Bus Accidents in DC

Riding as a passenger on a public bus is supposed to be safer than driving. Bus drivers are supposed to be trained, buses are supposed to be kept in good repair, and buses are bigger and heavier than other cars on the road. However, accidents involving buses are not uncommon. When a bus gets into an accident, the passengers, other drivers, and even pedestrians can suffer serious injuries.

Washington D.C.'s Metrobus provides more than 400,000 rides each week across the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Metrobus is one of the largest bus fleets in the country, with more than 1,500 vehicles operating on 325 bus routes. The DC Circulator is another public bus service popular in DC for tourists and locals alike, with more than 67 buses the Circulator provides almost 5 million trips a year. With so many miles driven each day, it is not surprising that buses get into accidents with other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.

When a driver is involved in an accident with a bus, they may not be sure what to do next. After any other accident, the drivers may exchange insurance information and their insurance company should deal with the claims. However, a bus driver is an employee of the District and they will not likely have their own personal insurance involved in your insurance claim.

Drivers involved in an accident with a bus may also feel like they were responsible for the accident. A bus driver may try and blame the accident on the other driver because they are concerned they might lose their job after causing an accident. However, just because the bus driver is blaming you for the accident does not mean that you are responsible for any damages.

Many passengers also use private bus companies to get to Washington D.C. from New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and other areas. These may be national chain transportation services like Greyhound or Bolt Bus, or they could involve cheaper bus companies that the passenger is not even sure of the company's name.

Common Causes of Bus Accidents

There are many reasons why a bus may be involved in an accident. Bus drivers are like any other drivers and can make mistakes. A bus driver may not be paying attention to the road, speeding, not looking out for other drivers, driving while distracted, or even driving while drowsy. In some cases, a bus driver may even be operating under the influence of prescription drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, when a bus driver makes a mistake, their vehicle is bigger, heavier, and can cause more damage than other vehicles.

The mechanical condition of the bus itself could be a cause for an accident. Buses are required to meet certain safety requirements in order to carry passengers. This includes regular inspections, proper tire care, brake system checks, and other safety checks. However, many buses are not kept in proper care and passengers only find out about the lax safety measures after an accident.

Bus Accident Injury Claims

Bus accidents can result in injuries for other drivers as well as bus passengers. For passengers, even a slow-speed crash can cause them to fall, landing on their neck or back and causing serious injury. Major bus accidents can result in broken bones, head or facial trauma, spinal injury, internal injuries, and even death.

Vehicle accidents involving a bus can be more serious than accidents involving other cars. A bus is significantly larger and heavier than other cars on the road. An accident with a bus can cause more damage to other vehicles, often trapping passengers inside. If the injured driver and passengers cannot get emergency medical treatment quickly, they have a greater risk of more serious injury or death.

After an accident with a Metro Bus or other public transportation company, the passengers or injured drivers may have to file a claim with the governmental agency responsible for the bus service. There are different legal claim filing deadlines when the defendant is the government. An injured individual has to provide notice in writing to the Mayor within 6 months of the injury, including the approximate time, place, cause, and circumstances of the injury or damage. If their notice is not filed in time, any claims against the District of Columbia government for loss, damage or injury may be denied.

An accident involving a private bus company will generally involve a claim against the company as well as the driver. With employer liability, an employer is responsible for the actions of their employees when the employee is acting within the course of their employment. If a negligent bus driver caused an accident, the bus company would be liable for damages. However, it can be a challenge to get the employer to take responsibility for their employee and pay for the damage caused. You may have to contact an attorney to make sure the employer takes your claims seriously, to compensate you for your injuries, lost wages, vehicle damage, pain and suffering.

Bus Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one was injured in a bus accident, you should talk to an experienced DC personal injury attorney about getting compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through the claims process and advise you of your options. They will make sure your claim is properly filed against the public or private bus company. You should not have to suffer due to someone else's negligence. Do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.

Let Us Help

If someone you are close to has been seriously injured or worse, you are naturally devastated not only by what has happened, but by the effect that the injury or loss has had on you and your family. At a time when you're vulnerable, traumatized and emotionally exhausted, you need a team that will support you through the often complex process that lies ahead.

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