Baton Rouge, Louisiana ranks among the top five “most dangerous places to drive” in America. While buses are a relatively safe mode of transportation, broad-sweeping statistics are little consolation when you are one of the unfortunate people severely injured or suffering the loss of a loved one resulting from a bus accident. Experienced attorneys tasked with conducting diligent investigations into the crash evidence often turn up liability issues where one or more parties legally owe compensation to injury victims to cover different types of loss.
Louisiana bus accident Lawyer Bart Bernard offers free case evaluations for bus accident victims and their families. Recognized for his exceptional results, Bart Bernard is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the Elite Lawyers of America, and the American Association of Justice. He will pursue maximum compensation for your losses.
Bus accident statistics
On average, school buses are 7 times’ safer than passenger cars, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Six annual deaths out of 23.5 million children traveling by bus may not seem like a lot – until it’s your child. Belt restraints in buses has been a hot topic in the news recently.
About 63,000 buses are involved in accidents each year, with 14,000 injuries and 325 fatalities, according to the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. Of those fatalities, about 50 involved bus passengers.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Safety Research found that only 4% of bus drivers are charged with serious offenses like speeding, driving under the influence, drowsiness, distracted driving, or recklessness.
Who is liable for a bus crash?
The Common Carrier Doctrine of Louisiana states that bus, plane, train, and taxi drivers have an obligation to the people they are transporting to exercise “reasonable care” and avoid taking unnecessary risks while making decisions on the road, so as to not put their passengers in harm’s way. Common carriers who transport strangers for money need to be held to the highest standard of care because of the great trust we place in drivers to take us where we need to go safely.
Bus Drivers – Bus drivers can be charged with liability when they are driving intoxicated, tired, distracted, without a proper license, or with a known, undisclosed medical condition that may interfere with their ability to drive safely. Though rare, speeding, recklessness or aggression can be factors leading up to a crash.
Other Motorists – Other drivers can be guilty of side-swiping a bus in an attempt to pass, pulling out into traffic too quickly, tail-gaiting, driving drunk, or failing to signal a lane change — just to name a few offenses.
Transportation Companies – Transportation companies may fail to have adequate hiring, training, or supervisory practices. Attorneys look at past history of safety violations, tickets, maintenance issues, and accidents.
Vehicle Maintenance Providers – Occasionally, those tasked with bus maintenance pass vehicles they know do not meet the inspection standards.
Bus Manufacturers – Brake and tire manufacturers can be culprits behind a malfunction that leads to a crash.
Local Municipalities – Local governments are responsible for maintaining roadways clear of debris and view obstructions, and with providing working signs and signals to warn drivers of danger.
Types of bus accident compensation awarded in Louisiana
Bus accident victims in Louisiana may be able to recover money to cover:
Past, present and future medical bills
The cost of rehabilitation therapies
Home modifications and assistive devices related to disability
Economic losses from time off work due to injury or caregiving responsibilities
Funeral expenses and wrongful death (in fatal crashes)
Emotional pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, loss of support, loss of guidance
How to win a bus accident lawsuit
To win a bus accident lawsuit, you must:
Contact an experienced Baton Rouge, LA or Lafayette, LA bus accident lawyer to help prepare the necessary paperwork and crucial evidence. Knowing the local laws will affect which legal argument your attorney pursues to make a case for compensation owed to you. This is where experience winning matters!
Compile information regarding time off work and wages, medical expenses, and funeral costs (if applicable).
You must be able to provide proof of physical injury and be able to rule out pre-existing conditions.
File within Louisiana’s statute of limitations, which is generally one year from the time of the accident.
Bus accident lawyer in Louisiana
Contact the Law Office of Bart Bernard at 900-9000 for a no-obligation investigation into what happened to you. As a contingency fee attorney, Bart Bernard only collects a fair legal fee out of the settlement or verdict winnings. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain in speaking with the best bus accident lawyer Lafayette has to offer.