Buses are a common form of transportation used by thousands of people in Cincinnati every day. However, the possibility that a mistake can occur and cause great harm is very real.
Recovering from the trauma and injuries victims experience during a bus accident is challenging and often imposes expensive medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering to victims and families. At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, our Cincinnati bus accident lawyers have decades of experience fighting for the rights of the injured and are well-versed in commercial transportation laws. Our injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and will provide you with a free review of your claim to determine if you are entitled compensation.
What Causes Bus Accidents?
Bus accidents can happen for several reasons resulting from mechanical, human or natural occurrences. Some of which include:
- Mechanical failure
- Inadequate maintenance
- Driver error
- Driver fatigue
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
- Dangerous weather
- Poor road conditions
- Impaired driving
There may be multiple factors responsible for causing a bus accident. However, even the slightest error or mistake can turn into a horrible disaster that affects the lives of dozens of people. If you or someone you love has been injured an accident involving a bus, contact our Cincinnati attorneys to learn more about filing a claim.
Who Can Be Held Liable After a Bus Crash?
Determining liability for a bus accident can be difficult as the vehicle’s ownership and the driver’s employment may belong to separate institutions or companies.
Busses are generally separated into three categories and each can determine liability for an accident.
Busses used for public transportation by cities and counties are owned by the city or municipality. In order to file a claim for compensation in an accident that was caused by the government, including those caused by a negligent bus driver or poor maintenance, you will have to file a claim with the government. This can be complicated and requires short deadlines for submitting a notice of claim.
Chapter Or Tour Bus
Various parties can be held liable for a tour bus accident depending on the terms of the contract. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the bus company, the company that hired the bus company or the bus driver could be held liable for an accident.
Liability in a school bus accident is often determined by ownership. If the county or school district owns its own busses, it is responsible for providing proper repairs, maintenance, qualified drivers and high quality upkeep that ensures the safety of student passengers. If an independent company owns the buses, it may be liable for the accident.
Most bus accidents involve multiple vehicles and may not be the fault of the bus driver or company. If another driver’s negligence causes an accident and injures the passengers on the bus, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Liability for a bus accident may fall onto one or multiple parties depending on the circumstances of an accident. It is imperative to have an experienced attorney who understands the complexities of transportation laws in order to prove liability in a bus accident claim. Speak with our Cincinnati bus accident lawyers to identify all potentially liable parties in your claim.
Common Carrier Accidents
Vehicles, like busses, that are used by companies to transport people and goods for a fee are considered to be “common carriers.” Carriers, such as tour buses, commercial buses and school buses, have a duty to provide passengers with a standard of care that ensures their safety. When carrier companies fail to do so, and an accident occurs, they can be held liable.
However, you must be able to prove that the carrier company displayed negligence that caused the accident. In order to prove negligence, you must show:
- The carrier company owed you a duty: Common carriers have a duty to protect and ensure the safety of their passengers.
- The carrier company breached that duty: The company’s actions did not fall within acceptable standards of care. This can include failing to maintain proper maintenance on a bus or hiring a poorly trained driver or someone who has a history of accidents.
- The breach directly caused your injury: The carrier’s negligent actions directly caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages related to the bus accident: You must be able to prove that the accident directly caused you physical, mental or emotional damage.
The legal theory of strict liability does not apply to common carrier companies. You must have evidence to prove the carrier breached its duty during the bus accident. Potential evidence may include:
- Expert witness testimony
- Eyewitness testimony
- Images of the accident scene
- Inspection records of the bus involved
Holding common carrier companies liable for an accident will require an attorney with in-depth knowledge of transportation and common carrier laws. Our Cincinnati lawyers have decades of experience in defending the rights of bus accident victims and possess a strong ability to hold companies accountable for accidents that occur under their responsibility.
Reach Out to a Cincinnati Bus Accident Attorney
Bus accidents can be traumatic. Having an experienced and diligent attorney representing your claim will make all the difference in helping you receive compensation. The Cincinnati bus accident lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy are determined to help you obtain any damages needed to recover from an accident and hold those at-fault liable for their mistakes.