Bus Accident Lawyers in Tacoma
Bus transportation is essential for many residents of Washington; many travel by bus to their jobs and children rely on buses to take them safely to school. Yet bus accidents happen frequently, seriously injuring innocent passengers, other motorists and pedestrians. In 2006, school bus accidents alone accounted for 394 collisions, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Numerous factors cause bus accidents. Driver negligence, defective equipment, dangerous road or weather conditions and poor or inadequate bus maintenance all play a role.
Bus accidents are unique for several reasons. First, because buses are larger and heavier than most other vehicles, accidents involving buses typically cause injury to others beyond just the occupants of the bus. Second, almost 70 percent of bus accident victims are people driving or riding in other vehicles. Also unique to bus transport is the lack of safety restraints. Laws govern the use of seatbelts and child seats in passenger vehicles, yet many school and city buses are not equipped with seat belts. Bus occupants, particularly children, are especially vulnerable to traumatic injury when an accident occurs. School districts faced with budget restrictions may try to reduce costs by keeping old buses in service longer and hiring less experienced drivers at lower pay.
Legally, the responsibilities of bus driver and bus company are different than those of a passenger vehicle. A bus is considered to be a “common carrier” and thus the driver is held to a higher standard of safety and protection than the driver of a regular car. These issues can become complicated, however, when a bus company is operated by a city or other government branch. (Some claims must be brought through a special government tort claim system before a lawsuit can be filed).
Because of these complicating factors, obtaining legal compensation for injuries from a bus accident is a complex process. An experienced personal injury attorney can help. The accident lawyers at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P., know how to conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to determine the cause of the accident. Numerous factors can cause bus collisions, so it is vital to have knowledgeable advocates on your side. Most importantly, the attorneys of Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P., understand how to prepare a legal strategy that protects your best interests.
When a bus accident causes serious injury, it is essential that you act quickly to preserve key evidence – and to ensure your right to file a claim. There are statutes of limitations on personal injury lawsuits, so legal action must be taken promptly.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of a bus accident, call the trial lawyers of Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P., now at 866-454-RHHK (7445) or click here to submit a FREE case review. Let our experience work for you. Our initial consultation is free of charge and if we accept your case, we only get paid for our services if you receive monetary compensation.