Bus Accident Lawyers in Seattle, Washington, Providing Compassionate Legal Representation to Victims in Need
Buses are among the most oversized vehicles on our roads, making them among the most dangerous. When a bus driver makes a mistake, they not only endanger their own lives, but they potentially put dozens of passengers at risk and also threaten the lives of other motorists and pedestrians. For this reason, a bus driver must undergo special training. But even still, Seattle bus accidents can and do happen. Sometimes accidents result from minor human errors. However, like most automobile accidents, bus accidents often occur when one or more drivers are intoxicated. Dangerous road conditions also play a part in bus accidents, such as when roads are slick with rain or oil. And there are few things more frightening than thinking of children involved in a school bus accident.
If you or a loved one have suffered severe injuries in a Seattle bus accident, it is important that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about filing a personal injury claim.
Bus companies usually have an aggressive legal team and strong policies with their insurance company, which may make for a complex case. Your bus accident attorney will gather all relevant evidence from the crash scene, examine your medical records, speak with professionals in the field, and review witness testimonies to craft a winning bus accident case.
To speak with our bus accident lawyers about your personal injury claim, contact the experienced legal team our Seattle office to schedule a free consultation.
Are ‘Common Carriers’ Held to a Different Standard Than Other Motorists?
Common carriers are individuals, businesses, or government agencies that transport large numbers of people regularly. Common carriers are held to a higher standard of care, meaning it may be easier to hold them accountable when they act with negligence. However, as they are often owned by a wealthy private company or government agency, they can represent complex legal cases to win.
Examples of common carriers include buses (including charter buses), taxis, airlines, and ships.
How Often Do Bus Accidents Happen?
Data suggest that nearly 60,000 bus accidents occur annually across the United States. While the majority of those crashes only result in property damage, hundreds of fatalities and an average of 14,000 injuries occur annually. These numbers sound scary, but actually, traveling by bus is considered to be 10x safer than traveling by car.
In 2020, Washington State reported 560 total bus crashes. Those accidents resulted in a dozen reports of serious injuries and two deaths.
Are School Buses Properly Regulated to Prevent Accidents?
School buses are heavily regulated in Washington. These service regulations extend to bus drivers, manufacturers, and maintenance.
Over the course of a decade, it was determined that only 0.4% of all US traffic accidents involved a school bus.
What Are the Common Causes of Bus Crashes?
Whether it be tour buses, school buses, city-owned buses, or buses owned by private companies, all vehicles are equally susceptible to ending up in catastrophic accidents if things go wrong. Many service regulations exist, but public transportation has too many variables and contributing demands to create a perfect system.
Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Buses failing to yield to pedestrians.
- Dangerous weather conditions.
- Defective vehicle.
- Bus driver fatigue.
- Bus driver negligence.
- Driving recklessly.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Health issues.
- Inadequate training and inexperience.
- Limited visibility.
- Overloading or improper loading.
- Poor road conditions.
- Vehicle disrepair and poor maintenance.
Is Anyone Other Than the Bus Driver Held Liable for a Bus Accident?
Depending on the contributing factors of the crash, it is possible that additional entities may be held responsible beyond a negligent driver.
The bus company, bus manufacturer, school district, other drivers, mechanics, passengers, bars, and government entities could have a role in the accident.
What is ‘Comparative Negligence’ or ‘Comparative Fault’?
Washington State laws operate under what is known as comparative negligence rules. This means that time will be spent determining fault and dividing blame in a personal injury case. More than one party can be held liable for a bus collision, for example.
While this means that injured victims have multiple avenues by which to pursue legal action and fair compensation for their injuries, it also means that they could be partially responsible for the crash if the investigation takes a turn. Because of this, those injured in a bus accident must speak with a personal injury lawyer without delay so that they may begin building their case for a successful claim.
What Injuries Are Commonly Seen in Bus Accidents?
The types of injuries sustained in a bus accident may depend on whether the injured person was a pedestrian, another driver on the road, or one of the bus passengers. While, hopefully, your injury is no worse than a few bumps and bruises, others injured in a bus accident suffer far more serious injuries.
Common significant injuries seen in bus crashes include:
- Cuts and deep lacerations.
- Head injuries.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Claim Following a Bus Accident?
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim related to a bus accident is three years. After that three-year window, you are likely out of luck if you hope to hold anyone accountable for any injury suffered in a bus collision.
Please note, however, that if the bus accident involved a governmental entity or agency, then the statute of limitations is shortened to a mere 60 days after the day of the accident.
Do not miss your opportunity to pursue compensation. Speak with an experienced bus accident lawyer today.
Does it Matter Whether You Were a Pedestrian, Bus Passenger, or Another Driver — Do You Still Have a Potential Case?
It doesn’t matter. If your lawyer can determine that liability rests on the shoulders of another party, you may have the right to file a lawsuit.
What Types of Damages Could a Bus Accident Lawyer Recover for Your Claim?
After determining liability, your bus accident lawyers will attempt to recover compensation from the parties responsible for your emotional pain and suffering. Your attorney may be able to recover settlements for both economic and non-economic damages from the bus driver, the bus company, the school district, the bus manufacturer, and any other responsible party.
Financial compensation may take the form of:
- Emotional distress.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of quality of life.
- Lost future earning ability.
- Medical expenses.
- Repair bills.
- Past or future lost wages.
- Permanent disability.
- Property damage.
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy bills.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney at Khan Injury Law Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bus accident, you may be eligible to pursue adequate compensation with the help of a personal injury attorney. The bus accident lawyers of Khan Injury Law have a track record of success, and we would be honored to represent your legal needs.
To schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, please call our Seattle office at (206) 203-3978.