Accidents involving buses are not the most common type of incident, but when they occur, they can lead to significant injuries and property damage. Bus accidents can occur involving school buses, public transportation buses, and long-distance transportation buses. But who will be responsible for paying compensation if you are involved in a crash with a bus? This will depend on what the investigation uncovers when it comes to determining liability.
One of the most obvious places to examine liability after a bus accident occurs is the bus driver themselves. In almost all situations, regardless of the type of bus being operated, drivers will need to have obtained their commercial driver’s license (CDL). However, the training does not end there. Bus drivers should undergo vehicle-specific training for every bus they will be required to operate.
Bus drivers and bus companies have an enhanced duty of care because they are known as common carriers, meaning they transport passengers for a fee. Common carriers must operate with the utmost care on the roadway to protect their passengers and others around them. Some of the most common reasons that bus drivers are held liable for accidents is because they were:
If you were a pedestrian that was seriously injured in a bus accident, get legal representation from a Santa Ana pedestrian accident lawyer to hold the negligent bus driver responsible for your injuries.
Bus companies or entities responsible for operating buses could also be held responsible for their actions. In fact, when a bus driver causes an accident while carrying out their job-related duties, liability will ultimately fall to the bus company or entity.
However, the bus company or entity could also be responsible in their own right for any accident that occurs. This could include if the company or entity fails to regularly inspect and maintain each vehicle, fails to conduct adequate background checks, does not properly train their drivers, or fails to follow up on safety concerns related to drivers.
Bus companies, such as Greyhound or Megabus, as well as smaller bus operators, such as those that run hotel or airport mini-buses, can certainly be held liable. However, government entities are often responsible for the overall safety of public transportation buses, and these entities can also be held responsible, though holding a government agency liable for an injury involves additional steps.
There are some cases where bus crashes occur due to the failure of the bus or a defective part on the bus, such as the brakes or steering components. If a bus crash is caused by a defective bus or bus part, then the manufacturer of the defective part could be held liable for the incident. When it comes to defective products, strict liability laws usually apply, which means victims will not necessarily have to prove negligence – they will usually only have to prove that the defective part was what caused the crash. Working with a skilled defective product lawyer in Santa Ana can help you prove your case and recover maximum compensation.
Regardless of which party will be held liable, it is crucial to work with an experienced Santa Ana bus accident attorney who can investigate the incident and help properly assign liability so that crash victims can recover the compensation they need.