Charlotte Bus Accident Attorneys
Handling bus accident injury cases for victims in North Carolina
Here in North Carolina, buses are an essential piece of our daily lives. Whether commuting on the CATS bus system or taking a trip on Megabus, many people depend on buses to get to where they need to go.
Bus and other mass transit systems are continually working to upgrade their safety mechanisms and protocols. Unfortunately, accidents still occur at an alarming frequency. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports 69,000 crashes involving buses in 2016, with 225 of those crashes being fatal, and 15,000 causing injuries.
If you were injured in a bus accident, or a family member suffered wrongful death, the attorneys at Warren & Kallianos, PLLC can help. Our Charlotte personal injury attorneys have decades of combined experience and will put it to work advocating for your best interests. Contact us today.
Reasons Bus Accidents Occur
Just like car accidents, there’s no one reason bus accidents happen. However, here are a few common causes.
Driver error and negligence. Careless driving is a major cause of bus accidents. Serious crashes can be caused by drivers committing traffic violations like improper turns, speeding, or driving while drunk or distracted. Sometimes it’s other drivers on the road who make the error; sometimes it’s the bus driver. Either way, an accident occurs.
Driver fatigue. Like long-haul truck drivers, bus drivers often drive long hours with little breaks. And, because many buses run during off-hours – especially tour or travel buses that drive all night – some drivers are on the road when their bodies are normally used to sleeping.
Sometimes drivers don’t get adequate rest breaks, or don’t get enough sleep for other reasons. Although federal laws require bus companies to limit the number of hours drivers can work, some bus companies will skirt these rules in order to increase profits over the safety of their passengers.
When drivers fall asleep behind the wheel of a bus, the results can be as tragic as if they were driving drunk.
Mechanical causes. It’s not always human error that causes a bus accident. Mechanical problems can also result in serious consequences. Buses are in action all day and therefore there’s a lot of wear and tear put on the engine and parts. Proper maintenance is critical, especially when these vehicles are carrying around the general public.
Bus companies must ensure they perform required inspections, and make timely repairs upon discovery of any issues. If companies fail to inspect their fleet or don’t make necessary repairs, they can be held liable if their vehicles injure someone.
Hazardous roadways. Not all bus accidents are related to the buses or the drivers. Improper signage can direct a driver in the wrong direction, and poor lighting may hide a dangerous stretch of roadway. Work zones are especially dangerous if they are not properly marked. Two of the more significant concerns are road debris and roadway erosion from storms, although debris from passing trucks can also cause hazards.
Understand that a hazardous roadway claim will likely involve the local or state government, and those claims have special circumstances. Their statutes of limitations are also different. Contact us immediately if you were injured because of a hazardous roadway.
Types of Injuries from Bus Accidents
Because of their size, crashes involving buses can cause catastrophic injuries. These injuries can include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue injuries
No matter what type of injury you may have suffered in a bus accident, we represent you to ensure you receive compensation for your losses. Nobody should be left to deal with the economic consequences of an accident they weren’t responsible for causing.
Determining Liability in a Charlotte Bus Crash
It can be difficult to determine liability in a bus crash. You and your personal injury attorney can discuss the specific circumstances of your accident. We’ve put together a list of the different kinds and types of buses that might be involved in an accident, with notes about who or what entity could (in general) be liable.
- Public transit buses. Public transit, like CATS buses, are convenient for local travel and commuting. Many North Carolina residents rely on the bus, as they have no other means of transportation. Generally, public transit buses are operated by the city and local government.
- Tour buses. When a large group of people want to travel together to an out-of-town location, or visit multiple locations, sometimes they’ll rent a tour bus. They can either go through the company that’s organizing the tour, or hire one on their own. In the event of an accident, the bus driver and the tour bus company are both potentially liable.
- Private and charter buses. Charter buses are typically used during events when large numbers of people need transportation. This includes things like sporting events, weddings, or corporate outings. Private buses are usually owned by private companies – like Megabus, which is owned by Coach – and they and the bus driver could be liable in the event of an accident or injuries.
- School buses. These buses, familiar to just about everyone, ferry our kids back and forth to school every day. School buses are usually owned by the school district, or a private company contracted by the school. With school bus accidents, the school district can be held liable for a bus driver’s negligent acts. Private companies can be liable as well.
Why Do I Need a Bus Accident Lawyer?
Bus accidents can cause devastating injuries. You may be left with stacks of medical bills and insurance companies calling constantly. We want to ensure you receive all the compensation to which you’re entitled. We fight to secure damages for your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Future medical care
- Non-economic damages, like pain and suffering or post-traumatic stress disorder
Following a serious bus accident, you may not be sure of what caused the crash or collision. Finding out what happened is important – not just to get closure, but to get the compensation you need as well as hold the negligent parties responsible.
Charlotte’s Megabus is located at: Whitton St, Charlotte, NC 28217. For more information, visit Megabus.
Charlotte Area Transit System can be found at: 310 E Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28202. For more details, visit CATS.
Honest Representation from North Carolina Bus Crash Lawyers
If you were injured in a bus accident, or a loved one suffered wrongful death, the injury attorneys at Warren & Kallianos can help. When you contact us, we will review your claim and determine a plan of action together. You need strong advocacy on your side – contact us today. To schedule a free initial consultation at our office in Charlotte, please call 704-377-7777 or fill out our contact form.