St. Louis Bus Accident Attorney
Buses on our roadways pose a risk not only to other people on the road but also to the passengers aboard these vehicles. Bus accidents can prove catastrophic and often involve many victims that have suffered harm due to no fault of their own. St. Louis residents enjoy the convenience and usability of MetroBus, but even these buses can cause serious injuries. Individuals also may sustain injuries in accidents that involve privately operated buses.
If you sustain injuries in a bus accident, you may qualify to pursue compensation for the losses and damages you have suffered. You should contact an experienced St. Louis bus accident attorney to determine your eligibility to pursue compensation for your injuries.
In St. Louis or Nearby? Consider The Bruning Law Firm
At The Bruning Law Firm, we help our clients fight for maximum compensation in their cases. We strive to help you move forward from this traumatic event in your life and find a positive resolution for you. St. Louis-area bus accident victims generally qualify to seek compensation for the painful injuries they have sustained and any impacts on their lives.
This goes for both people in St. Louis County as well as the city and its suburbs in Missouri and the Metro East. We can help you just about anywhere you live, whether a school bus accident injured your child or a MetroBus crashed into you in St. Louis or the Illinois suburbs.
Examples of Successful Client Results
At The Burning Law Firm, we take pride in our past success stories. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your case, we can point to some of our recent results as an indication of the high-quality legal services that we provide. Some of our recent results include:
- $1.4 million jury verdict against the parties responsible for a truck accident causing spinal cord injuries.
- $750,000 settlement for the family of an individual who died in a tragic truck collision.
The Risk of Bus Accidents in St. Louis
St. Louis serves as a major midwestern transportation hub that can serve as a start-off point, destination, or connection for many long-distance bus travelers. Often referred to as the Gateway to the West, St. Louis serves as a thoroughfare for many commercial passenger transportation services across the U.S. Many bus travelers pass through St. Louis as they make their way to their next destinations With more buses on the road, drivers in the St. Louis area face a higher risk of bus accidents than drivers in other, less-traveled areas of the country.
While fatal bus crashes don’t occur too frequently, injury accidents of passenger vans and buses remain a concern on the interstates, highways, and roads. In just one year, Missouri State Highway Patrol reported close to 50 fatalities—and over 3,000 injuries—involving a passenger van or bus collision.
The Dangers of Buses to Passengers and Other Motorists
Bus transportation constitutes an everyday activity across the country for school children, travelers, and commuters. Many people in our cities and towns rely on bus transportation. Several elements of bus transportation, however, can make it hazardous to passengers and others on the road. The design and operation of the bus itself can present various risks that make it more likely to sustain injuries in an accident. When bus accidents do happen, they often involve mass injuries and, in more severe accidents, mass casualties of the passengers or nearby vehicle occupants.
Lack of Safety Features
Buses’ lack of safety features and the lack of mandates for large buses both constitute major reasons for the risk involved in bus accidents. While smaller buses, such as passenger vans, have laws that require all occupants to wear a seat belt, larger buses, such as motor coaches and school buses, don’t have to enforce seat belt usage for passengers, and in many cases, these buses don’t even have to have seat belts installed. Seat belts save lives, but when seat belts don’t exist or aren’t used, this can pose a risk to everyone on board if an accident should occur.
Beyond seat belts, large buses also do not come equipped with airbags. Airbags greatly reduce the risk of death in certain accidents. However, buses generally do not have these safety features available. Passengers, especially those near windows, face a particular risk of serious injury and death in an accident. Side airbags could potentially help to reduce this risk to passengers, but government agencies have not acted, and the bus industry has not implemented such protections.
As passenger buses increase in passenger capacity, so does their overall size and weight. These vehicles usually weigh much more and extend much longer than passenger vehicles. Large buses have a great deal of force and momentum behind the wheel as they travel on the roadways. Their massive size and heavy weight require drivers to take extra care and time to stop and maneuver the vehicle.
When an accident occurs, the force of a large bus can destroy others on the road. Any vehicle in or near its path in an accident faces a risk of heavy damage, as well as the occupants of those vehicles.
As buses increase in size, so does their height. In fact, the motivation of companies to transport more passengers at once has even led to the use of double-decker-style buses in many areas of the country. Large buses and multilevel buses create a unique hazard due to the height of the vehicle. These higher-profile vehicles may cause serious accidents, such as rollovers, because of their inherent instability and high rate of difficulty in maneuvering.
Bus operators that lack experience or have not received adequate training can run into serious problems with these large vehicles in challenging road conditions. High winds, abrupt stops, and sudden maneuvers can all cause a bus to lose control and cause an accident due to the height of the vehicle.
Large buses used for commercial transport require routine maintenance and inspection to ensure the vehicle’s safety. Any shortcuts or shoddy maintenance work or repairs can lead to catastrophic failures for the bus. Failures in equipment or critical parts of the bus, such as tires or brakes, can lead to unexpected dangers that can cause an unavoidable collision while on the road.
Types of Passenger Bus Accidents
Bus transportation constitutes a large part of a community’s mobility in many of the country’s metropolitan areas. Many members of the St. Louis community rely on its various types of buses to get to and from their destinations. Whether headed to work, school, or recreational activity, individuals in the St. Louis area use buses for many different reasons. An accident can happen on any type of bus, at any time.
Each bus type and purpose can create unique hazards and risks of injury to passengers.
- School Bus Accidents – Many school buses do not come equipped with seat belts for children and other passengers on board. For those few buses that do have seat belts available, few authorities enforce the use of safety belts by children. This puts a very vulnerable population at risk of severe injury and death in the case of a school bus accident. Even a minor collision on a school bus can result in serious injuries to the children when the occupants are not properly seated or restrained.
- Transit Bus Crashes – Crowded city buses where some passengers must remain standing and where seats do not have safety belts available pose a risk to all riders. Not only do you face a risk of injury from the momentum of a potential bus crash, but standing passengers, bags, and other objects become dangerous flying projectiles that can strike a passenger if a bus accident occurs.
- Commercial Bus Accidents – Long-distance bus travel between cities and states has become more popular in recent times due to buses’ low prices compared to air travel and gas, and the overall convenience of not having to drive oneself. These large-scale companies offer cheap tickets to popular destinations all across the country. Unfortunately, many of these large bus companies also have a reputation for deadly accidents. From overworked drivers to failed inspections and maintenance, many dangers exist when traveling by commercial bus.
- Charter Bus Crashes – When looking for group travel for functions and celebrations, many turn to charter bus options. Charter bus companies can range from small business operations to large corporate offerings. However, the reputation of these companies can vary greatly. With little oversight and spotty enforcement of regulations, many companies will cut corners to save costs at the expense of passenger safety.
- Passenger Van Collisions – Unlike large buses that require special license classifications and qualifications for their drivers, passenger van operators need little else than a standard non-commercial driver’s license to drive these vehicles. Unfortunately, these high-capacity vans can often encounter many of the same dangers as their large bus counterparts. Their larger size and height can make them more difficult to navigate and more susceptible to rollover crashes than passenger vehicles. Many times, drivers of these vans have little to no experience transporting people and can put themselves or others at risk.
The Most Common Causes of St. Louis Bus Accidents
A bus accident can happen for various reasons. Obstacles on the roads, weather conditions, and other drivers can all contribute to events that lead up to an accident. However, negligence constitutes the most common cause of bus collisions. The failure of one party to protect the duty of care of passengers or other individuals on the road can lead to an accident, injuries, and even deaths. Negligent bus accidents can occur in many different scenarios, and every accident involves unique facts and circumstances.
Common negligent causes of bus accidents can include:
- Fatigued Bus Drivers – The bus industry has a reputation for putting a lot of pressure on its drivers. Drivers may have to drive long hours with few rest breaks in between shifts. This can put the driver at risk of becoming fatigued. A tired driver can pose the same risk as a drunk driver due to similar impacts on visibility, coordination, and decision-making. A bus driver suffering from fatigue can fall asleep behind the wheel or suffer from delayed responses to obstacles on the road that can lead up to an accident.
- Poorly Trained Bus Drivers – When customer demand is high, the need for bus drivers will increase. This can lead companies to put drivers on the road that lack experience and have not received adequate training. While operators must have a commercial license to operate a bus, bus companies bear the responsibility to ensure a driver can complete all duties safely and effectively, and the company must provide additional training if necessary.
- Inexperienced Bus Operators – Bus driver experience can prove the difference between life or death in critical situations on the road. Rookie bus operators may not have experience driving in certain areas or fully understand the particular risks posed to the bus and its passengers in each location. When a driver lacks experience, the driver may struggle to make well-informed decisions. Misjudgments or hesitations by an inexperienced bus driver can lead to a bus accident.
- Negligent Bus Drivers – While various parties in combination with drivers contribute to many of the above causes of negligent bus accidents, a driver may act with clear negligence in some situations. Drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, and reckless maneuvers all constitute examples of negligent actions that can cause bus accidents and injure passengers and others on the road.
Faulty Maintenance – When bus companies, operators, and owners fail to take measures to keep up with the required upkeep of a bus, this can result in an accident. Failure to inspect, maintain, or repair a commercial vehicle, such as a large bus, often constitutes negligence on the part of the owner of the bus company or the company hired to provide these services.
- Defective Design or Equipment -Some accidents result from a flaw in the design of the bus itself or a vital part or piece of equipment. A defect in design can also exacerbate a minor collision and cause more severe injuries. In these situations, the manufacturer of the bus or product that failed may bear full or partial liability for the accident. Examples of these types of accidents include when a fender bender or moderate crash leads to an explosion or fire on a bus that results in many more injuries or deaths.
Contact The Bruning Law Firm’s St. Louis Bus Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries or died in a St. Louis bus accident, contact The Bruning Law Firm today for a free consultation. You can reach us by phone at (314) 735-8100 or through our website’s contact page. We serve bus accident victims in the city and county of St. Louis, the Metro East of Illinois, and beyond.
The Bruning Law Firm
555 Washington Ave Ste 600A,
St. Louis, MO 63101
“When other law firms failed me. Bruning Law Firm came through for me. They did a great job and were able to get me more compensation than I expected. Couldn’t be more pleased. Truly glad these folks were there for me. Took care of everything. Truly pleased. Tthank you Ryan and Alice.” – Joseph F.
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