Winchester, TN Bus Accident Lawyer
When you get onto a public bus, you may not think about the possibility of an accident. But bus accidents do happen. A 2010 study by the University of Michigan determined that there are 63,000 bus accidents in an average year, with 14,000 injuries and 325 fatal injuries. A 2012 NTSB study found that 250 died and 20,000 were injured in bus crashes in 2009.
These statistics indicate that bus accidents are not as common as car accidents. But when an accident occurs, the injuries tend to be more severe. Buses are heavy, and usually have many unrestrained passengers on board. These factors increase the chance of devastating accident injuries.
Bus Operators Have a Higher Level of Responsibility
Bus operators and drivers have a higher duty of care than regular drivers. When a bus driver or operator behaves in a negligent fashion, victims are entitled to financial compensation for their medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
However, bus accident victims in Tennessee should be aware of the complexity of laws in some areas of bus personal injury law. In particular, school bus accidents in Tennessee can be challenging from a personal injury perspective.
A particularly shocking school bus crash in Chattanooga in 2016 killed six elementary school students and injured 12 others. The 24-year-old driver was allegedly speeding around a corner and slammed into a utility pole. Under Tennessee law, an unusual legal twist is that school buses and school systems do not have the same duty of care as regular bus carriers.
School bus drivers are only obligated to exercise ‘reasonable and ordinary care under the circumstances,’ according to the Tennessee Supreme Court. In this case, a very significant legal settlement is still possible, but a skilled personal injury attorney such as John R. Colvin would be needed to navigate complex Tennessee laws governing school bus accidents.
Complex Accident Claims With Bus Operators
Of course, large companies or government agencies often operate buses and similar vehicles. These entities typically have attorneys and insurance companies who will do their best to frustrate the injured with a slow claims process. When insurance companies, bus owners, tour operators and government are in the mix, it can take a long time to obtain financial justice.
Another factor in Tennessee bus accident liability is a cap on non-economic damages, which was signed into law with the Tennessee Civil Justice Act of 2011. The cap on all non-economic damages for most civil lawsuits is $750,000 per injured party.
John R. Colvin can help to navigate these legal complexities in Tennessee bus accident claims. He has many years of experience assisting people injured by the negligent operation of buses and commercial vehicles. If you have questions, please contact us at (931) 962-1044.
Common Causes of Tennessee Bus Accidents
Typical causes of serious and fatal bus accidents – including public buses, charter buses and school buses – include:
- Bus driver fatigue
- Inadequate driver training
- Driving too many hours
- Distracted driving/texting while driving
- Reckless driving
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Unsafe lane merges
- Maintenance problems.
How to Win a Tennessee Bus Accident Claim
If you have been injured in a bus accident, or your loved one was hurt or killed, you and your attorney will have to prove that the bus driver or company was negligent. You must show that the defendant did not exercise reasonable care and that their failure is what led to your injuries or the harm to your loved one.
For instance, a bus company that encourages drivers to work past their hours-of-service limits or drivers who are on the road with a suspended Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) could be guilty of negligence.
Hurt in a Bus Accident? Contact Tennessee Bus Accident Lawyer John R. Colvin
Personal injury claims that arise from bus accidents require attorneys who are familiar with complex state and federal laws that dictate safety regulations and rules for commercial transportation enterprises in the United States. John R. Colvin has been assisting people in bus and commercial vehicle lawsuits for more than two decades. If you have questions about a bus accident case, please contact John at (931) 962-1044 or submit a query on our online form. Put John R. Colvin’s bold and client-focused approach to work to help you get the compensation you deserve.