Indiana Bus Accident Attorneys
Tabor Law Firm’s bus accident attorneys have extensive knowledge of personal injury law. With over 75 years of combined legal experience, our team is dedicated to using this knowledge to help our clients recover compensation for their injuries. We have prevailed in numerous injury claims, recovering substantial awards for bus injury victims and other injured persons throughout Indiana.
Bus Accident Frequency
Public transportation is critical to thriving urban in Indiana and other states. Buses transport over 22 million children to school each day. They shuttle even more adults between destinations throughout the country. Although rare, bus accidents still occur. The U.S. Department of Transportation recorded 13,000 crashes in 2010 alone. Every year, these accidents injure an average of 25 million people and kill 300. Of all bus-related fatalities, annual school bus crashes kill approximately 20 children. Millions of passengers, drivers, and pedestrians suffer non-fatal injuries. Buses are subject to stringent safety laws at both the state and federal level.
Bus Accident Causes
Bus accidents typically involve one other vehicle and at least one party at fault. They are caused by a variety of factors, most of which involve negligence. Possible causes may include:
- Bus rollovers
- Fall from roadway
- Improper use of bus lane
- Approaching pedestrians
- Blind spots or low visibility
- Driver fatigue or distraction
- Mechanical failure or defect
- Failure to stop for loading bus
- Failure to yield or merging lanes
- Inclement weather or road hazards
Various parties may share liability for the crash. The court can apportion fault to negligent parties and subtract each party’s share of liability from the total award.
Buses Are Common Carriers and Thus Subject to Special Rules
Buses provide services under license of public agencies. Common public agents include the government, municipalities, and school districts. Whether regulated by private or public entities, buses are considered common carriers that transport people, goods, or services for a fee. Some carriers are only authorized to travel within the state while others transport cargo across state lines. Common carriers are distinct from regular motor vehicles in a variety of ways. First, they are governed by federal and state law. Every state, in turn, requires that bus drivers obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate. Commercial drivers must undergo extensive training as well as continued tests and safety inspections to maintain a CDL.
Federal laws like the Bus Uniform Standards and Enhanced Safety Act require that common carriers monitor the safety and performance of each vehicle. The Act targets unsafe or negligent bus operators through “progressive interventions” to correct mistakes and punish violations. The Indiana Code likewise sets forth state laws specific to common carriers, including requirements for:
- Bus maintenance
- Safety inspections
- Timely repair of damage
- Written log of total driving hours
- Check parts for condition or wear
- Certificate of testing after accident
- Continued driver education and testing
Bus drivers operating with the required CDL must carry sufficient insurance to cover liability for injury or death in case of a crash. Common carriers also have a heightened legal duty when transporting passengers. Bus service providers are liable for the negligent acts of their drivers. This means that injured victims may be entitled to compensation from various parties, including the individual driver, employers, corporate entities, and their respective insurers.
Contact an Experienced Bus Accident Lawyer Today
If you or your child was injured in a bus accident, the experienced Indiana bus accident lawyers at Tabor Law Firm can help. We have extensive knowledge of the specific rules and regulations governing bus safety. Our firm works diligently to finds all liable parties to recover compensation for you. We handle negotiations with multiple insurers and parties sharing fault. Let us help you maximize your reward and get you back on your feet. Call toll-free at (800) 266-7103 or at 317-236-9000 for a free consultation or contact us online.