Every day, millions of people rely on buses for transportation. Buses are common carriers, meaning they are subject to a different set of laws than standard motor vehicles. Unfortunately, not all bus companies and bus drivers obey the law. Bus accidents can and do happen in Colorado, resulting in serious and even fatal injuries.
Bus Driver Error
Despite being responsible for dozens of people, bus drivers are susceptible to all of the same errors as standard motor vehicle drivers. A bus driver that is negligent, or careless, behind the wheel may cause an accident. Common examples of bus driver errors are distracted driving, failing to pay attention to the road, texting and driving, driving drowsy, speeding, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, following other vehicles too closely, running red lights, and failing to yield the right-of-way. Any lapse in judgment or moment of inattention by a bus driver could have devastating consequences.
Other Driver Error
Some bus accidents are caused not by a negligent bus driver but by an outside driver. Someone driving near a bus may cut the bus off and slam on the brakes, for example, causing a rear-end collision. Another driver may run a red light or stop sign and crash into the side of a bus. Any act of carelessness, negligence or recklessness behind the wheel could make it impossible for the bus driver to avoid a collision.
Bus accidents are unique in that they do not only involve two motor vehicle drivers but the bus company or entity in charge of bus operations, as well. On a private bus or charter bus, such as a Greyhound, the bus company is responsible for safe operations and well-trained drivers. On a public bus, the city is responsible. On a school bus, the school district or private school is responsible. Duties of care include hiring qualified bus drivers, training drivers, regularly inspecting buses and maintaining the fleets. Falling short of these responsibilities can lead to dangerous buses or bus drivers that increase the risk of accidents.
Bus manufacturers and auto part distributors do not always ensure the safety of their products. Some buses may contain defective or dangerous parts that malfunction or break down in transit. Examples are bad brakes that fail during a ride or defective tires that cause a blowout accident. The manufacturing company can be held liable for accidents caused by bus defects under the law of product liability. In many of these cases, our Aurora bus accident lawyers know that victims do not have to prove negligence to qualify for financial compensation.
Although buses are large and heavy and can roll over many minor road flaws and defects, major issues could cause a bus accident. A large pothole, debris in the road or a malfunctioning traffic light, for example, could cause the bus driver to lose control of the vehicle or crash. The city or state government that is responsible for public roadway maintenance could be held liable for these bus accidents in Denver.
Bus drivers must contend with passengers while controlling these large vehicles. If a passenger gets out of hand, such as a violent or intoxicated passenger, the passenger could cause a bus accident. The passenger may attack the bus driver while he or she is driving, for example, or distract the bus driver’s attention from the road in other ways.
Depending on what caused your bus accident, you could be eligible for financial compensation from one or more parties as an injured victim. Contact a Denver car accident attorney at Manning Law to discuss your recent accident during a free consultation.