The morning of July 18 was a terrifying one for some San Antonio-area parents, as the bus carrying their children back from church camp caught fire on Highway 281, near Johnson City in Bianco County. While everyone got off the bus safely, the entire vehicle eventually wound up in flames, totaling the vehicle. The cause was later determined to be a fault in the bus’ engine, which began to smoke and then caught fire. While thankfully, there were no injuries, the engine’s total failure raises legal questions of liability, both between the manufacturer and the church and between the church and the children.
Bus Accident Cases Are Complex
Accidents involving buses can lead to very high casualty counts - between 2009 and 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates approximately a 40 percent increase in the number of fatal crashes involving buses - and sometimes it can be quite difficult to determine how the accident occurred. There are so many potential factors in any road accident - inclement weather, malfunctioning parts, driver error - that anyone can be the tipping point; the Bianco County accident is an exception, rather than a rule. If there had been any casualties, parents would have had to either determine who bore the most liability or choose to bring suit against multiple defendants.
In a case involving a private bus, an action would be brought in a similar way to any other auto accident case (if you are in a crash involving a public bus, there are slightly different rules to follow). If you can establish that the bus company or the driver (or both) failed to exercise reasonable care in their actions and that the recklessness or negligence of their actions caused your injuries, you should be able to recover for your medical bills and your pain and suffering....