Washington DC & Maryland Bus Accident Lawyer
Public transportation is a popular way to get around the Washington DC metro area, in light of the traffic and congestion on local streets. Unfortunately, with many people riding buses and with many buses on the streets, the risk of bus accidents increases.
Bus accidents can cause injuries to passengers as well as to other motorists on the road who become involved in a crash with a bus. The victims of bus accidents could be entitled to recover compensation, but these cases are often complex. The dedicated bus accident attorneys at The Abelson Law Firm, represent clients throughout Maryland and Washington DC who have been hurt by buses.
Types of Bus Accidents
There are several different types of buses that travel the streets of Washington DC, every day. The DC Metrobus is one type, and it provides public transportation to adults and children throughout the District. Tour buses are another common sight on the streets of Washington DC, as are inter-city buses such as Greyhound. School buses are, of course, another common type of bus that provides transportation to children in both public and private schools. Some churches, assisted living centers and other organizations also use buses.
Each day, more than 25 million school kids take bus transportation to and from school as well as to school events, religious events, athletic events, camp events and other youth activities. Altogether, the estimated 450,000 school buses in service each day in the U.S. travel an estimated 2 million miles or more. Unfortunately, not all kids get to their destinations safely. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that there are around 16,000 school bus accidents each year. These crashes cause 130 deaths and 12,000 injuries on average.
When an accident involves a bus, the type of bus involved can make a difference. When the bus belongs to a private operator, the bus driver and the tour company can usually both be held responsible and sued. When the bus belonged to a government organization, however, things are much more complicated. Government employees enjoy limited protection from being sued for their actions in the normal course of doing their jobs. Government agencies also enjoy limited immunity. This means that suing a public bus driver or the governmental body that operates a bus company can be more complex. You usually can sue, but you’ll need a lawyer to help you to comply with special deadlines and rules of proof.
Causes of Washington DC Bus Accidents
Bus accidents occur for many different reasons, and they are often caused by a mistake that the driver makes. Drivers of commercial vehicles have to be specially licensed and are held to a high standard of care because they are expected to keep their passengers safe. Unfortunately, not every bus driver lives up to the standard, and some fall short in their duty to provide reasonably safe transport.
Some of the common mistakes that bus drivers make include speeding, failure to drive at a safe speed for road conditions, distracted driving, driving when they are tired, failure to yield and unsafe wide turns. Bus accidents may also be caused by defects in the bus equipment, by dangerous roads, by deferred or inadequate maintenance on the bus or by bad weather.
Taking Action in a Maryland Bus Accident Case
When a bus accident happens, injured passengers or other motorists or pedestrians who were injured could be entitled to file a lawsuit. However, bus accident lawsuits are usually more complex than other car accidents. This is true because of the governmental immunity issues that might exist, and also because it can be difficult to know exactly whom to sue (whether to include the driver, the bus company, etc.).
Because of the legal complexities, it is very important to have an experienced bus accident attorney who can represent your interests. A bus accident attorney will also understand issues specific to bus crashes, such as federal safety regulations and commercial licensing standards. A lawyer can ask the right questions, gather evidence and do everything necessary to maximize your compensation.
Compensation can come in the form of negotiating a settlement or going to court. A settlement is a lump-sum payment that you are paid in exchange for giving up your legal rights to sue after the crash. Whether you settle or go to court, you could recover compensation for hospital bills and other medical costs, including those that will be necessary in the future. Past and permanent future disability compensation, lost earnings, and lost enjoyment of life are also losses you could be compensated for. You could even obtain compensation for pain and suffering.
If the bus accident results in death, then surviving relatives could bring a wrongful death claim to obtain damages, including loss of companionship and grief.
For help getting the full benefits you deserve, contact The Abelson Law Firm, today. The Abelson Law Firm, will work diligently to protect your rights and to negotiate a fair settlement or fight for you in court. To schedule your no-obligation consultation, contact us online.