If you take a walk along the main avenues and streets of Las Vegas, you are likely to come across several busses. Be it tour buses, hotel buses, shuttles, school buses, city buses, among others. This is due to the massive traffic of people that need to commute from one location to the other. They are also affordable and convenient for long-distance destinations. You may think that buses are safe; however, they are not immune to accidents. When a bus is involved in an accident, it can be devastating.
Whether you're a bus passenger or sharing the road with one, these accidents can cause severe injuries to everyone involved, not leaving out the damage on the property. You may not be able to resume work, provide for your loved ones, or take part in the usual day-to-day activities. You are entitled to compensation if you have been injured in any way as a result of a bus accident, a collision, or any form of negligence on the part of the bus driver. Get in touch with us at the Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Overview of Bus Accidents
A bus accident is an accident that involves the collision of a bus with a means of transport on the road, a pedestrian, an animal, a property, or any stationary object amid the incident. Most people in the state prefer to use buses due to the safety measures and the comfort it offers while commuting to and from. However, it is susceptible to accidents. A bus accident, noting its size, is more likely to cause severe injuries as well as significant damages to property as well as objects around it.
The area of Las Vegas to be specific attracts millions of people across the country and the world due to its vibrant name for entertainment. Due to the substantial traffic of people, it seems almost impossible for you to move from one end to the other. Fortunately, the buses offer a smooth flow of transportation around the strip. This makes it easy for tourists to flow in and out of Las Vegas. Consequently, the consistent flow of bus traffic means that also the number of bus accidents may rise as well.
Bus Accidents Under Nevada Law
Federal and state laws control most common commercial carriers, such as buses, trucks, metro trains, and taxis, for a high duty of care or obligation to their commuters as well as other road users. These provisions are strictly enforced to protect the safety of passengers on common carriers. Commercial bus companies need to take precautions to deter passenger accidents and injuries. According to the State of Nevada laws, the bus drivers, as well as the bus companies, need to:
- Offer standard and adequate safety measures for passengers
- Ensure that they monitor and correct any emerging or existing problems frequently
- Ensure that the entries and exits are safe for commuters
- Select qualified and experienced drivers to be behind the wheel of the buses
- Always ensure that the engine, motor systems, and mechanical parts of the bus are updated and free from glitches
Who Is To Blame For A Bus Accident?
In most cases, people tend to blame the negligent driver alone for tragic incidents. However, it should not be the case in particular scenarios. In the State of Nevada, the rules governing bus accidents are somewhat intricate and largely depend on several factors, including the company responsible for operating the bus, the location of the crash, and the location of the bus registration.
All these may require numerous processes, as well as lengthy procedures that may bog you down. Therefore, you need to hire an experienced and qualified Personal Injury Attorney to help you with the extensive systems regarding the accident.
The Bus Company
This is the party or agency that is responsible for placing the negligent bus driver behind the wheel. According to Nevada laws under Personal Injury, the company is liable for the damages caused as well as the severe injuries inflicted on the passengers. You can sue the company operating the bus as a ' respondeat superior ' taking legal responsibility on the basis of trusting the unqualified person to operate hazardous equipment, for the damages and injuries caused.
The Bus Driver
Aside from the bus operators, the actual driver that caused the tragic incident due to negligence must as well face the repercussions. Unfortunately, while most bus drivers are professional experts, some are grossly irresponsible. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations alongside the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration strive at all costs to monitor and regulate the actions of common carriers like buses. Under the Federal and State laws, a bus driver is thus mandated to:
- Have a certified and valid commercial driver's license. In a case whereby the bus is not for commercial use, the driver must issue a valid driver's license
- The driver must test negative for all drugs and alcoholic tests that will be carried out
- He or she must excel in the yearly driving record reviews
- He or she, via the company, must inspect the bus before embarking on the roadways
The Manufacturers and Maintenance Companies
The bus accident may have been caused as a result of a malfunction on the motor, or bus systems. At such a point, the bus driver may not be blamed. Thus you may sue the manufacturer of the bus and hold them liable for the accident. For instance, if it were a failure of the braking system, it would not allow the coach to stop, thus leading it to smash through the objects or motorists ahead of it. For that reason, you may hold the mechanical glitch or the defective part from the manufacturers accountable for the accident. Therefore it is essential to always seek the services of a qualified Personal Injury Attorney for the full compensation of the damages and injuries incurred.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Even though bus accidents are a rare occurrence, they do occur. And, like any car accident, driver errors often play a significant role in causing the accident. Determining the cause of a bus accident is essential, as that describes the party to blame for your damages. This is one of the first things an experienced Personal Injury Attorney will do during an investigation for your claim. Several instances may be held liable for causing the tragic event. Among the common causes of bus accidents in Nevada include:
Losing focus on the road
While on the roadway, the bus driver is required only to drive and not engage in any activity that may cause distraction. The report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has it that, for the most part, bus accidents are attributed to the negligence and distraction of the driver. In most instances, the drivers may opt to look through their phones, text, make phone calls, among others, in a quest to combat the boredom of staying fixed in the same position for an extended period during the day. Other instances of distraction might be changing the frequency of the bus radio stations. A slight distraction of the road is likely to cause significant life disruption along with unexpected expenses.
Poor road conditions
The conditions of the roadway may significantly cause bus collisions. The bus drivers may be forced to drive slowly in poor roads to prevent any harm to their passengers. A situation whereby a negligent driver is speeding in a slippery roadway, it may lead to the bus skidding away from the road. Such an accident may cause significant damage to property, pedestrians, and commuters. It is, therefore, crucial for the driver to be keen and moderate the speed when approaching hazardous spots. They also need to be keen on the various localities that are undergoing construction.
Driving under the influence
Driving while intoxicated is a bad idea. While the bus driver is in charge of your lives on board, it is imperative for him or her to guarantee your safety. According to Nevada laws, the blood alcohol concentration level for a commercial operator behind the wheel should not surpass 0.04 percent. This is because the intoxication may influence the rationale of the driver and impair his judgment while on the road. This said and done; it is not recommended for any driver or operator behind the wheel to drink or be intoxicated while driving. Such a state not only poses a risk to the passengers but also likely to affect the surroundings and the other road users. An intoxicated and negligent driver is more likely to cause a bus accident.
Malfunctions in equipment and vehicle problems
The bus driver, along with the company operating it, must ensure that the bus is in good condition before hitting the road. Poorly serviced equipment and the motor is likely to cause malfunctions. If not detected early, it might be vulnerable to cause an accident, risking the lives of the passengers. While the bus is on the road, and the defect on the system begins to transpire, it might make it difficult for the operator to control the vehicle. Having this in mind, the damage likely to be caused may be catastrophic and expensive.
Day after day, bus drivers spend a lot of hours behind the wheel to make sure you get to and from your place. It is, therefore, vital that the bus driver has enough rest to resume his or her duties. Research has it that fatigue is the leading cause of accidents. Thus it is crucial for the company operating the buses to ensure that their stuff is in good shape to hit the road. A tired driver is more likely to increase the risk of a bus wreck.
In the case where a bus has been on a long journey, federal and state legislation addresses how long a bus driver can be on the road and must be on a break before another shift is resumed. The driver is usually required to have a record showing the hours of service. If an accident has occurred and the driver does not have logs, he or she is liable for damages and severe injuries to passengers and other road users.
Operators dealing with large vehicles need to be cautious of the speed. Due to their size, they portray a complex braking system that makes it difficult for the driver to make an abrupt halt while at top speed. It is for this reason than the driver needs to understand the vehicle at hand. Over speeding kills and at the same time, may make situations challenging to handle. At high speed, the bus is likely to lose its stability, thus making it vulnerable to rolling over or ramming against other motorists. You can, therefore, seek the services of Personal Injury Attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Unfavorable weather conditions
In rare instances, a bus accident could be caused by bad weather or poor visibility conditions. Dangerous weather combined with the weight of the bus and the inability to manage situations quickly can lead to ruins.
Nonetheless, as required by law, bus drivers should be amply trained to handle the bus and drive under the weather conditions. It is also important to note that there are certain precautions to bus drivers that they need to know when the weather conditions are worse. Negligence on these precautions is likely to cause accidents to not only the bus but also other motorists.
Unskilled bus drivers
According to Nevada laws, the Federal and State regulations require the bus driver to meet certain minimum requirements as well as comply with traffic regulations while operating a vehicle. The program allows the driver enough time to learn and understand the basics of how to operate and ensure the safety of passengers on board as well as other road users. Unfortunately, not all bus drivers are qualified. Due to this, it elevates the risk of causing bus wrecks as well as injury to people. Having unskilled drivers behind the wheel puts the lives of passengers and other motorists in jeopardy. The property and stationary objects in the midst are also susceptible to massive damage.
The dangerous conditions within the bus
Busses should be appropriately maintained and serviced continuously to prevent accidents. Large busses must take steps to avoid risky situations that may result in passengers being injured. They should know when to de-ice the entrances and exits as well as blow up the wet floors that could cause a passenger to slip and fall, resulting in injuries and fatalities.
Common Injuries from Bus Accidents
Commuting on a bus is usually a safe way to get around. On the other hand, in the event of a bus accident, the lack of safety regulations on vehicle size and weight means that passengers could suffer serious injuries. This may have long-term effects on sustained injuries. Once involved in a bus accident, many different injuries may arise. Survivors of such crashes are highly advised to get an instant medical checkup and seek advice from a Personal Injury Attorney in a bus crash to gain knowledge about their legal rights. The common bus accident injuries in Nevada State include:
Head Injury and Concussions
When a coach is mandated to stop abruptly, there is constantly a danger that a commuter will hit a seat or a window with his head. A sudden blunt vigor pain to the head can have a disastrous effect on the victim of a bus collision. Even though the damages are not easily visible, you need to be vigilant of the conditions. A small hit on the head may cause trauma to the brain, which has lasting effects. Insignificant blunt injuries to the head can result in blurred vision, losing consciousness, insomnia, and gagging. In contrast, brutal trauma to the head can lead to hallucinations, losing mobility, paralysis, as well as cognitive defects. Due to this, you are highly advised to seek medical attention without delay for medical checkups.
Numerous glass windows and other brittle parts are built on buses. The risk that commuters will suffer severe injuries or deep cuts is a serious threat when a devastating bus crash occurs. Such accidents may seem like a temporary surface annoyance, although they can have grave long-standing consequences. To minimize the chance of infection, lacerations should be treated immediately. Many deep cuts need stitches and, therefore, may require immediate surgery as well as reconstructive surgical procedures for laceration injuries. Such wounds might also leave lasting marks and dents to the body.
Spinal cord Injury
In bus accidents, spinal cord injuries are also common, as passengers can be thrown into the bus or thrown out of the vehicle. This results when the passenger hits his or her back area as a result of the strong force. Severe injuries to the spinal cord may lead to paralysis or death.
This can be described as the pain of soft tissues in the neck caused by trauma. Attributable to the abrupt force of the crash, organ injury, well known as whiplash injury, can happen to various people in different approaches. Whiplash symptoms include pain in the neck, softness, and bulging of tissues along the neck area. You may even suffer from muscle tremors, pain in the head, and abridged mobility. Failure to properly diagnose and treat the lesion can worsen. It is thus vital to seek health checks to aid in avoiding further impediments.
If the impact force is high enough in a bus accident, commuters might be thrown out of their seats and brutally hit the inside of the coach. If this occurs, there is a possibility that bus passengers will have significant injuries, such as broken bones and bruises. Fractured bones will expose you to expensive medical expenses, surgical treatments, and comprehensive physical treatment sessions due to their brutal nature. Lesions may also have a significant impact on your ability to work normally. If you happen to have fractures, there is a possibility that your bones will not recover and be as strong as they were initially.
Compensation for Damages Caused
If you or a loved one is injured in a bus accident, you may be left with costly medical expenses, lost wages, and severe pain and suffering. A Personal Injury lawsuit permits you and your loved ones to get full compensation for the injuries and damage incurred. No amount of money may be sufficient to repay you for injuries resulting from an incident, but the countervailing liability is intended to provide you with financial and non-economic damage.
In some scenarios, the survivor of the accident may also be able to claim punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer. Compensation insurance will have a huge role to play in covering the costs that you may have lost as a result of the collision. Some of the common costs of compensation include costly medical and hospital expenses, pain and suffering, both physically and emotionally, loss of current salaries as well as future wages if the victim is paralyzed or dead.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
If you or a loved one have been involved in a bus accident or have been injured, and it's been more than a year, a year and a half, or even almost two years, it doesn't mean that your case will be rejected. You can still seek the services of our experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Law Firm to guide you through the compensation process. Our team of proficient legal attorneys will make sure that your rights are protected as well as answer any questions you may have. Therefore, feel free to give us a call at 702-996-1224 for quick support.