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Millions of people, school children and commuters inclusive, use buses daily. And although buses are a relatively safer means of transportation, accidents still occur.

However, accidents involving buses are usually fewer than other vehicles like cars or motorcycles. But, because buses are big and weighty vehicles, accidents involving buses are generally riskier and sometimes fatal. In the U.S., motor vehicle accidents, especially bus crashes cost millions of dollars in damages and losses every year.

If you or other people you know were recently in a bus accident, you should contact a Houston Bus Accident Lawyer from Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims PLLC. 

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What Are the Most Common Causes of Houston Bus Accidents?

There are several causes of bus accidents in Houston, Texas.. People can avoid most of these, while a few of them are not easy to prevent. The most common causes of bus crashes in Texas include distracted driving, negligence, speeding, etc.

Driver Distraction

In Texas, distracted driving is a common cause of crashes. When a motorist, either the bus driver or other road user, is not focused on driving, an accident could occur. 

Several things such as receiving phone calls or texts could distract the bus driver. Another possible reason for distracted driving is when bus passengers talk loudly or even talk to the driver. These actions cause the driver to lose focus, leading to an accident. 

Poor Vehicle Maintenance and Negligence

The bus driver, owner, or company needs to carry out constant checkups and inspections for the bus to run smoothly. Like other vehicles, buses need to have spoilt parts replaced as soon as is necessary.  

If the bus driver fails to maintain the bus properly, they are considered to be a negligent driver. Such negligent bus drivers are said to be at fault in the accident..

Another way a bus company or owner can be negligent is if there is an issue of inadequate driver training. 

Drunken Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most dangerous things to do. It is also very deadly to drink and drive. A state like Texas frowns at drunken driving. 

Alcohol reduces concentration. And concentration is very crucial when it comes to driving a bus or any vehicle. Additionally, alcohol impedes a driver’s vision. Most drunk drivers are said to be the at-fault drivers in a crash..

Speed

It is a known fact that a faster vehicle is more susceptible to have accidents. The accident’s seriousness is always more in a bus where the driver or other people were over speeding. 

If there is a crash, a bus at high speed will have a greater impact and cause more injuries. This is unlike a bus that moves at the given speed limit.

Furthermore, a speeding driver will have a shortened reaction time if anything happens suddenly. For instance, the driver may not quickly apply the brakes. This endangers the passengers and others.

Bad Weather Conditions  

Weather conditions like rain or snow naturally make driving more difficult for motorists. These elements make the roads slippery. And for buses that are heavier and less easy to maneuver, driving becomes even more difficult.

If you combine these weather elements with poor road conditions, like potholes, the effect could be disastrous..

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Steps to Take After a Houston Bus Accident

After a bus accident in Houston, Texas, people are most times disoriented and make the wrong moves. However, if passengers in a bus accident want to file a personal injury lawsuit, later on, they have to take the necessary steps. These steps are applicable to both passengers and other motorists involved in the crash.

Call the Police

The first step you will want to take after the accident is to report the crash to the police. If your injuries are not too serious, you must make sure that you file a police report. This report is one of the documents that the insurance company or court will like to see when you make your claim.

When you call the police, tell them in as many details, what happened before, during, and after the crash. This will ensure your side of the story is on record.

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

As soon as you get down from the bus, it is essential for you to seek medical help. There will most likely be paramedics at the scene of the crash to help injured people; ensure you are thoroughly examined for signs of injuries.

If you have severe injuries, you will be taken to the hospital for further examination. The liability of your medical bills may be on the bus driver, owner, or company. But, first, you must have enough proof and records to give the court or insurance company.

In Houston, Texas, victims of bus accidents have a limited time for reporting injuries. So, the sooner you get medical help, the better.

Make Adequate Documentation

When you keep records of the accident, there might be factors in your documentation that will help your case. For instance, when the bus company tries to deny some of your claims, the proper documentation can come in very handy.

You should have documentation of your losses, doctor’s reports, police reports, eyewitness testimonies, and other possible documents you can get. These documents will help the insurance company to determine how much compensation you deserve.

Gather Evidence and Talk to Witnesses

Pieces of evidence play a significant role in bus accident claims. When gathering your evidence, you need as much information as possible, even the seemingly inconsequential detail can be vital in your claim.

Pedestrians or onlookers could serve as key witnesses to the crash. Sometimes, witnesses might even be passengers on the bus. But, whether they were on the bus or not, witnesses’ information could provide additional insight into the case. So, before you leave the accident scene, it is essential to get the personal details of potential witnesses..

Contact a Houston Bus Accident Lawyer

It is important to schedule consultations with an auto accident lawyer or bus accident lawyer after a bus accident in Houston, Texas. This is because there are more victims and more liable parties involved in bus crashes.

The fact that there are more victims and liable parties make bus accident claims a more complex process.. An experienced attorney in Houston, Texas will help you with your claim and ensure you get the compensation you should get.

Types of Injuries in Houston Bus Accidents

Bus crashes attract various types of injuries to passengers. A bus accident injury might have temporary or permanent effects on the people involved. Also, these injuries could claim lives if not handled carefully.

  • Internal Bleeding: Trauma usually causes internal bleeding. Internal bleeding is when there is damage to your artery or vein, and you start bleeding in your body. It is always a thing of concern.
  • Whiplash: Whiplash is a neck injury due to a forceful and rapid jerk of the neck. It occurs when the head moves backward and forward forcefully.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries are damages done to the spinal cord or even the spinal canal’s nerves. These spinal cord injuries could cause permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other functions. Spinal cord injury victims are usually affected greatly by the injury.
  • Sprains and Strains: Sprains and strains involve stretching or tearing your ligaments. A ligament is that tissue that connects the bones and joints. Strains and sprains also affect the tendons and muscles.
  • Fractures and Broken Bones: A fracture or broken bone is a partial or total breaking of the bone. Fractures and broken bones can occur in any bone of the body.
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Who Is Liable for Injuries Sustained in a Bus Accident in Houston? 

Determining who is responsible or at-fault for a bus accident is dependent on the types of buses, e.g. school buses, in the crash. 

If the bus crash was public transportation, the bus might belong to a government entity.. In this case, the government is responsible for the injuries and property damages. However, the government might get immunity and compensate victims another way.

A common carrier is a public or private entity that carries a person for a fee. They are commercial bus lines like Megabus, Greyhound, etc. If an accident occurs with common carriers, the bus line or private company is liable for the victims’ injuries and property damage. 

A school bus accident is another primary type of bus accident. Victims in school bus accidents might pursue a claim against the bus driver, company, or owner. If the fault drivers in school bus crashes are charged with reckless driving, they become liable for the losses incurred.

Lastly, if other vehicle owners caused the accident, the fault driver or guilty party becomes liable for whatever injuries victims and property damage sustained in the accident. Personal injury lawyers and insurance companies play major roles in compensation settlements and personal injury lawsuits.

How Long Do I Have To File a Bus Accident Claim in Houston?

The term known as the statute of limitation is the time limit given to individuals to make their claims or file a personal injury lawsuit. The time limit for filing a bus accident claim differs from state to state.

In Houston, Texas, you have a maximum of two years to make a personal injury lawsuit or negligence claim. Bus accidents fall under this category.

Before you get your compensation from a bus accident claim, it takes a long and complicated process. This is why bus accident attorneys advise their clients to file their claims as soon as possible.

Why Should I Hire Houston Bus Accident Lawyers From Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims PLLC?    

Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims PLLC have dedicated personal injury attorneys for bus accident victims in Houston, Texas. Knowing how much injuries can affect your life, you need an excellent attorney from our law firm to help you put your life back together. Our clients can testify to this.

When you become our client by reaching out to an experienced bus accident lawyer from Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims PLLC, you will have our legal team pursuing your trial. At the same time, you will have enough time to recover from your injuries. We will follow your insurance claim and ensure you get the necessary compensation for damage.

You deserve justice and our team of lawyers will ensure you get it. Contact us at Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims PLLC to schedule consultations today, and we are willing to answer any questions you might have.

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