Houston Bus Accident Attorney
Bus accidents are on the increase in the Houston area and throughout Texas. It is interesting that in the 21st century, bus service are actually expanding as a means of travel between some of the larger cities in our state. Greyound, Megabus and now Vonlane operate between Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. With more bus usage, there are more accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus or van accident you should immediately contact a Houston personal injury lawyer to advise you from the beginning of the investigation. Immediately following a bus crash, the bus operator’s insurance company will begin working to lessen or defeat your claim and minimize your damages. You are entitled to hire your own counsel to protect your interests.
There are different laws and regulations that apply to various buses. For instance, buses owned and operated by the Houston, Texas bus system Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) have limitations of liability due to METRO being a governmental entity. METRO is subject to being sued when their bus drivers cause an accident, but the amount that can be obtained is limited by law.
In the case of commercial interstate carriers such as Greyhound or Megabus, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes regulations upon bus companies to make sure that the vehicle is safe and the driver is both competent and healthy. Some of these federal safety regulations include:
- Mandatory drug testing for drivers: Intoxicated drivers are not just a problem for automobile operators. Bus and truck drivers have caused bus accidents while being under the influence of alcohol, pills and marijuana.
- Annual physical exams for drivers: It is crucial that bus drivers be healthy enough to operate the huge vehicle. Drivers with physical conditions that can cause them to become incapacitated and crash should not be behind the wheel. The government requires them to have an annual exam and carry their medical certification card with them.
- Limitations on hours of driving: Obviously, a bus driver behind the wheel for too many hours can fall asleep and cause a crash. Likewise, a fatigued driver can cause a bus wreck. For these reasons, the law limits the total daily hours of driving a bus as well as time between breaks.
- Commercial drivers license requirements: To prevent bus accidents, companies must require that their drivers are properly trained and carry a valid commercial drivers license.
- Requirements regarding regular inspection and repair of the bus and equipment: Regular safety inspections are necessary to make sure bus accidents do not happen. When the company or driver fails to inspect the bus completely, a bus accident can happen.
Additionally, the bus companies themselves have their own policies for safety that they should require their drivers and the maintenance staff to abide by. So, for instance, if the bus company has a company regulation that requires all tires be inspected and replaced at say 35,000 miles, a failure to follow their own policies and procedures is evidence of negligence if the tire fails and causes injuries.
Email Mr. Fleming and his Houston, Texas Car Accident Lawyers now or call us today at 737-201-0543 if you have any questions regarding a bus accident injury case.
Bus crashes can cause devastating injuries and wrongful death including brain injuries, spinal injuries, burns, catastrophic injuries and more. They can be caused by many factors including:
- Distracted driving, including cell phone use such as texting while driving
- Driver Fatigue
- Inadequate Bus Maintenance
- Faulty Equipment
- Inadequate Bus Driver Training
- Safety Violations
- Regulatory Violations
- Driver Negligence
- Inadequate or non-existent Inspections (failure to inspect)
If you or a loved one or your child have been the victim of a school bus accident injury or van accident injury anywhere in Texas, you should contact one of our Houston accident injury attorneys immediately so that they can be involved in the investigation of the cause and protect your rights. If you can’t make it to our offices, we will send an attorney to meet with you at a location convenient to you.