According to a study by the U.S. Department of Transportation, riding in a bus is much safer than a car, but the extent of injuries and property damage caused in a bus accident is often severe.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a bus accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation. Our team of bus accident lawyers at the Northern Virginia personal injury law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP have considerable knowledge in bus accident cases. We can help you and your family through this difficult time so you can focus on healing. Please call or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Why Choose Us For Bus Accident Claims in Northern Virginia?
- Over $1 billion in compensation has been recovered for our clients.
- We have over 38 years of experience helping victims of bus accidents.
- We provide each client with personalized service and make sure the injured victims receive the justice they deserve.
- You won’t pay any legal fees unless we win your case.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents in Northern Virginia
Distracted driving can occur with any person operating a motor vehicle, but distracted driving can also happen to bus drivers. Cellphone use, eating, adjusting the air conditioning or radio, keeping an eye on the road and engaging with passengers are all common distractions.
Bus drivers tend to operate on strict schedules and if they fall behind, they may decide to speed in an attempt to get everyone to their destination on time.
Some examples of bus driver error include being unaware of other vehicles, sudden lane changes, failing to obey traffic signs, and continuing to work while fatigued.
Defective Bus Equipment
Bus companies are required to do routine safety checks, but bus maintenance may sometimes be performed improperly or not at all. This puts the bus at risk for equipment failure, which can cause an accident.
Uneven weight distribution: There are set weight restrictions for buses due to the fact that an overloaded bus can become more difficult to operate. When the weight is distributed unevenly, an accident is more likely to occur.
Driving While Intoxicated
There are strict guidelines established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requiring drug and alcohol testing, but some drivers may choose to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Poor Road Conditions
Hazardous weather, potholes, and construction in Northern Virginia can all increase the risk of a bus accident.
Who is Liable in a Northern Virginia Bus Accident?
The circumstances of the bus accident will dictate who is liable, but possible parties include:
- Bus Company –The bus company can be liable if they send a defective bus out on the road, fail to perform routine maintenance on the bus, or if they hire unqualified drivers, maintenance people, and other personnel.
- Bus Maintenance Companies – A contracted maintenance company, independent from the bus company, may be liable for an accident caused by negligent or improper maintenance.
- State or Local Governments – May bear responsibility for an accident if they own the bus, or if a dangerous road condition that could have been fixed caused the accident.
- School Districts and School Boards – As the bus driver’s employer, the school district/board is responsible for any negligent conduct committed by the driver. Additionally, failing to implement or enforce adequate safety standards can also make them liable in an accident.
- Bus Driver – Accidents caused by the driver’s negligent actions can make them personally responsible for any injuries and property damage, but typically compensation will come from the driver’s employer and their insurer.
- Manufacturer of the Bus and/or its Parts–The bus manufacturer can be held responsible for damages when an accident is caused by a defective bus or parts. The retailers of said defective parts could also be liable in the event of an accident.
- Drivers of Other Vehicles –If another motor vehicle caused the crash, the at-fault driver and their insurance company are liable.
Why You Need a Bus Accident Lawyer in Northern Virginia
An experienced attorney will be able to determine all potentially liable parties and take immediate steps to secure crucial evidence necessary to formulate your case. Evidence such as eyewitness testimony, the bus’s onboard computer information or logs, still images, security camera footage, medical records, and police reports will all be gathered on your behalf.
Public transportation and national bus companies have large insurance and legal defense teams that will likely give you a low settlement offer in the interest of protecting themselves. A bus accident attorney in Northern Virginia will ensure that you are not taken advantage of by advocating for you and alleviating you from dealing with the insurance companies altogether so that you may focus on yourself and your family.
Contact Our Northern Virginia Office Today for a Free Consultation
Let our dedicated team of Northern Virginia auto accident lawyers at the law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP can help give you the peace of mind to only focus on your recovery instead of the complex litigation process. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.