Bus Accident FAQ’s
RENTON WASHINGTON BUS ACCIDENT LAW
What are the most common causes of bus accidents?
Bus accidents occur for a variety of reasons, including poor weather conditions, unsafe roads, defective or malfunctioning equipment and driver error. The following factors have also been implicated in bus accidents.
- The driver’s training was inadequate
- The bus was carrying too many passengers or too much baggage.
- The driver was sleepy.
- The driver had used alcohol or narcotics before getting behind the wheel.
- The driver was speeded or driving recklessly.
Are pedestrian and bus accidents common?
They are uncommon enough to make headlines when they happen. At the same, they are on the rise—from less than 10,000 per year in 2003 to almost 30,000 in 2007. 42% of these accidents involved a collision with a car. 24% of the accidents occurred as school children were getting on or off the bus.
About 20 school-aged pedestrians die each year when they are struck by the bus they ride to and from school. About half of these children are struck by the front of the bus, because the driver doesn’t realize the child is there. Around 17,000 children are injured while boarding or riding the school bus.
What makes a bus accident so deadly?
While accidents aren’t that common, when they do happen they are deadly because seat belts are not mandatory, especially on school buses.
I was involved in a mass transit accident. What can I do to improve my claim settlement?
You should expect to be contacted by a representative from mass transit. They will want to interview you. Politely let them know that you need to speak with your attorney first. The coaching you receive from your personal injury attorney could make the difference between a claim and no claim.
You also need to prove that you were involved in the accident. If you didn’t take down names and contact information from others who were involved in the accident, you may need help tracking down people who can verify that you were there, and that you were injured.
How quickly must a bus accident claim be made?
If the bus is owned and operated by the city or school district, you may only have 180 days to file your claim. Consult a personal injury attorney about your bus accident as soon as you can after the accident occurs. If you file the claim outside of the time limit, your claim may be time barred (which means the court will not consider it).
Who can I hold at fault after a bus accident?
Usually, you can hold the bus driver accountable. But you may also be able to pursue compensation from the transportation company, the bus owner, the local government, and the bus manufacturer. Manufacturers of equipment used on the bus can also be held at fault if their equipment failure caused the accident. For example if the accident is caused by a tire, you may be able to pursue compensation from the tire manufacturer.
What can I expect to recover in compensation after a bus accident?
You are entitled to compensation for any medical expenses related to your bus accident. If you lose wages, you can seek compensation even if you are covered by your employer’s sick leave plan or use vacation time. If the bus accident leaves you suffering some type of permanent impairment, you can seek compensation on several levels, such as loss of earning power or to cover permanent healthcare assistance. You may also seek damages for pain and suffering.
I suffered minimal physical harm from the bus accident. Can I claim compensation for the psychological treatments I need to deal with the emotional trauma?
You may still be entitled to compensation for the emotional harm you have suffered. Treatment needs for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), flashbacks and depression that arise as a result of a bus accident may be valid medical expenses that can be pursued.
My loved one died in a bus accident. What are my legal rights?
As long as you are a close relative, usually a parent, child or brother/sister to the person who died, you can file a wrongful death claim.