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Injured in a Commercial Bus Accident in Texas: What Should I Do and What are My Options?

Texas Bus Accident Lawyer | Hurt in a Texas Bus Accident - Options and What to Do

Crashes involving buses and other large commercial vehicles tragically killed 3,018 people and injured more than 68,000 others during 2019. Texas ranked as the deadliest state that year, with 762 deaths and 7,399 injuries linked to large bus and truck accidents.

Any motor vehicle crash is traumatic, but a collision involving a commercial bus is especially harrowing.  Not only do most of these vehicles lack seatbelts, but they also tend to have thin roofs, windows that pop out easily, and offer little protection from side impacts. As a result, passengers are more likely to suffer traumatic and life-threatening injuries in a commercial bus accident.

Far too often, the shock bus accident victims and their families experience in the hours and days after the wreck prevent them from taking the actions needed to preserve evidence, protect their rights, and ensure they’re fully compensated by the bus company and other responsible parties.

Causes of Texas Bus Accidents

Having recovered Record-Breaking Verdicts and Settlements against the largest commercial bus and transportation companies in the world, it’s been clear that the vast majority of these crashes are entirely preventable and the result of negligence on the part of the bus company, it’s driver, or both.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a commercial driver’s actions contribute to a significant percentage of the bus and truck crashes that occur in Texas and across the United States, including:

  • Distracted driving or texting while at the wheel.
  • Failure to properly maintain the vehicle or equipment on board.
  • Inadequately trained or licensed drivers.
  • Hiring operators with poor driving records.
  • Driving while fatigued.
  • Poor driver decisions or reckless driving

Other factors that may contribute to a severe or fatal bus crash include:

  • Improperly Loaded Cargo
  • Vehicle or Equipment Malfunctions
  • Adverse Weather Conditions
  • Poor Road Conditions

In Texas, commercially-owned buses – Greyhound and other commercial lines, casino buses, charter buses, church buses, nursing home buses, and hotel or airport shuttles — are considered “common carriers.” They are expected to exercise a higher duty of care to their passengers and other people on the road than do typical drivers.

Commercial bus companies are considered negligent when they – or their drivers – fail in this duty. Passengers and others harmed as the result of negligence are entitled to compensation for their injury-related damages. In cases of extreme negligence, they may also be entitled to punitive damages.

Why Bus Accidents are So Dangerous

Traveling by bus is relatively safe, statistically speaking. But because of characteristics unique to this transportation mode, an accident is more likely to be a mass casualty event with multiple severe injuries and deaths.

For one thing, buses generally lack safety features — seatbelts, airbags, etc. — typical of cars and other passenger vehicles. The sheer size of a bus can also prevent the bus driver from maneuvering out of the way or stopping in time to prevent a crash.

It’s not unusual for a bus to tip or roll over in the event of an accident, causing passengers to be thrown about or ejected from the vehicle. A crash involving a large bus is also likely to cause severe damage to other vehicles caught up in the collision.

Regulations established by the FMCSA limit the number of hours a bus driver can work without taking a break, how many passengers are allowed on board, and set guidelines for training and other requirements. If a bus driver or bus company acts negligently or violates these regulations, the consequences could be lethal for passengers and other motorists on the road.

Most Common Bus Crash Injuries

Common bus accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury, concussion, and other head injuries.
  • Spinal cord and back injuries, including full or partial paralysis.
  • Bone fractures.
  • Neck injuries, including whiplash.
  • Internal bleeding.
  • Organ damage.
  • Burns and lacerations that cause scarring and disfigurement.
  • Permanent disability that prevents the victim from earning a living or resuming normal daily activities.

If these injuries were the result of negligence on the part of the bus company or its driver, injured victims might be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

What to Do After a Bus Accident in Texas

Because a bus accident is far more likely to cause multiple severe injuries and deaths, the verdicts and settlements awarded to innocent victims and their families tend to be much higher and might even break records.

To avoid a potentially record-breaking payout, bus companies, their insurance carriers, and their teams of attorneys will do almost anything to dodge responsibility for a crash, even if that means downplaying victims’ injuries, blaming other parties, and destroying or “losing” training records, driver logs, and other vital evidence proving their responsibility.

For that reason, the steps you take in the moments, hours, days, and weeks following a commercial bus accident could well determine whether you receive maximum compensation or all of your injuries and losses or walk away with nothing:

  • Call 911: Reporting the accident will bring needed help to the scene as quickly as possible. Once the police arrive, they’ll begin taking witness statements and documenting other evidence for an official, written report that could help you prove the bus company and its driver are at fault.
  • Document as Much as You Can: If you’re physically able and it’s safe to do so, take photos and videos of the crash scene, including damage to the bus and other vehicles, as well as any skid marks, stop signs and traffic controls, lighting on the highway, and other road conditions.
  • Gather as Much Information as You Can: If possible, write down the bus driver’s name, the name of the bus company and its DOT number (located on the side of the vehicle), the license plate number of all vehicles involved, the name of the bus driver’s insurance company and the policy number, and names, phone numbers, and addresses of any witnesses.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Obviously, EMTs will transfer you to the nearest emergency room if you’re seriously injured. But even if you don’t think you were hurt, you should still get checked out at the scene or the hospital. Not all injuries are immediately apparent, especially when adrenaline is high after a crash. Seeking medical attention will ensure your injuries are documented and will help prove they resulted from the accident.
  • Don’t Make any Statements: Shortly after the crash, you’ll probably receive a call from the bus company’s “claims rep” or insurance adjuster promising to do whatever they can to “make things right” or “take care of you.” Always remember that the insurance company isn’t working for you and is only interested in minimizing your injuries, blaming others for the accident, and paying you as little as possible. Speaking with or providing a recorded statement to the bus company’s insurer could be a costly mistake, and you’re under no obligation to do so.
  • Follow All Medical Advice and Keep All Doctor’s Appointments: The bus company’s attorneys and its insurance carrier will view any failure to follow doctor’s advice or skipped medical appointments as an opportunity to question your injuries and pay you less than your case is worth. Make sure you follow your doctor’s recommendations and go to all scheduled appointments.

Experienced and Undefeated Bus Accident Lawyer: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consult.

Contacting an Experienced Bus Accident Lawyer with a proven record of success representing victims against the largest commercial bus companies in the world is the most important thing you can do to ensure you and your family are fully and fairly compensated for all of your injuries and losses.

Our Undefeated Texas Bus Accident Lawyers have won Record-Breaking Verdicts and Settlements for crash victims and their families against the largest bus and transportation companies in the world.

Most recently, our Houston-based firm recovered a $6 million settlement on behalf of several Greyhound bus passengers who were seriously injured in a rollover crash.

While Greyhound initially claimed the bus driver had suffered a “medical emergency,” our attorneys won the first-ever court-ordered overnight sleep study of a commercial driver in Texas. The test proved the driver actually suffered from Moderate to Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea and likely fell asleep at the wheel.

If you or someone you love were hurt or tragically killed in connection with a commercial bus accident, please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email through our “Contact Form.”

During your consult, we’ll answer your questions, explain your rights, and provide all of the information you need to decide what’s best for you and your family.

The consultation is free, and since we work exclusively for a contingency fee, you won’t pay us anything unless we win your case.