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 auto accident lawyers at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler PLLC, 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 PLLC, 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 PLLC, now at (866) 454-7445 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.
"Client was disabled from working in prior profession after sustaining a severe closed head injury and brain trauma in an automobile accident on Interstate 5. $7,845,000. "
"Pedestrian client was struck by semi-truck, and the trailer wheels rolled over client’s body causing severe injury. $1,145,000. "
"Client was involved in a head-on collision when a bus crossed the center line. Client suffered a severe closed head injury preventing him from returning to his previous employment. $884,998. "
"Client was involved in serious head-on collision with uninsured motorist while on-the-job, resulting in physical injury and posttraumatic stress disorder. Client can no longer work as a commercial truck driver. $708,000. "
"Client was a rear seat passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an automobile accident. Client was severely injured as the result of a defective seatbelt, while the other three occupants of the vehicle sustained only minor injuries. $650,000. "
"Client was killed in automobile accident caused by defendant’s failure to yield the right-of-way. $650,000. "
"Minor client was on his way to school and was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. Defendant driver had pulled into oncoming lane to pass another vehicle and struck client, causing serious injuries. $500,000. "
"Client was killed as a result of an in-cab fuel tank, which caught fire after an automobile accident. $350,000. "
"Client riding a bicycle was struck by a motorist who failed to yield the right-of-way. Client sustained numerous injuries, including a closed head injury. $120,000. "
"I have been a client of Dan Kyler’s since 1996. Having had numerous car accidents, I rely upon Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler to help me through them. The most obscure questions have been answered and help is given on all levels. Thanks."
"John Wilson demonstrated his professionalism by keeping us current on our case, explaining our options, giving us realistic expectations and demonstrating the highest level of ethics and integrity beyond reproach. We have the highest confidence that we were well represented."
"Dan Hannula’s hard work helped to settle my auto accident case. "
"Having a motorcycle accident was bad enough, let alone dealing with insurance companies. John Wilson and his staff made everything easy to understand and hassle free. "
"I am extremely satisfied with the service I experienced with this firm and I would recommend them to anyone that needs legal representation. Michael Fisher and his staff are great people. "
"Vern Harkins perseverance and hard work made it possible to get the maximum settlement from the insurance company. I know he had my interest in mind as demonstrated by his actions. "
"The office staff were courteous, pleasant and kept me informed as to what was going on throughout the whole ordeal. "
"Molly Crowley is a very professional and knowledgeable lawyer. I felt I was very well represented!! "
"Molly Crowley was knowledgeable, kept me informed every step of the way and just did a great job! "
"We got a fair settlement and were treated with respect and dignity throughout the whole process. -Blake W. "