Bus companies and their insurance companies are known for routinely minimizing the injuries of bus accident victims. Still, with the help of an experienced Maryland bus accident lawyer, your rights will be protected. The team from Dubo Law has years of experience handling claims on behalf of bus accident victims and their families. We have attained favorable outcomes for many clients throughout Maryland.
Due to the absence of an effective subway system, Baltimore’s mass transit system is dominated by buses. Whether MTA, Charm City Circulator, WMATA, TheBus, MTA Mobility, Annapolis Circulator Trolley, or other small mass transit operators, contacting one of the best bus accident law firms in Maryland can increase your chances for a favorable outcome. Do not let yourself be the victim twice – seek reimbursement for your medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and other expenses arising from the accident. We have the relevant experience and legal strength to deal with bus companies and transportation authorities, so do not wait too long to contact Dubo Law.
Proving Negligence in Bus Accident Cases in Maryland
Bus companies are classified as ‘common carriers’ and are subject to extensive regulations and safety standards imposed by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They are held to the highest duty of care for their passengers, which means driving safely, preventing injuries to their passengers, and keeping their luggage secure. Proving four main elements of negligence is required in order to get compensation for the injuries you sustained:
- Duty: the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim.
- Breach: the at-fault party breached that duty.
- Causation: the breach of duty of care caused the victim’s injuries.
- Damages: the damages sustained result from the defendant’s duty breach.
The duty of care in bus accidents is extremely high. Any driving error like swerving, sudden braking, unsafe line change, rolling over, aggressive driving, and other accidents caused by the bus driver means violating this duty if it causes injuries to the passengers. The occurrence of a bus accident does not automatically mean the passenger can recover against the bus driver. First, you must prove that you experience injuries, which is usually not the hard part. Then, you also must prove that it is the driver’s fault and that their negligent actions caused the injuries, not the actions of someone outside the bus, another passenger, or the injured passenger themselves.
Proving all of these elements sometimes requires taking the case before a judge and jury and establishing what really happened. With the assistance of a reputable Baltimore bus accident attorney, you will be able to tell your story with the help of the proper expert witnesses and reconstruct the accident.
Liability in Bus Accident Cases
Apart from bus drivers, other entities can be held liable for the accident. Other negligent drivers can cause a bus crash or state or local government agencies responsible for maintaining safe road conditions and repairs. Many common carriers are government agencies, so dealing with them may require special notices that must be filed within a certain period of time before filing a legal claim. That is why it is wise to consult with an experienced Baltimore accident lawyer, as they know all the nuances of common carrier laws.
Also, the responsibility depends on the type of bus involved in the accident. As we said before, buses are common carriers – they transport people and goods for a fee. In this particular category are school busses, tour buses, and other types of commercial buses.
Some buses are also public buses, like commuter and school buses. Others are private buses that transport passengers and goods for various reasons. Suppose you are, for example, involved in an accident with a school bus. In that case, different entities may be responsible for your damages. This may include:
- The bus manufacturer for making and installing a defective part that caused the accident.
- The person or company responsible for the bus maintenance.
- The bus driver’s employer may be held accountable for their employee’s negligence.
- Third-party contractors can be responsible for the accident because of hiring an unqualified driver or supplying defective parts.
If you are involved in an accident with a tour bus, few entities may be held liable for your injuries:
- The owner of the bus is responsible for maintaining a safe fleet of buses as well as for ensuring the drivers are qualified to operate the bus.
- The tour company can be liable for inappropriate evaluation of the bus company they choose as a business partner. Demonstrating that the bus company had several safety violations, the tour company may also be liable for the accident.
Bus Accident Causes in Maryland
Major cities like Baltimore are heavily dependent on public transportation usage. Given the volume of bus usage, busy pedestrian traffic, and crowded city streets, it is particularly susceptible to bus crashes. Here are some of the most common reasons for bus accidents:
Poor or Lack of Proper Bus Maintenance
Buses that are not properly checked and maintained will eventually undergo some type of mechanical error that can cause serious bus crashes. Bus owners are responsible for regularly inspecting the buses, replacing faulty parts, and ensuring that they are in proper working condition before transportation.
Like any other motor vehicle, buses have weight limits. If the weight limit of the bus is exceeded, the driver may struggle to manage the control over the vehicle, which can lead to an accident. Overcrowding may not be the issue on the school bus routes, but public buses can quickly reach their capacity. The bus company and bus driver are responsible for managing the capacity during the transportation sessions. If injuries occur due to the overcrowding problem, these entities may be held liable.
Failure to Yield or Illegal Passing
Sometimes the agitated drivers of the passenger vehicles try to illegally pass the slow-moving bus and cause an accident. Passing the bus on the shoulder or opposite side of the road is illegal. It can create a dangerous and deadly situation for both bus and passenger vehicles. Also, it can put passengers in danger while exiting or entering the bus. This situation is especially worrisome when children on a school bus must cross the road.
The usage of cell phones during driving is not permitted. Unless they use a hands-free device, federal laws ban drivers from using cell phones while operating a vehicle. Cell phones are still a leading cause of reckless and distracted driving, but there are also other culprits that can lead to bus accidents, including adjusting the radio, seat, and mirror, drinking and eating behind the wheel, uncontrollable passengers, rubbernecking, and many more.
Driving while drowsy or tired can cause serious accidents. Bus drivers who do not sleep for 18 hours or more have the same levels of impairment as those who have blood alcohol levels of 0.08. Studies show that working long shifts is as dangerous as alcohol consumption.
Types of Bus Accidents Dubo Law Handles
Our law firm represents victims of bus accidents in any of the following types of bus or motor carriers:
- Double-decker buses
- Single-decker buses
- Rigid buses
- School buses
- High-capacity bi-articulated buses
- Trailer buses
- Passenger-carrying trailers
- Local transit systems buses
- Coaches and motor-coaches
- Transportation Authority buses
No matter the bus type, our award-winning bus crash lawyers are here to provide legal services and ensure our clients get paid for the damages they suffered due to someone else’s negligence.
What Makes Buses Unsafe?
Although most bus accidents are caused by driver negligence, bus manufacturers can also be responsible for the accident. Bus manufacturers can produce a defective product that can cause an accident. Our legal team will investigate whether some of the following issues contributed to your injuries:
- Lack of safety equipment like seatbelts and airbags – these features are missing in most buses.
- Safety hazards to passengers such as being crushed by doors with broken sensors, tripping over the raised carpeting, or being hit in the head by falling luggage from collapsing overhead racks.
- Open air design of some buses poses a threat to the riders as they are frequently exposed to ejection or flying debris.
- Bus length (especially the articulated buses) can put cyclists or pedestrians at risk of being hit by the back end of the long bus.
- Unsafe bus design, especially the top-heavy design of the buses, makes them vulnerable to rollover accidents, mostly during sharp turns.
What are the Common Causes of Bus Accidents in Maryland?
The experienced accident lawyer in Maryland will investigate all the aspects of the bus accident – we know where to look and what to look for. Bus drivers are not always at fault for the accident; sometimes other drivers can cause it. Some of the most familiar causes of bus accidents are:
- Negligence of the bus driver
- Unqualified driver
- Sudden stops
- Driver fatigue or DIU
- Improper bus maintenance that causes vehicle handling problems
- Failing to stop at a traffic light or stop sign
- Dangerous weather conditions (fog, heavy rain, snow, ice, high winds, etc.)
- Road conditions and construction problems
- Stability issues due to the improper weight distribution
- Heavily populated areas with small maneuvering area
- Vehicle structure and lack of the passenger protection
- Another driver
- Mechanical faults (faulty brakes, steering mechanism, lighting, suspension, etc.)
Types of Damages Available for Bus Accident Victims Across Maryland
Bus accident victims can file a bus accident claim or lawsuit whenever they suffer serious injuries as a result of another person’s negligence or recklessness. Injury victims are, in most cases, passengers on the bus. However, victims do not have to be only passengers – they may be pedestrians, cyclists, other drivers, or passengers in the other vehicle.
After your bus accident lawyer in Maryland determines the at-fault party, the next step is calculating the damages. Settlement figures may include compensatory damages that are designed to provide for the victim’s economic (costs that victims have to pay as a result of the accident, like medical bills or lost wages) and non-economic losses (harms that usually do not have a fixed cost, like pain and suffering):
- Hospital bills
- Emergency room treatment
- Medication and medical supplies
- Physical therapy
- In-home care
- Lost income
- Future lost earning capacity
- Vehicle repair
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Disability and disfigurement
- Court fees and other costs.
WHY DUBO LAW, LLC?
Maneuvering Your Case Successfully
- Client-focused and friendly approach
- Extensive experience in personal injury litigation
- Contingency-fee arrangement
- Attained millions of dollars on behalf of our clients
- Going the extra mile for every bus accident case
- Amazing reputation supported by 5-star Google reviews
Making Your Satisfaction Our Top Priority
“From my very first conversation with Neil who answered the phone, I felt confident in his abilities. He was actually my third call after being rear-ended by an uninsured driver. Neil was kind and relatable. The case took longer than initially expected due to the driver providing false insurance information, but Neil and his team were easy to work with. In this new world with covid and everything moves at a slow pace. They provided me with feedback and provided reasonable deadlines for all parties. I would highly recommend Neil and his team.”
“I have had many attorneys for many different things over the years … by far, the service I have received from Dubo Law has been excellent. The care and communication they have provided to me have been exceptional. Thank you Neil for caring and explaining things for me, and being patient with me through that awful time in my life … I have and will continue to refer clients his way as a direct result… thank you again for everything.”
“I had a wonderful experience working with the Dubo Law team! Neil’s staff is friendly and attentive. They took the time to understand my issue, explained the details and options to my wife and me, and ultimately helped us to make an informed decision. I definitely recommend their services to anyone looking for help with a bus accident or personal injury.”
Bus Accident Attorney Near Me: Book Free Case Evaluation
Dubo Law firm fights for its clients. We will not let you give up. We have your best interests at heart. With us, you will not only get legal representation but also committed advocates that will be with you every step of this complicated process. Our passion drives us to employ aggressive litigation tactics and skills. Securing nothing less than maximum compensation for you, feel free to talk to one of the most dedicated Baltimore accident lawyers – Neil Dubovsky. We offer confidential and free initial consultations at (443) 275-6345.
Contact Us for Your Free Case Review!
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