Thousands of school children and commuters rely on buses every single day. We expect the people who drive those buses to do so safely and carefully. Sadly, this is not always the case. Bus drivers are just as likely as anyone on the road to engage in reckless behavior.
The risk of a bus accident can also be influenced by other factors. Bus transportation is almost exclusively related to businesses or public entities, which means a number of people could be liable for the injuries and damages that are caused by collisions.
The Driver’s Liability
When a person is injured in a bus accident and decides to pursue a personal injury claim, the driver will most likely be partially or completely liable. It is their responsibility to not only get their passengers to their destination, but to do it safely. A driver who is negligent in this responsibility by driving recklessly or distracted knowingly endangers their riders and could be liable in a case.
The Responsibilities of Employers
Companies that employ bus drivers are responsible for finding people who — above anything else — drive safe. Transportation businesses must conduct extensive research to determine if a new hire is right for the job, including driving tests and background checks. During a background check, they should make sure a driver has no history of reckless driving, driving under the influence, or anything else that could label them as a safety risk.
Once a driver is hired, their employer must continue to oversee the safety of their operation. This can be done through routine maintenance checks or regular training, as well as by establishing policies that do not overwork their drivers.
Can Schools or Cities be Liable?
The liability of a school or city for the actions of their bus drivers will depend on the entity’s relationship with the drivers. In some cases, bus drivers are considered as employees of the school or city they drive for. The typical negligent hiring and training considerations would apply in these instances. Other schools and cities work with an independent transportation company to staff their fleet of buses. In these cases, the business could carry liability, but the school or city may be excused. However, they could be at fault for the accident if they vet drivers in any way before adding them to their fleet, and are negligent in doing so.
If you were driving and collided with a bus, liability considerations will be a little different than if you were riding on the bus. These cases will be treated similarly to a typical car accident. It is still possible for the bus driver’s employer or a school or city to be liable for the damages in these cases.
Our attorneys can analyze the details of your case to find everyone who is responsible and get you the full compensation you deserve. Call today for a no-cost consultation.Do you need an evaluation of your bus accident case? Contact Foley Griffin, LLP using our contact form or via phone at (888) 966-8480 to schedule a free consultation.