Bus Accident Injury Lawsuit Lawyers in Georgia


July 01, 2018

The people of Georgia frequently rely on buses to get around. Whether they are school buses, motor coaches, or transit buses, buses are a significant component of Georgia's transportation infrastructure. This mode of transportation usually is safe and reliable. Professional bus drivers receive rigorous training on how to operate their vehicles with the safety of their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians in mind. 

Despite their significant training, bus drivers' judgments are not infallible. Bus drivers make mistakes; they can get distracted and can experience lapses in judgment. They are human, after all. However, the law in Georgia distinguishes bus drivers from other drivers. Georgia law defines bus drivers as "Common Carriers." Common carriers owe their passengers the highest duty of care the law imposes on anyone. Under Georgia law, common carriers must use "extraordinary diligence" when moving passengers from one location to another. 

In essence, the common carrier is responsible for any injury that occurs to a passenger as a result of even the slightest negligence. The standard falls short of strict liability because the plaintiff must prove the common carrier breached its duty of care owed to a passenger. The same duty of care does not exist for people not on the bus. Rather, bus drivers owe anyone outside of the bus the duty of ordinary care.

The Frequency of Bus Accidents

The latest data available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) suggests that bus accidents often occur across the U.S. The statistics released by the FMCSA show that:

  • Intercity bus accidents were responsible for 13% of all fatalities involving buses,
  • School bus accidents caused at least one fatality 41% of the time, 
  • Motor Coach accidents led to the death of one person in 33% of all crashes.
  • From 2014 to 2015 (the latest data available from the FMCSA) the numberof buses involved in fatal accidents increased by 25 from 235 to 261, representing an increase of 11%
  • During that same time frame, "bus involvement rate" in fatal crashes increased by nine percent.

School Bus Accidents

School bus accidents are devastating incidents. According to the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA), school bus travel is the safest mode of travel student could take to and from school. The NHTSA calculates that school bus accidents account for 0.4% of all motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. annually. Stated another way, students are 70 times more likely to get in a car wreck driving to school with a parent, relative, or friend than they are taking the bus to school.

While school bus drivers in Georgia receive specialized training to handle the vehicle and the children on the bus, accidents still happen.  Perhaps school district could afford to offer their drivers additional training. The school bus driver must know the rules of the road, how to operate a school bus safely, and what to watch out for at bus stops when children are getting on and off the bus. Also, Georgia school bus drivers must pay close attention to the children as they become pedestrians crossing the street near the bus. According to the NHTSA, a child is more likely to get hurt or killed in a school bus accident as a pedestrian rather than as a passenger. 

School districts must pay particularized attention to vehicle maintenance. Proper vehicle maintenance should be a concern for every driver. However, school bus companies must make sure that all of the safety features are in good working condition before every trip. 

Type of Injury Claims Made in Bus Accidents

The type of injury claim you make depends on the facts of your case. Bus accidents can be very complexlegal matters. Bus crash claims may include more than one defendant and one or more insurance companies. Also, bus accident claims could involve more than one plaintiff. All of the parties possible involvedmakes these cases difficult. Therefore, each case is unique. However, under Georgia law, you can recover damages against negligent bus drivers and their companies in for:

  • The whole lifeof the deceased person in a wrongful death claim,
  • Medical bills and future medical costs,
  • Mental anguish,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Consequential damages.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 34 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-four 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 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 chat.

Sources:

Cited within and

https://www.myajc.com/news/local-education/teen-can-drive-school-bus-tenn-crash-might-change-that/cVEsBaNBpHO7uiBB8Ne6YK/
https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/school-bus-safety
DEMOTT v. OLD TOWN TROLLEY TOURS OF SAVANNAH, INC., Ga: Court of Appeals 2014
GA Code §46-9-1 (2016)
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/Large-Truck-and-Bus-Crash-Facts-2015.pdf
https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/Publication/812366

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law

17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.