Bus accident statistics in Houston and elsewhere consistently confirm crashes involving buses are among the most dangerous on the road. In 2015 alone, more than 4,300 buses and large trucks were involved in fatal crashes.
Though these events are relatively rare, they have been increasing. In practical terms, there is no such thing as a “minor” bus accident. If accused of causing such an accident, it’s essential to see a Houston bus accident lawyer.
What Qualifies as a Bus Accident?
Texas legislation defines a bus as a type of motor vehicle designed to accommodate more than ten individuals, including the driver. A bus accident is an accident that includes at least one of these vehicles, regardless of the level of occupancy at the time.
How to Determine Who’s at Fault
Buses are operated by commercial drivers with extensive experience and training. That being the case, a full investigation is usually necessary before fault can be assigned. Since mechanical failure can cause bus accidents, the vehicle needs to be inspected in detail.
Why Bus Accidents Happen
Bus accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Although most bus drivers are highly professional, they can be subject to conditions – such as unruly passengers – that may be only partially under their control. Rain, snow, and ice can have extreme effects on buses.
Bus drivers depend to a great extent on awareness and responsible behavior from others on the road. For example, if another vehicle fails to yield appropriately or respect a bus lane, an accident can happen within seconds. All these factors must be considered in any case.
Common Injuries Involved in Bus Accidents
Bus accidents are among the traffic accidents most likely to be fatal. Occupants of other vehicles in the accident are at extreme peril, as are pedestrians and cyclists. In many cases, the driver and passengers of the bus receive relatively minor injuries.
How to Document the Accident and Injury Claims
Documenting the accident scene is the first step for anyone involved in a crash. Photograph the bus and other vehicles, as well as the general area to establish the scene. All bus accidents should be reported to the authorities, and medical help should be summoned, if necessary.
As soon as possible after an accident, see a doctor to rule out severe injury and find out what treatment may be necessary. Contact an attorney within three days of the crash – it is usually better to have an attorney handle communications with insurers, bus lines, and others.
If you are accused of causing a Houston bus accident, it can affect your life and livelihood. The sooner you get legal representation, the better. For help, contact Nguyen & Chen.
Featured image: Daniel Reiner/Shutterstock