Three people were hospitalized, with four more treated for injuries at the scene, after a van crashed into a VIA bus that had been turning onto northbound Highway 181 South, near Laguna Road. There were no life-threatening injuries, but the driver and some of the passengers in the van were transported to the nearest hospital as a precautionary measure. While this accident was clearly the fault of the van driver, bus accidents can go very differently, causing serious injury and even death. If you have been involved in an accident with a bus, and you have been injured, you may have a case against the driver or the bus company.
Same Causes, Different Effects
The number of fatal bus accidents nationwide have decreased steadily in recent years, with a 22-year low of 86 crashes. However, injury crashes have steadily risen by almost two-thirds between 2009 and 2017, leading to a high of 116,000. Busses are much larger than most automobiles, and between their weight and their larger driving radius, the potential for an accident is significantly higher than that of a lower vehicle, especially if the vehicle is in the hands of an untrained driver.
Many of the general causes of accidents involving buses are similar to the reasons for automobile or truck accidents. Speeding is one of the most commonly seen reasons, as well as poor maintenance on the bus (which can, in turn, lead to vehicle or part failures). Negligence on the part of the bus driver or the bus company can easily lead to a potential cause of action against the driver or their employer – transport companies have a duty to take reasonable care for their passengers’ safety and well-being, and an accident can imply that duty has been breached.
Private Or Public Bus
If you have been involved in a bus accident, your potential options to seek compensation will be different depending on whether the bus was owned by a public or private entity. If you were struck by a public bus, such as a VIA bus (which would be owned by the City of San Antonio and Bexar County), you are required to ensure that your case would meet certain criteria before you will be allowed to progress. If you were struck by a private bus, there are fewer proverbial hoops to jump through.
If you are involved in an accident with a city bus, claims against government entities are limited under the Texas Tort Claims Act (in other words, only certain types of accident cases can be brought against the government). In addition, even if your case is allowed to go forward, the amount you can recover is limited by law – for non-fatal cases, the cap is $250,000. This may simply not be enough to cover your injuries, depending on how extensive they were, and for most people, this is a factor they must consider.
Call a New Braunfels Bus Crash Lawyer Ffor Help
While as of this writing, the Laguna Road accident yielded no serious injuries, the next bus accident may be more severe. If you have been in an accident with a charter or city bus, consulting an attorney who knows this area of the law is critical. The skilled New Braunfels bus accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm can try and assist you in determining what path to take to move toward recovery. Contact our offices today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.