Bus Accident Lawyers
“Through its investigations, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has found that the problem [crash cause] is often with the individual driver or company operations. The actions of impaired, distracted or fatigued drivers have had catastrophic consequences. Additionally, bus operators continue to demonstrate unsafe operating practices, particularly those operators who have been placed out-of-service by oversight agencies and are then reincarnated under another name or with a new U.S. Department of Transportation number.
– NTSB Most Wanted List: Improve the Safety of Bus Operations, 2013
When Bus Accidents Happen
Most of us have traveled on a bus at some point in our lives to avoid traffic, save money, or to join a group en route to a popular destination. In fact, buses are a very popular and efficient mode of transportation, especially for the millions of people who rely on them for travel to and from work and school. For the most part, bus travel is safe; however, when bus accidents happen, there can be tragic consequences for those inside and immediately outside the vehicle.
Many bus accident victims suffer from:
- Severe broken bones and laceration;
- Serious burns;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Arm and leg amputations;
- Permanent spinal injuries;
- Brain damage;
- Paralysis; and
- Loss of life.
Have You Been Injured in a Bus Accident?
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a bus accident, you may be experiencing tremendous pain, and confusion about what to do next. If so, please contact us today at (888) 348-8855 to speak to one of our legal representatives. It’s critical to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident since each state has a statute of limitations which limits the time in which you have to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Robinson Calcagnie, Inc. Takes on Ford in Landmark School Bus Case
At Robinson Calcagnie, Inc. we know firsthand the pain and suffering families feel when loved ones are injured or lose their lives in bus accidents. For more than 30 years, we have successfully represented bus accidents victims who were injured as a result of another party’s negligence, including the following:
$12 Million Judgment in Janey L. Fair vs. Ford Motor Company
In 1988, Robinson Calcagnie, Inc.’s founding and managing partner Mark P. Robinson, Jr. served as co-counsel in one of the most notable drunk driving cases in history. An intoxicated driver traveling the wrong way on a rural highway in Carrollton, Kentucky, collided head on into a former school bus transporting a youth group home from a church outing. The bus’ gasoline tank burst into flames taking the lives of 24 children and three adults, and seriously injuring 34 others. Mr. Robinson represented the family of one of the deceased passengers. The court determined that contributing factors of the accident included the puncturing of the unprotected gas tank, lack of emergency exits on the bus’ Ford-built chassis, and the bus’ flammable seat cushions manufactured by Sheller-Global. The suit was settled for $12.6 million, prompting significant, life-saving changes in school bus safety regulations and state DUI driving laws.
Call for Your Free Consultation
As a nationally recognized leader in personal injury and wrongful death law, Robinson Calcagnie, Inc. is here to help. Our bus accident lawyers will ensure that you get the quality of legal care you need and deserve. Please contact us today at (888) 348-8855 for a free, confidential consultation to evaluate your potential case.
You may be entitled to recover damages for the following:
- Severe injuries and disabilities;
- Loss of a loved one;
- Lost wages and future earning capacity;
- Past and future physical, mental and emotional care; and
- Pain and suffering.
Bus Safety in America
Most bus companies and agencies that transport passengers are required to follow federal government regulations designed to help protect the public. Unfortunately, many companies do not comply, which often leads to dangerous crashes that adversely affect the lives of innocent victims.
Many bus crashes are caused by negligence on the part of the drivers or bus operators including:
- Bus drivers who are fatigued, impaired or inadequately trained;
- Frequent stops and starts in high pedestrian and high traffic areas;
- Traveling at a high speed on the highway;
- Blocked or inadequate bus exits;
- Poor visibility due to inclement weather;
- Road hazards such as potholes, spilled substances and other items;
- Lack of proper oversight by the bus company or agency;
- Mechanical defects or lack of proper maintenance such as faulty brakes and bald tires; and
- Old reinstated buses with unsafe components, poor design and manufacturing.
In many bus accident cases, several entities may be involved including owners and operators, transit and other government authorities, manufacturers of defective bus components, drivers of other vehicles, and others.
Taking the Bus: Motorcoach, School Bus and Public Transit
Buses are common carriers that are regulated by the government. Bus operators have a duty to provide safe and hazard-free transportation to their passengers as well as surrounding pedestrians and motorists. Some of the most predominately used buses today include motorcoach, school buses and public mass transit.
Motorcoach (Tour and Charter) Buses
Motorcoach travel is one of the fastest growing and most dangerous segments of interstate travel. It’s extremely popular among families traveling to tourist destinations such as Las Vegas, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Disneyland and Los Angeles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees bus companies to help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities.
Despite FMCSA’s enforcement efforts, companies continue to put profits before safety by allowing long periods of uninterrupted driving, disregarding serious maintenance issues, failing to properly vet new employees, and other careless acts. In fact, a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) study notes, “On average, 21 motorcoach and large bus occupants are killed and 7,934 are injured annually in motor vehicle crashes.
Due to their sheer size and weight, buses that are involved in high speed or highway crashes often rollover, are crushed from severe impact, or catch fire and burst into flames. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), “About half of all motorcoach fatalities in recent years have occurred as the result of rollovers, and about 70 percent of those killed in rollover accidents were ejected from the bus.”
To help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on the roadways, NHTSA is requiring all new buses over 26,000 pounds to install lap and shoulder belts beginning in 2016. The agency estimates that this will reduce fatalities by up to 44 percent and injuries up to 45 percent.
Approximately 25 million children – 55 percent of the K-12 population – ride more than 450,000 school buses each day, according to a review by the 2012 National Conference of State Legislature Transportation. NHTSA reports that school buses are “the safest mode of transportation for children to get to and from school in the United States.” Unfortunately, children are still victims of dangerous accidents involving buses.
Here are a few NHTSA statistics on bus-related accidents:
- From 2003 – 2012, 174 children younger than 19 died in school-transportation accidents – 55 were bus occupants and 119 were pedestrians;
- One-third of fatalities occurred when the child was struck by a school bus in the loading/un-loading zone, one-third occurred when motorists failed to stop for the school bus, and one-third occurred when children approached or exited the school bus; and,
- 42 percent of school-age pedestrians killed in school transportation-related crashes were between 5 and 7 years old.
Public Transportation System Buses
Just like school buses, public transportation buses are considered to be an overall safe and reliable mode of transportation that typically operates on a fixed-route or other regular service. Nonetheless, driving in highly dense traffic areas, making numerous short and sudden stops, and carrying maximum passenger loads in peak traffic times raises the risk of bus accident injuries and fatalities.Many times, accident victims never stepped foot on the bus; they are the pedestrians walking or riding a bicycle nearby. Sadly, many of these victims sustain catastrophic injuries or even lose their lives.
Robinson Calcagnie, Inc. Attorneys are Here to Help
If you have been involved in a bus accident, you may be unsure about your legal rights and have great concerns about your future. At a time like this, you may need an experienced bus accident lawyer to provide effective legal guidance and representation. Please do not hesitate to contact us today at (888) 348-8855 for a free consultation, even if you are not sure who is at fault. We are conveniently located in Southern California, serving clients in Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino and Riverside counties (Inland Empire). We can also make arrangements to meet you at your home or other convenient location if you would like an in-person meeting but are unable to travel to one of our offices.