Tens of thousands of commuters in the St Louis area use public transportation every day. We expect buses to be one time, clean, and safe. Whether you are traveling on a city bus, or with a privately owned bus company, the driver and support staff are responsible for keeping you out of unnecessary danger. Unfortunately, there are thousands of people injured every year on buses in the United States. Accidents involving buses can be caused by many factors, and they often result in serious injuries for numerous people. Since bus accident cases are much different than regular car wrecks, your lawyer will need to understand the specifics that are unique to bus and public transportation cases. Your St Louis bus accidents lawyer will need to know to navigate the highly technical details of your bus accident if you are to recover financial compensation for your injuries.
The St. Louis motor vehicle accident lawyers with The Cagle Law Firm have decades of experience helping those who have been injured in public transportation accidents. If you would like to speak with a Missouri bus accident lawyer, call our office today at (314) 276-1681 or submit the details online to schedule a free, initial consultation.
The Bus Industry Is More Regulated Than Other Motor Vehicles
Federal and state governments recognize the increased potential for danger if buses are carelessly maintained and operated. Therefore, these vehicles are much more regulated than ordinary cars. While each state may have unique guidelines, the safety of the entire bus industry in the United States falls under the responsibility of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This administration works with bus operators and law enforcement agencies to establish safety requirements for all buses.
Regulations implemented by the FMCSA on the bus industry are meant to control numerous things such as:
- The regular maintenance of vehicles
- Bus registration and record keeping
- Caps on driving hours of bus operators
- Skills and drug testing of drivers
- Procedures to take after an accident
Failure to comply with federal safety standards can cause a devastating accident. If you were the victim of a bus accident where the driver or operator did not comply with the laws governing their industry, your legal counsel can argue that you should be awarded the damages that you need for your recovery. However, your attorney must understand the complex details that come into play in a lawsuit for compensation after a bus accident. Be sure to call an attorney with significant experience in public transportation wrecks if you find yourself in such a difficult situation.
Insurance Claims in Bus Accidents
While private buses often carry insurance coverage with much higher premiums than personal cars, city buses do not have extensive limits. If you are injured in a bus accident involving a private coach, you may be able to make a claim on a policy that has an extremely high limit. This gives you an opportunity to fully recover for all of your injuries from one policy. However, if you are injured on public transportation, you may not have as much coverage available.
It’s essential that you consult with an experienced bus accident attorney if you are involved in a wreck involving a public or private vehicle. The sooner you seek legal assistance, the earlier we can make a claim and obtain compensation for your losses.
Most Common Causes Of Bus Accidents In Missouri
It’s uncertain exactly how many bus accidents happen during a year, but the FMCSA reports that an average of over 30,000 people were injured annually over the past several years. This significant number makes clear that bus accidents happen every day, and that a single accident can hurt numerous people. Your accident may have happened on the highway as you traveled between cities, or on a city bus that is constantly stopping and going in heavy traffic. It’s also important to understand that there may be more than one party whose negligence contributed to your injuries.
Of the many causes that we have seen for bus accidents, some of the most common include the following:
- The bus driver was distracted with their phone or by a passenger
- Another driver’s negligence caused an accident with the bus you were on
- Your driver did not have the proper training to use their vehicle
- Your driver was overworked and suffering from fatigue
- The company or municipality who owns the bus failed to perform necessary maintenance
- The roadway was not suited for a large bus, or it was improperly maintained
- Your bus driver, or the driver of another vehicle, was intoxicated
How Your Lawyer Can Win Your Bus Accident Case
If you are to recover compensation in a bus accident case, your lawyer will have to demonstrate the reckless and negligent behavior of the responsible party, and then show how their actions directly resulted in your injuries. This is a simple concept, but there are many factors and technical details involved in a bus wreck. The defendant in your case will almost certainly be a large company or maybe even a municipal government. Large companies are often defended by numerous lawyers, and filing an action against the government can bring about added complexity. The Cagle Law Firm has decades of experience handling devastating and highly-complicated accidents, and we know how to build a strong case to help our clients secure what they deserve.
Of the many pieces of evidence that we will seek in your bus accident case, some would be:
- Driver time logs and toxicology reports
- Driver license and training records
- Vehicle maintenance records
- Cell phone data
- Witness testimony, pictures, and video recordings
- Police reports
- State and federal commercial transportation records
- Bus company records
- Accident reconstruction data
- Pertinent medical records
Bus companies and city governments in Illinois and Missouri tend to have significant resources and are usually prepared to go to court. For this reason, your lawyer must also be prepared to take your case to court if you are not offered a financial settlement that is sufficient to help you during your recovery. We have successfully taken many of our clients’ cases all the way through the court process and know what it takes to succeed in a courtroom against any adversary.
Steps To Take After Being Injured In A Bus Accident
Bus accidents can be horrific, and you or your loved ones may be badly injured. The first thing you should do after an accident is to move to a safe place if possible. After this, be sure to call 911 for emergency medical help. Attorneys or representatives from the bus company may reach out to you very quickly, offering a financial settlement agreement. However, accepting or signing anything may prohibit you from seeking financial compensation in the future. Therefore, we strongly urge you to not sign or accept payment before speaking with your lawyer. In addition to seeking medical attention and calling your lawyer, steps you should take after a bus accident include:
- Try and write down a timeline of exactly what happened as you remember it
- Make a written list of all those who you remember being witness to the accident
- Do not discuss the accident in any detail to those who are not your doctor or lawyer
- Follow up with your doctor’s orders, and make sure that you medical professionals know that your injuries are the result of a bus accident
Do not delay in calling a skilled bus accident lawyer. The statute of limitations in cases like these will prevent you from filing a lawsuit for damages after a certain amount of time following your injury or the wrongful death of your loved one. For lawsuits involving a private bus company, you must generally do so within two years in Illinois and five in Missouri. However, there are many additional factors involved. Furthermore, if you are seeking damages from a city government after being hurt on a bus, you must act very soon. The Illinois statute of limitations for suing a government entity is only one year, and you must formally notify a Missouri government defendant within 90 days of the accident.
A Lawyer From The Cagle Law Firm Can Help You
Bus accidents injure thousands of American each year. If you are involved in a bus wreck, you can have serious physical damage that might take years to recover from. You may be out of work or be forever limited because of your injuries. But you can seek damages from a bus company or city government to set things right and aid in your recovery. The St Louis bus accident lawyers at The Cagle Law Firm have helped other people, who have found themselves in the same difficult situation, and we can help you too, so that you can move on with your life.
To speak with a Missouri bus accident lawyer, contact our office today. Call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or via our online form.