Who Is Liable For a Bus Accident?

Posted On February 28, 2023 / By Manning Law / Bus Accidents

Bus accidents can affect dozens of people and cause severe injuries or deaths. If you get involved in a bus accident in Colorado, it may be difficult to know who is responsible for paying for any injuries or property damage that you suffered. You may need assistance from an experienced attorney to determine the cause of your bus accident and assist you with the claims process.

Common Causes of Bus Accidents 

After any type of motor vehicle accident in Colorado, the state’s fault law necessitates determining the cause of the crash. This is because the person or party at fault for causing the vehicle collision is responsible for paying for any medical bills and property damage. The state’s fault-based insurance system requires injured victims to prove that the other driver is at fault to qualify for coverage. This means you may need to prove negligence to recover compensation after a bus accident.

Some of the most common causes of bus accidents are: 

  • Bus driver inattention or distraction
  • A drowsy or fatigued bus driver
  • A drunk or drugged bus driver
  • Speeding or violations of other traffic laws
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Making an unsafe turn or U-turn
  • Jumping curbs or coming too close to sidewalks
  • Clipping a pedestrian or bicyclist with the bus’s mirror
  • Bus brake failure or another equipment breakdown or defect
  • Road hazards, such as potholes

An investigation may be necessary to identify the at-fault party or parties after a bus accident. An insurance company’s investigators will seek evidence such as a police report, eyewitness statements, photographs and video footage, and crash reconstruction data to determine fault. Injured victims from other motor vehicles involved in the bust accident have the right to hire experienced car accident lawyers in Aurora to investigate the accident and identify the cause of the crash.

Liability In a Bus Accident In Colorado

In most cases, bus driver negligence that results in an accident will lead to liability going to the company or entity in charge of the bus. This is due to the rule of vicarious liability, which states that employers are legally responsible for the negligence of their employees when they are on duty. This includes bus drivers. Bringing a claim against a bus company will generally result in greater financial compensation than an individual driver.

The liable party in a bus accident claim could be any of the following:

  • The city or state government in charge of public transit
  • A private bus company, such as on a charter bus or party bus
  • A private school or public school district
  • The manufacturer of the bus or a defective bus part
  • The government in charge of maintaining a safe roadway
  • A third-party motor vehicle driver

If you were a passenger on a bus in an accident, you will not have to pay for damages. Passengers are rarely found to be at fault for these collisions. If you were in another motor vehicle, however, your liability will be considered as part of the investigative process. You may need help from a specialized Aurora bus accident attorney to defend your claim and prove that the bus driver or another party caused the crash.

How to File a Bus Accident Claim in Colorado

If you get injured in a bus accident in Colorado, notify the police that there has been a collision. While you are still at the scene, gather as much information as you can, including the name of the bus company or school, the name of the bus driver, the bus number, and bus license plate number. Speak to the police when they arrive to give them your version of events. After you have sought medical attention for your injuries, consult with a Colorado personal injury attorney in Aurora about filing an injury claim.

In Colorado, you have no more than two years to file a bus accident claim. If you are bringing a claim against a public bus service, however, you must initiate your claim within just 180 days. It will then be up to you or your attorney to prove that the defendant was negligent. A successful bus accident claim could reimburse you for medical costs, lost wages and future capacity to earn, property damage, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and more.