Bus Accident Lawyer & School Bus Accident Attorney
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Buses and taxis are called “common carriers.” You are paying them to provide transportation and they are held to a high standard of safety and care. Bus drivers should therefore have appropriate training to prepare them for the challenges they may encounter on the roadway. School bus drivers should also have training to protect students from harm both on the bus and around the bus after they exit.
Responsibly of Bus Drivers
Being entrusted with our most precious assets does not make a school bus driver exempt from committing reckless errors while driving. Consider what happened outside of Kansas City this past August. Eighteen 6th graders got hurt when the bus they were riding overturned on a highway exit ramp. Excessive speed is said to be the cause of that accident, and the driver should have known to slow down before attempting to maneuver onto the curving ramp. Fortunately, no other vehicles were involved, and there were no fatalities, but many of the students suffered severe injury including spinal cord injuries and head traumas.
In Missouri, in order to become a school bus driver, you will need to have a special endorsement added to your CDL license. In order to get that you must complete at least eight hours of specialized school bus driving instruction. Additionally, you will be required to pass both a written and practical exam. Officials will then check your driving record before issuing you your special license. Once you apply for employment, the school district will most likely ask for fingerprints in order to conduct a background check.
Since most school buses are owned and operated by public schools, the drivers may be entitled to government immunity if they are involved in an accident. The government will sometimes lift immunity in car accident cases, but will still require that the plaintiff prove a greater level of fault in the drivers’ actions. Since laws vary from state to state, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced Missouri car accident lawyer if you have been involved in a bus accident in Missouri.
Out in Lafayette County, the operator of a small pickup truck successfully received compensation after an accident with a school bus caused disc herniation in his spine. He was traveling along a highway when the bus suddenly entered directly in his path from a side street. Evidence shows that the driver did not do a thorough check of traffic flow before proceeding into the intersection. A jury agreed and awarded the plaintiff $300,000. They assigned only 10% of the blame to the victim.
Causes of Bus Accidents
One of the complications that can be encountered with a MetroBus, MetroLink or school bus accident is the issue of liability. Sometimes it is a private bus or taxi company that is liable, but other times liability rests with a school district or state or local government. Bringing a personal injury case against a government entity is far different than a typical motor vehicle accident case against an insurance company.
That is when experience becomes even more important. As an experienced lawyer, Christopher Hoffmann knows how to handle lawsuits against bus companies, taxicabs, school districts, and state and local governments. He is fully prepared to seek maximum compensation for injuries suffered in bus or taxicab accidents involving:
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Collisions between 18 wheeler trucks and buses, taxicabs or light rail
- Pedestrians being hit or run over by a bus or taxicabs
- Bus rollover accidents
- Tire blow outs or inadequate vehicle maintenance
When a bus has to make a right turn, the driver is forced to swing the front part to the left in order to steer clear of any obstacles. Buses are often seen making wide right turns in highly populated streets.
When a bus attempts a wide right turn, there is always a chance of a vehicle to the left becoming sandwiched between the bus and the curb. Due to the huge size and weight of a bus, such bus accidents are always serious and sometimes fatal as well.
Liability in Wide Right Turn Bus Accidents
Bus drivers undergo continued and intense training in order to stay up-to-date with their licenses. Their training and experience provides them the skill to calculate the right distance required to make a safe wide right turn. In case a driver fails to calculate the distance correctly and causes an accident, the driver may be held liable for it.
Every bus driver must watch out for any passenger vehicles, pedestrians, or others they share the road with. A bus driver should signal the intent to turn well in advance before making the turn and wait for the right opportunity before initiating the turn. Being aware of the traffic laws and rules can go a long way in preventing all types of accidents.
Serious Injuries Resulting From Bus Accidents
Most wide right turn accidents occur at low speeds. The chances of a fatality are comparatively lower compared to other accident scenarios involving buses and trucks. However, victims often suffer serious injuries in such accidents. Some commonly reported injuries include:
- broken bones
- internal bleeding
- loss of limbs
- severe lacerations
- spinal cord injuries
- trauma to the head and brain
St. Louis Bus Accident Lawyer
Any lawsuit filed that includes government employees would be handled best by an experienced attorney. If you or your child have been hurt in a bus accident the best way to receive full compensation for your injuries is to retain a qualified bus accident attorney.
The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. has been helping those involved in car accidents in Missouri and Illinois for over 20 years. If you have been involved in an accident call our law firm at (314) 361-4242 or contact us online to schedule a free and private consultation with a qualified St. Louis auto accident attorney.