Buses are a relatively safe mode of transportation, and chartering a bus is certainly an efficient way to shuttle groups of tourists from one location to another. However, as statistically safe as they are, accidents can still happen, and sometimes lead to insurance claims and lawsuits. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, call an experienced Colorado Springs bus accident lawyer immediately.
In the eyes of Colorado and most federal laws, a bus is considered a “common carrier”- an entity whose business it is to move people or goods from one place to another for a fee. In addition to tour buses, school buses, commercial buses, taxi cabs, commercial airplanes, cruise ships, and some trucks are included in this designation. Because they are responsible for the safety of passengers, common carriers must be conscientious and exercise the utmost diligence in regards to this obligation. Examples of negligence that often result in successful lawsuits against common carriers include:
- Poorly or inadequately maintained buses and equipment
- Overloaded or improperly loaded buses
- Bus operators who are overtired, under the influence of intoxicants, or inadequately trained
When negligence results in injuries, victims may sue for damages. However, if the bus driver was exercising a reasonable degree of care and the bus accident happened as the result of some other vehicle being driven recklessly, a court would most likely not find the bus driver negligent.
Bus Accident Injuries
Bus accidents can result in catastrophic injuries to passengers, pedestrians and riders in other vehicles. These may include brain and spinal cord injuries, sprains, fractures, burn injuries, soft tissue injuries, abrasions and death. Victims can face colossal medical bills, debilitating injuries, or even death.
Determining Liability in a Tour Bus Accident
Any one of several different entities could be found liable in a tour bus accident including, the tour company, the bus company, even one of the various locations at which the bus stops. Sometimes, multiple parties could be held liable for contributory negligence if they had any part in causing the accident. Issues of liability can become complicated because the buses may be owned and operated by large companies or government entities.
Tour companies which hire bus companies with a documented history of safety violations or negligent activity could share liability with the bus company if an accident ensues and injuries result. Likewise, bus companies have a duty to maintain reasonably safe buses in their fleet, employ drivers and operators who meet basic requirements, and generally demonstrate its fitness as a common carrier. If a passenger trips or falls at a tour destination after leaving the bus, the venue operator may be liable for the passenger’s injuries.
Handling an injury claim after a bus accident is nothing like dealing with an accident involving a private passenger car. It is urgent that you retain an experienced bus accident attorney who can act quickly on your behalf to preserve your claim against the responsible party.