The Road to Compensation for Your Bus Accident Injury
In contrast with other common forms of vehicle accidents, bus accidents are among the most catastrophic. This is not only because of the number of passengers at risk but also because of the lack of safety equipment, such as seat belts, for all passengers. Furthermore, some bus passengers are put at a higher risk for accidents because of their necessity to stand, especially when the bus seats are already full.
Bus accidents encompass all types of mass transportation accidents. This includes accidents involving school buses, charter buses, city buses, private and limousine buses, as well as subway and railroad accidents.
In Michigan, the Office of Passenger Transportation of the Michigan Department of Transportation is responsible for regulating local and intercity transit, to provide safe and balanced transportation services to everyone in the state. In line with this need to ensure safety to all forms of public transportation, bus accidents must be prevented at all times.
Bus Accidents Statistics in Michigan
Perhaps the most devastating among the types of passenger bus accidents can occur in school buses. In most cases, underage passengers in school buses are under-supervised and unrestrained. According to a 2006 study, 0.35% of all traffic crash deaths in Michigan are due to school bus-related collisions. This accounts for 4.9 deaths in school bus-related collisions each year, in the state alone.
The statistics for bus accidents conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) are classified as commercial motor vehicles together with truck accidents. In their recent 2017 study, they found a total of 13,416 bus and truck accidents. Of these accidents, 96 resulted in deaths, and 2,437 resulted in injuries.
Actions that Contribute to Bus Accidents
Despite being an accident, there is supposed to be someone or something with fault. Most of the time, the error is attributed to one or more drivers. To be charged as the person in fault, there should be some degree of hazardous action performed that led to the crash. The following are common actions of the bus driver and/or the other involved driver that often lead to bus accidents:
- Failing to yield
- Disregarding traffic control
- Driving the wrong way
- Driving left of center
- Improper passing
- Improper use of lane
- Improper turning
- Improper use or lack of signal
- Improper backing
- Failing to stop in an assured clearing distance (rear end)
- Reckless driving
- Carelessness or negligence
- Not directly involved
Coverage for Bus Accident Compensation
Any injury acquired during a bus accident may be compensated under the law. These injuries may not necessarily be due to head on collisions, but may also include accidents that occur as passengers enter or exit the bus. Cyclists injured by buses are also covered. Victims may incur minor injuries, but these can be as serious as fractures and soft tissue injuries, trauma, paralysis, and more. These may be entitled to medical compensation from hospital treatment to full recovery, as well as wages lost due to injury.
Benefits of Hiring a Bus Accident Attorney
The first thing to do in a bus accident is to ensure that the victim is stable. Afterward, it is essential to look for a reliable bus accident lawyer as soon as possible to settle your case. As we are dealing with insurance companies, we want to make sure that you will receive just compensation, and not paid with the least possible amount. Bus accident lawyers have the necessary skills and expertise as they are normally equipped with a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Insurance Law. They are knowledgeable of your legal rights and claims so they could protect you better from insurance companies. They will also help you with:
- Ensuring you receive maximum compensation from the accident
- Proving liability by gathering and preserving pieces of evidence such as interviews from witnesses, medical records, etc.
- Proper documentation especially regarding your injuries to help with your insurance claim
- Making sure you receive the needed medical care, from hospital coverage, therapy, compensation for lost wages, and others
- Discuss with you the coverage and limitation of the law to give you a better understanding of the case
- Help you assert your rightful and legal claim towards insurance and/or bus companies, including negotiation for all financial and medical needs in the future.
In need of a Bus Accident Attorney? Contact Us Now.
If you are a bus passenger injured during an accident, make sure you contact a reliable lawyer to protect your rights and defend your claims. All injuries are entitled to medical and even financial compensation. The Clark Law Office will keep your best interest in mind. Call us at (517) 347-6900 or fill out our form for legal services on bus accidents.