be responsible, including:
- The driver of the bus
- The company who manages the bus line
- Bus equipment manufacturers
- Another driver who was negligent
- A government entity
In the aftermath of a major bus accident it can be difficult to know what to do next. There are likely many people in the bus crash that have major or minor bodily injuries. The insurance company of the bus line may try to settle with you as a group. Don't do anything until you talk to a trusted personal injury lawyer. You only have one chance to pursue a claim and get compensated for any lost wages or medical bills.
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