Atlanta Bus Accident Attorneys Provide Overview of Legal & Factual Issues Involving Bus Crashes
Public mass transit plays a vital role in the lives of many who send their kids to school on local school buses, ride a commuter bus to work or take a long distance bus to visit family in another state. While buses are one of the safest modes of transportation statistically, they also lack fundamental safety equipment found in other types of motor vehicles including airbags and seatbelts. Despite their relative safety compared to other modes of transportation, there is an average of approximately 60,000 bus accidents annually. At Montlick and Associates, we are committed to helping those who suffer serious injuries in a busing accident obtain the compensation they need to rebuild their life and move past their bus accident injuries.
Bus accidents are on the rise, particularly those involving privately run rogue bus companies that operate in violation of federal and state safety regulations. These bus accidents can be the product of a violation of federal safety laws and repeated violations of safety rules and standards. It has become quite common for marginal bus lines to evade regulations or enforcement of safety standards by simply closing their doors and reopening under another business name. The serious risk of busing accidents caused by marginal bus companies has become so significant that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates busing companies, is considering new busing regulations to protect the public from private bus companies that continue to operate despite repeated safety violations.
Factors Making Bus Accident Litigation Unique: Common Carriers
Bus accident litigation is unique in that special liability rules apply, and many times the defendant is a public entity that runs a public bus line, which may be part of the city mass transit system. Our busing accident lawyers represent victims who suffer serious injuries in busing accidents caused by bus driver negligence, inadequate vehicle maintenance, substandard training and supervision by busing companies and even poorly maintained or constructed roadways. While every case is unique in terms of the investigation that my be appropriate, when a busing accident occurs our experienced bus accident attorneys may examine bus driver training and personnel records, bus company maintenance and safety records, reports involving the violation of safety regulations by commercial carriers and law enforcement accident reports.
Bus transportation, like other forms of mass transit, is classified as a "common carrier." Common carriers are a form of mass transit that provides transportation to the public at a fixed rate. This is important because common carriers are held to a much higher standard of care in protecting the patrons that they transport. The rationale behind imposing a higher standard of care on common carriers is that patrons traveling on mass transit systems like busing lines have no way to protect themselves from injury. The operation and maintenance of buses is exclusively within the control of the busing company, so there is little that riders can do to protect themselves from injury. When riders take a bus they are literally placing their safety in the hands of the bus driver and the bus company.
Common Causes of Busing Accidents
The causes of a busing accident can be complicated, and a wide number of parties may share responsibility for causing a busing accident. Parties that may be at-fault for busing accidents may include the following:
• Drunk or fatigued bus drivers
• Bus drivers that are distracted or violate traffic safety rules
• Drivers of other motor vehicles that do not obey traffic rules and safe driving practices
• Indifferent bus companies that fail to properly train or supervise drivers
• Independent maintenance companies that fail to properly service a bus
• Public entities for the unsafe design or maintenance of roadways
If you are involved in a busing accident and suffer serious injury or a loved one dies, you should also be aware that special rules apply when a claim or lawsuit is brought against a public entity. Because public entities have sovereign immunity, bus accident lawsuits involving public busing lines require compliance with governmental tort claims acts. These are laws that authorize those injured in busing accidents and other motor vehicle accidents to pursue personal injury claims against governmental entities, provided that all of the requirements, which include special notice and deadlines are fully complied with.
Our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience to provide effective legal representation on behalf of bus accident victims caused by negligent private and public busing companies and their drivers including:
• Metro buses
• School buses
• Tour bus lines
• Long distance bus lines (such as Greyhound Lines)
• Commuter Buses
Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case!
Our accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.