Drunk driving is a leading cause of all auto accidents because alcohol consumption causes slowed reaction times and seriously impaired judgment. Even though police officers are always on the lookout for drunk drivers, on average, a driver gets behind the wheel while intoxicated 80 times before they are caught.
Bus drivers have to stick to a strict schedule and frequently feel the pressure to speed so that they are on time to each stop. But when a driver speeds it takes a longer distance to come to a complete stop and accidents are more likely to occur.
Issues With Weight Distribution
Many buses are designed to haul large loads such as the suitcases of passengers. In fact, many bus companies offer shipping services. But when suitcases and packages are loaded onto a bus the weight must be distributed evenly or the vehicle may tip while being operated.
Defective Parts / Poor Maintenance
If a bus part isn’t manufactured properly or if it isn’t properly maintained, it may break down while the vehicle is in use and cause an accident.
Poor Road Conditions
Counties, towns, and cities are all responsible for making sure that roads are well maintained and the signs posted on these roads are correct. Otherwise drivers many unintentionally make an error that could result in a crash.
Whatever the cause, bus crashes can leave victims suffering from debilitating injuries and some argue that this is because buses lack an incredibly important safety feature: seat belts.
Why Don’t Buses Have Seat Belts?
The majority of buses are not equipped with seat belts. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that buses are safe without seat belts due to the compartmentalization design, which includes energy absorbing seat backs, passengers and the loved ones of those who have been hurt in a bus accident will tell you that injuries may have been avoided if only seat belts were installed.
In fact, many point out that cost may be the real reason why seat belts aren’t required since installing the safety restraint would cost $7,000 to $11,000 per bus.
Sadly, until laws change, many bus companies won’t be required to seat belts possibly putting thousands of lives at risk.
I’m A Bus Crash Victim – Can I Sue?
If you or a loved one were hurt when the bus you were riding crashed, you may be able to recover compensation for any injuries that you sustained by filing a bus accident lawsuit. These lawsuits can provide full compensation for both past and future medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain, and emotional trauma.
Bus Accident Lawsuits Must Be Filed Quickly
Many bus accident victims fail to seek legal assistance immediately because they feel that adding the stress of a legal complaint will be too much to deal with while juggling time away from work, the end of a career, and ongoing medical treatments. The trouble is that a statute of limitations applies, meaning that a lawsuit must be filed within a certain period of time in order to be valid.
The statute of limitations is set by each state:
New York: In NY, bus accident victims have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, if the victim dies, their loved ones have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. Keep in mind that the date of death is often different from the date of the accident.
New Jersey: A bus accident claim must be filed within two years of the accident in the state of New Jersey.
Pennsylvania: In order to recover compensation, plaintiffs in PA must file their legal complaint within two years of the date of the accident.
Delaware: Like many of the other states, bus accident victims in Delaware must file their legal paperwork within two years of the day of the accident.