Bus and Truck Accidents: Everything You Need to Know
Busses are a convenient means of transportation for commuters, students, and other individuals, and such is why one can find busses in most major cities and towns throughout the United States. Moreover, taking a bus is by far the most affordable way to travel long distance. Commercial trucks are also traversing the U.S. each day, and some estimates put the number of big rigs on the road each day in the U.S. at 3.5 million.
While busses and commercial trucks are different than passenger vehicles in a lot of ways, all of these modes of transportation are driven and operated by humans, meaning busses and trucks get in accidents just like passenger vehicles do. But bus and truck accidents are much more complicated than run-of-the-mill passenger vehicle accidents, and this is the main reason why individuals get professional legal assistance when they’re involved in a bus or truck accident.
Call 1-800-HURT-511 and speak with an expert bus and truck accident lawyer in Brooklyn when you’ve been involved in a bus or truck accident. For more than 50 years, the Sanders Law Firm has been helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve.
Why Do Bus Accidents Happen?
Like the airline industry, the motor coach industry transports hundreds of millions of passengers each year in the United States, but the motor coach industry isn’t as strictly regulated as the airline industry. As a result, the motor coach industry is still rife with questionable record-keeping practices and inadequate bus inspection protocols.
When a bus company doesn’t comply with federal regulations by failing to properly train their drivers and keep their fleet adequately maintained, the company is deliberately putting customers and the public at risk to ensure an attractive bottom line.
Poor Maintenance & Lack of Necessary Safety Equipment
If a bus is not properly maintained, it shouldn’t be on the road. Old busses that lack effective safety devices should as well be absent from the roads, as these vehicles subject passengers to undue risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.
Improper Training & Driver Negligence
While there are several laws on the books which govern how bus companies are supposed to operate, some bus companies overlook these. Laws have established how long bus drivers can be on the road before a break is necessary, and there are also laws which govern how fast a bus driver can go, how they must turn, and how they should pass.
How Is Liability Determined in a Bus Accident?
Unlike traffic accidents that involve just passenger vehicles, determining fault in a bus accident can be more complicated. If you sustain injuries from a bus accident and you want compensation, then you’ll need to make a third-party claim with the driver’s insurance company.
When the Bus Is Owned and Operated by a Government Agency
But if the bus is part of a fleet that’s owned and operated by a government entity, then you’ll need to file a claim with the appropriate government body. This process can be difficult, and each jurisdiction has its own process. In most cases, however, the first step is filing a “notice of claim”, and an injured individual should file this immediately after the accident if they’re seeking compensation.
Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?
In the midst of driving a big rig, a lot can go wrong. Most accidents that involve trucks, however, are due to driver error, with driver fatigue, drug use, and problems with equipment being other common causes.
Taking a turn too fast, exceeding the speed limit, traveling in the wrong lane, failing to monitor blindspots, and failing to use turn signals are all examples of driver error. If any of the aforementioned errors lead to a crash, it’s likely the driver will be held responsible.
Driver Fatigue & Drug Use
If a truck driver is drowsy, fatigued, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving, the chance of them getting into an accident goes up dramatically. Drowsiness, fatigue, and intoxication can affect a driver in the following ways:
- → They won’t be able to control the truck as well.
- → Their judgment will be impaired.
- → They won’t be able to react quickly.
- → They won’t be able to make safe driving decisions.
Drowsiness, fatigue, and intoxication can also cause a driver to fall asleep at the wheel, not pay attention, or misjudge how road conditions are. To prevent truck drivers from driving under the influence, the federal government mandates that trucking companies randomly test their employees for drugs. Additionally, if a crash results in a fatality, then the involved driver must be drug tested.
Problems With Equipment
Equipment failure and inadequate truck maintenance can also lead to an accident. If a truck, for example, has defective tires or a malfunctioning object-detection system, it won’t be able to safely drive on the road. Below are some trucking equipment issues that can cause accidents:
- → Removing or depowering the front brakes. (This is done to cut costs, as removing the front brakes lessens wear and tear and therefore reduces the frequency of tire replacement.)
- → Failure to properly maintain the brakes.
- → Improper cargo storage that results in a rollover.
- → Steering failure.
- → Tire blowout.
- → Failure to properly attach a trailer.
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
Similar to establishing liability in a bus accident, establishing liability in a truck accident can be difficult as well. This is because when a truck crashes, a number of parties could be liable for any injuries and damages caused by the crash. Below are the parties that may be liable in the wake of a crash:
- → The truck driver
- → The individual or company that owns the truck
- → The individual or company that loaded the cargo
- → The truck manufacturer or the manufacturer of a part that failed.
- → A local government or contractor that’s responsible for ensuring the highway is designed properly and maintained well.
What to Do After a Bus or Truck Accident
If you’re a Brooklyn resident and you’ve recently been hurt in a bus or truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The Sanders Law Firm has the best bus and truck accident lawyers in Brooklyn, and they’ll stop at nothing to get you the compensation you deserve. Call 1-800-HURT-511 now!