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When Bus Accidents Happen, Who Is At Fault?

Thousands upon thousands of people rely on public transportation every year. Some considered it a better and more reliable means of commuting while others may simply need it for their lack of ability to drive for one reason or another.

Regardless of the reason for the need, many people expect to commute using buses and to be safe during their travels. While it is very unfortunate, safety is not always guaranteed when taking any kind of bus on the road.

There are countless accidents that occur involving buses for one reason or another. Knowing your rights if you are injured in one of them is important. This not only means knowing what may happen and what legal options you have, but also understanding who may be considered at fault.

There are a number of factors that go into determining the liable party in a bus accident, so it’s important to have strong legal counsel when going up against large insurance companies. Here are some ways that liability and fault may be determined.

When a Driver Is Considered Negligent

In many situations, a bus accident—much like many other types of accidents—is caused by the negligent actions of the person driving the bus. These individuals are trained and licensed, expected to follow the laws, and ensure the safety of everyone on the bus.

However, certain actions may be taken such as texting while driving, driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, and other situations that may prevent the driver from being reasonably safe. When this happens, they are putting their passengers, as well as other vehicles at risk.

A driver may also be considered negligent if they are being reckless, such as breaking certain laws on the road. This can include speeding, not stopping for traffic lights, or ignoring other traffic signs.

When the Bus Company Is Negligent

The company or agency that owns and operates the bus is responsible for ensuring that the bus is safe and properly maintained. They must also ensure that they are hiring only qualified and eligible drivers to operate the buses.

Failure to do so can result in the potential of a serious crash for multiple reasons.

  • Buses are not easy to drive. Those who are responsible for driving buses need to have the proper qualifications in order to do so. If the company or agency that owns the bus does not ensure the driver is qualified, they may be responsible for any accident that may occur.
  • Ensuring proper maintenance is performed is another responsibility for the bus company. They need to ensure everything is working correctly and no parts are defective. Any kind of defect or problem with the bus can cause a crash regardless of how experienced the driver is.

Third-Party Lawsuits After a Bus Accident

At times, the party responsible may not work for the bus company at all. In fact, the bus company, agency, or driver may have no way of preventing an accident. This is because manufacturers may create undetected defective parts that don’t allow the driver to operate the bus correctly.

For instance, if the brakes on the bus are defective, they may not work when the driver needs them. This can result in a serious crash, especially as the bus increases in speed.

In situations where defective parts are the reason for the crash, anyone who sustains a serious injury may be able to file a third-party lawsuit against the manufacturer. These cases can be complicated to do on your own, so legal representation is highly recommended.

Fault Is Based On Cause of the Bus Accident

Knowing who can be considered at fault for a bus accident means understanding the potential causes. Depending on the cause, there may be a number of different parties who can be considered liable for the injuries sustained. These parties include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Bus driver
  • Supervisor
  • Maintenance company
  • State, city, or county government
  • Owner
  • Manufacturer

The circumstances regarding the crash are what to help determine who may be considered at fault. Similarly, knowing if the bus is a privately owned tour bus, a public transportation bus, a school bus, or even a party bus can help you determine fault as well.

Why Having a San Francisco Bus Accident Lawyer Is So Important

Let’s be honest, any kind of legal matter can be daunting after a person sustains a serious injury. You’re already dealing with the physical, financial, and emotional hardships that come with any serious injury. You shouldn’t have to be concerned about the legal matters as well.

This means hiring someone who understands the legal complexities that may arise when determining who is held at fault for the injuries caused. Your legal counsel can help navigate the matters, working to determine the best options for you, and helping you get the most out of your case.

At The Matiasic Firm, we have the knowledge, experience, and skill necessary to help you. Seeking compensation after an injury caused by negligence may help you cover the medical expenses, lost wages, or other damages sustained as a result of the bus accident.

Whether you were a passenger on the bus, another driver, a bicyclist, a motorcyclists, or even a pedestrian and a crash results in an injury, our San Francisco bus accident attorneys are here to help.

Call our firm today at (415) 858-6692! We offer free initial consultations so you can discuss your rights and options with a skilled legal professional before moving forward.