Bus Accident Attorney Decatur
Many people in metropolitan areas use buses to get around town.Millions of people ride buses every day to commute to school, work, and other locations. In fact, in 2018, Americans took close to 10 billion trips on public transportation.
People can get injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash at any time. However, the risk of getting hurt in a bus crash is a lot lower. That is because buses are built to be sturdy and safe. In fact, school buses are considered the safest vehicle on the road. Even a charter bus is 50 times safer than a car and just as safe as air travel.
The good news for parents is that fatal school bus crashes are rare. Of all fatal motor vehicle crashes, just 0.4% involve school buses. Only about 134 school bus occupants are killed per year.
However, serious injuries and death can still occur and affect victims in many ways. Medical bills can be expensive. Recovery can take a long time. If your child was injured in a school bus crash, contact a school bus accident lawyer in Illinois. These claims can be more complex than regular car crashes, since they involve companies and not individuals. We have experience with accidents caused by school buses and mass transit buses.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents can caused by the following factors:
- Distracted driving. Bus drivers are responsible for dozens of passengers at a time. Plus, buses are large vehicles, so drivers need to pay attention to the roads at all times. They need to stay off their phones and other devices.
- Fatigue. Bus drivers often work long shifts. When they are tired, they are not able to react as quickly to avoid accidents. Some drivers even fall asleep behind the wheel.
- Intoxication. Many people drink and drive, even though they know it is against the law. Bus drivers are no exception. Intoxication can reduce judgment and reaction times, causing serious accidents.
- Improperly maintained buses. Buses require proper maintenance. This means maintaining the tires and fluids and ensuring the driver’s area is in working order. When a bus is not maintained properly, it can lead to accidents.
- Not following traffic laws. A bus driver who is speeding or running red lights and stop signs is putting themselves and passengers at risk. Bus drivers need to drive safely and follow the laws of the road at all times.
A bus crash involves the same damages as any other motor vehicle accident. A person can suffer a variety of injuries, including head trauma and broken bones. Because Illinois law does not require seat belts on school buses, children are especially at risk. They can be thrown against the windows, seats and other passengers, and as a result, they can suffer permanent injuries and even be killed.
If the victim worked and could no longer perform their duties due to bus accident injuries, he or she can file a claim for lost wages. The victim could claim past, present, and future lost wages, particularly if he or she anticipates not being able to work in the future.
Emotional damages are also common. While these damages are hard to physically see, a person in an accident can suffer pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. A person involved in a crash can also suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. He or she may be scared to ride a bus again, and this can negatively impact daily life.
In some cases, punitive damages are also available. These damages are meant to punish the liable party and deter them from performing the same action again in the future. However, in order to claim punitive damages, you must be able to prove more than negligence. You must be able to prove that the driver or other responsible party was being intentionally reckless and that they knew what they were doing, but did it anyway, despite being dangerous. This is difficult to do, but a good lawyer can help.
Contact a Bus Accident Lawyer in Illinois Today
While buses are large and generally safe, passengers can still suffer injuries and even death. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in such a crash, it is important to hold the at-fault party liable for their actions.
A lawsuit can protect you and prevent future passenger deaths. The experienced lawyers at Patel Law can help you file a claim. Our knowledgeable team can work through all the complexities so you can focus on recovery. Learn more by filling out the online form or calling (217) 384-1111.