Many buses operate on Las Vegas roads, including tourist buses, city buses, shuttle buses, and school buses. Many people consider buses a safe and reliable mode of transport. Buses provide a convenient and affordable form of transport and are ideal for long-distance and public transportation. However, buses are not always the safe fortresses that most people consider them to be. Bus accidents are common in Las Vegas. Every year, buses are involved in road accidents leading to injuries and fatalities. If you or a loved one suffers injuries in a bus accident, Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney can help you seek compensation.
Fatal Bus Accident Statistics in Nevada
The majority of fatal bus accidents in Nevada often involve large trucks and buses. For instance, Nevada recorded 25 fatal crashes involving trucks and buses in 2015. This is according to the statistics provided by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). This number of fatal bus accidents was higher than the 15 fatal bus crashes recorded in 2014. Though most bus accidents involve collisions with large trucks, some accidents also involve collisions with regular vehicles.
Recently, the FMCSA released new data on crash rates and fatalities for 2019. This data revealed the prevalence of buses and large truck accidents in different states in the U.S. 2734 fatal crashes involving buses and large trucks occurred in 2019. From these crashes, 3,087 people lost their lives according to the report released in January 2020. An additional 60,818 people suffered injuries in accidents involving buses and large trucks. In the U.S. 122,331, regular vehicles were wrecked or damaged in accidents involving buses.
Nevada is not among the deadliest states in the U.S. in terms of bus accidents. However, the state still records significant bus accidents, injuries, and fatalities every year. Three states contribute to more than 30 percent of bus accident fatalities in the U.S. The three deadliest states in the U.S. are Florida, California, and Texas.
According to the preliminary report, Nevada had recorded two fatal bus accidents and 125 non-fatal bus accidents in 2019. On August 24, 2019, the report states that two people lost their lives in Nevada's fatal mine bus crash. The accident involved a tractor-trailer carrying one person and a bus carrying mineworkers. The truck driver and one mine- bus passenger died at the accident scene. The accident occurred when the tractor-trailer crossed over the centerline and crashed into the bus carrying 20 mineworkers. The accident took place in northeastern Nevada on a Saturday morning. All the other bus occupants were taken to the hospital for treatment. Five of the bus passengers were in critical condition because of the injuries sustained in the bus accident.
On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, three school bus accidents occurred in southwest Las Vegas Valley. The school buses were not carrying students at the time of the crashes. The accidents occurred during the rainy morning rush, and two staff members suffered injuries. The three crashes occurred at around 7.00 a.m. and were on the same 215 Beltway stretch. One of the school buses overturned onto its side and this caused the injuries. The driver and another staff member aboard the bus suffered injuries. The other crash happened within a four-mile range near the exit at westbound Decatur Boulevard. This crash involved multiple vehicles and a school bus though none of the victims were hospitalized.
The third crash happened west of the Interstate 15 and 215 connectors. This crash involved another vehicle and a school bus, but no one suffered injuries. Investigators stated that they had not yet established whether rain played a factor in the school bus crashes. However, they pointed out that Las Vegas Valley records many accidents during the rainy season.
On August 28, 2018, a motorcyclist died in a crash with a school bus in Sparks, Nevada. The school bus was turning left when the motorcyclist hit it. There were no children aboard the bus, and the bus driver did not suffer injuries. However, the motorcyclist died at the scene of the accident. The crash occurred after the school bus finished dropping children and was finishing the route. The motorcyclist was an elderly man who was not identified.
In 2017, the Nevada Republican Governor Brian Sandoval signed a law that required all new school buses to have a safety belt after more than a dozen school children suffered injuries in school bus accidents in May 2017 in Las Vegas. The Nevada legislation passed by the legislation requires every new school bus to have safety belts effective July 1, 2019. All school buses must have a shoulder-harness belt to enhance the safety of the passengers.
By requiring all school buses to have safety belts, Nevada joined the other six states in the U.S. that require school buses to have safety belts. Other states that require school buses to have safety belts are California, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, New York, and New Jersey. Advocates for safety belts in school buses state that the belts ensure that children do not suffer severe accidents or fatalities in case of an accident. However, some people criticize the viability of safety belts in school buses. Some critics argue that school buses are safe enough, while others state that children might be unable to unbuckle their safety belts and end up being trapped in the buses in case of an accident.
On October 27, 2019, a man died in a bus crash in Central Las Vegas. The seven-vehicle crash involved a bus and occurred on a Sunday morning in Central Las Vegas. According to the Metropolitan Police Department, the accident occurred at 7.54 a.m. near Rainbow Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue.
In January 2020, a woman died after being hit by an RTC bus in downtown Las Vegas. The accident occurred on a late Wednesday at 11.45 p.m. The accident occurred at East Bonneville Avenue and South Main Street. The woman was crossing Bonneville on a marked crosswalk when the left front of the bus hit her. After being taken to the hospital, the woman was pronounced dead on arrival. The victim died because of blunt-force injuries that resulted from the bus accident.
According to the outlined statistics, it's evident that bus accidents are common in Nevada. Every year, the majority of counties in Nevada report at least one large vehicle fatality. The fatality rate in Nevada per million people is less than the national average. Nevada’s bus accidents have continued to drop mainly due to the strict traffic regulations and negligent bus operators' prosecution. Normally, buses carry many people at a time. Buses often carry more than seven people at a time. Therefore, when an accident occurs, many people are likely to suffer injuries and fatalities.
Leading Causes of Bus Accidents
When choosing a mode of public transportation, most people focus on safety. This is why most people prefer to travel by bus. In the United States, around 170 buses are involved in traffic accidents every day. This number translates to around 60,000 buses being involved in traffic accidents every year in the United States. The majority of accidents involve non-fatal injuries, but some lead to fatal injuries and deaths. The number of bus accidents in the U.S is less than 1% of all traffic accidents. However, the passenger capacity of buses is larger than that of other vehicles. Therefore, immense property loss and personal injuries result when a bus accident occurs.
Many people in the U.S. consider buses a relatively safe means of transportation. However, the extensive casualties and property losses that result from bus accidents contradict this fact. The number of bus accidents continues to grow, and there is no evidence that this trend will soon change. The social and economic impacts of bus accidents continue to become more serious. This information is based on research conducted by the National Transit Database. The good news is that society and scholars are paying more attention to bus accidents and their devastating outcomes. There is hope that bus safety study could solve some of the leading causes of bus accidents.
When you suffer injuries in a bus accident, it is important to determine the cause of the bus accident. Understanding the bus accident cause makes it easier to identify the party at fault and file a personal injury lawsuit. Some of the leading causes of bus accidents in Las Vegas are:
- Distracted bus drivers
- Fatigued bus drivers
- Driver intoxication or impaired driving
- Violation of traffic laws by bus drivers
- Defective or faulty bus components
- Poor bus maintenance
It is common for bus accidents to occur when bus drivers engage in distracted driving. A driver distraction could result from several factors. For instance, an accident might occur if a driver eats and drives at the same time. Operating a mobile phone, calling, or texting while driving could prevent a driver from paying attention. Trying to operate the radio on the vehicle while driving could make drivers less attentive and lead to an accident. The bus driver may be at fault if an accident occurs due to distracted driving.
Driver fatigue is also a leading cause of bus accidents. Most bus drivers, especially tour bus drivers, often drive for long hours before resting. Therefore, a driver might fall asleep while driving and cause an accident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 28% of all fatal crashes in the U.S. result from impaired driving. Therefore, it’s no wonder that driver intoxication or impaired driving is one of the leading causes of bus accidents in Las Vegas, Nevada. In Las Vegas, alcohol consumption is prevalent due to the many pleasures the city offers. Despite the efforts to discourage drunk driving, some bus drivers drink and still get behind the wheel. If you suffer injuries in an intoxicated driver's accident, your personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation.
Violation of traffic laws by bus drivers is also a leading cause of bus accidents in Nevada. For instance, an accident may occur when a bus driver fails to yield a right-of-way to pedestrians or other vehicles. Nevada recorded a rise in sidewalk pedestrian accidents and fatalities in 2020. Bus accidents may occur at parking lots when buses drive onto the walkways and fail to park within the marked spaces. There has been an increase in pedestrians being hit by bus drivers. Due to the large size of buses, the impact is significant, and most pedestrian knockdown accidents involving buses result in pedestrians' death.
Bus accidents in Nevada also occur at bus stops. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) reviewed 3,300 bus stops in July 2020. Of these bus stops, only 1,690 had shelters, and only around 1,205 of the bus stops complied with the safety requirements. In the past decade, RTC spent approximately $18.3 million to enhance rider and pedestrian safety at bus stops in Southern Nevada. Some of the activities that RTC engaged in include purchasing new shelters and pushing shelters five feet from the curb. Some of the challenges that RTC experienced while carrying out this exercise include lack of right-of-way on private property.
Shelters at the bus stop should provide passengers with comfort as they wait for their ride. Bus stops and shelters should not pose a risk to travelers. Placing shelters at a safe distance from the roadway is a significant contributor to bus stop safety. RTC implemented several measures to prevent drivers from driving on the sidewalks in Las Vegas Boulevard. One such measure involved setting up bollards. However, it's hard to implement this strategy on every other street in Nevada. Therefore, bus accidents continue to occur on the streets, sidewalks, and bus stops, mainly due to bus drivers' failure to follow traffic accidents.
Bus companies have a responsibility to ensure that they maintain buses in good condition. Therefore, if a bus accident occurs due to poor bus maintenance, the bus company may be at fault. If the bus had undergone routine maintenance, but the bus maintenance company failed to identify an apparent mechanical issue, the bus maintenance company may blame the accident.
If a bus accident occurs due to defective or faulty bus components, the bus manufacturer may be responsible for the accident. Manufacturers have to ensure that they only release safe products into the market, including vehicles. If a product has a potential risk, the manufacturers should issue adequate warnings to the consumers.
Other factors that could lead to bus accidents are:
- Poor weather conditions
- Defective or poor road conditions
Common Types of Bus Accident Claims in Nevada
The most common types of bus accident claims in Nevada involve:
- School Buses
- Metro Buses
- Motor Coaches
School Bus Accidents
Las Vegas has one of the state's largest school districts with hundreds of schools and thousands of students. School bus transportation is the ideal mode of transport for thousands of students. However, a shocking number of school bus accidents occur every year, leading to injuries both minor and fatal. If you or your child suffers injuries in a school bus accident, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney. An attorney will provide legal representation and help you seek compensation for all your injuries.
Metro Bus Accidents
Metro bus or city bus accidents are common in Las Vegas. Accidents occur when buses collide with trucks, other vehicles, or knock down pedestrians. After a bus accident, the first step towards seeking compensation is identifying the parties involved in the accident. A personal injury attorney will help you investigate all the accident facts and help you seek compensation. In accidents involving commercial or RTC buses, you would have to file a claim against the City of Las Vegas.
You need to understand the procedure to follow when taking legal action against the government. Your personal injury attorney will help you issue a Notice of Claim against the city. You should have a professional attorney to ensure that all aspects of your case are well managed. You should outline all the negligent parties that could have contributed to the accident.
Negligent parties may include city departments, employees, and other negligent parties. According to Nevada law NRS 11.010, you have to file a personal injury lawsuit within two years from when the accident occurred. A personal injury attorney can manage your claim's complex aspects while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Every year, Las Vegas receives millions of tourists, mainly because it is a haven for gamblers. Many tourists visit the city on private tour motor coaches. Tour buses are usually big and can carry a significant number of tourists across Las Vegas. Due to their large size and weight, tour buses require immense skill to maneuver and make safe turns. The risks of suffering injuries in a tour motorcoach in Las Vegas are high due to the prevalent collisions of tour buses and trucks.
Establishing Fault in a Bus Accident
After suffering injuries in a bus accident in Las Vegas, you need to identify the party responsible for the accident for you to be able to seek compensation. Some of the possible defendants in bus accidents include:
- Bus drivers
- Tour bus companies
- Municipal entities
A bus accident could be liable if an accident occurs due to driver negligence or driver error. For instance, the driver could be at fault if an accident occurs due to driver fatigue, traffic violations, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol.
A tour bus company could be liable if a bus accident occurs due to improper vehicle maintenance or mechanical failure.
If an accident involves RTC or school buses, the city or a government agency could blame the accident. If you are filing a lawsuit against a government agency, you should not attempt to handle the case on your own. Usually, claims against government agencies are complex and have strict statutes of limitations with which you must abide.
Common Injuries in Bus Accidents
Compared to other types of accidents, bus accidents are rare. However, when bus accidents occur, the injuries are usually catastrophic. According to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report, there were 73 catastrophic school bus accidents and 13 severe intercity bus accidents in 2017 in the U.S. When a bus accident occurs, some of the common injuries are:
Spinal Cord and Head Injuries
Most bus accidents involve extreme forces and severe trauma. These forces could make an accident victim’s head smash into the seat or whip around violently. Many bus occupants experience blunt force trauma in case of an accident. This trauma often leads to severe traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, and spinal cord injuries. Most bus accident victims could face a lifetime of permanent paralysis and disabilities.
It is also common for bus accidents victims to suffer broken bones due to the accident's impact. Unlike passenger vehicles, many buses do not have safety belts. When a bus collides with other vehicles or objects and comes to a sudden stop, passengers may fall on the floor or collide with the bus's walls. This could lead to fractures ranging from complex crushing injuries to broken bones. Broken bones may call for extensive surgery to correct and may lead to permanent disability.
Cuts and Lacerations
Buses have glass windows, and in case of an accident, this glass smashes and ends up injuring bus occupants. Sharp metal benches could also cause victims severe cuts in case of an accident. Deep cuts and lacerations could lead to excessive blood loss and tissue damage. If a cut becomes infected, the effects could be even worse. If an infected laceration is left unattended, it could turn out to be deadly.
When the body absorbs the forces and the impact of a bus accident, internal injuries might occur. Some of the common internal injuries that victims of a bus accident may suffer include internal hemorrhaging, kidney damage, punctured lungs, and liver lacerations. Internal injuries could become fatal if you don’t seek timely treatment.
Find a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
If you suffer injuries in a bus accident due to one or more parties' negligence, you are entitled to compensation under Nevada law. Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney can evaluate your case and help you file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation. Contact us at 702-996-1224 and speak to one of our attorneys.