Bus accidents tend to make headlines when they happen because they are often extreme. Multiple people might be badly injured, and the bus driver and bus company should be held liable.
Bus accidents tend to be complex, and multiple factors might play a role. In many cases, bus drivers are distracted by communication devices or passengers. Speeding and other traffic violations also tend to play a big role in bus accidents, especially when drivers are new to the job and inexperienced. In a lawsuit, you can sue multiple parties, including the bus driver, the bus company that hired the driver, other drivers who contributed to the crash, and possibly the city or town where the accident happened. You will need as much evidence as possible to support your claims. Photos, security camera videos, and witnesses may be very important.
If you were injured in a bus crash, you and numerous others might be hurt and need legal assistance. Call our Chattanooga, TN bus accident lawyers for help getting compensation. For a free case assessment, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
How Your Bus Accident Might Have Happened in Chattanooga, TN
Buses are huge vehicles, and accidents can be extremely dangerous for anyone in the immediate vicinity. Determining exactly how an accident happened is sometimes difficult because many factors might play a significant role in the crash. Our Chattanooga, TN bus accident lawyers can help you figure out what caused your accident, what evidence we need, and whom to hold liable.
Distracted driving is a major factor in many accidents, and bus accidents are no exception. Although drivers should keep their eyes on the road and always remain focused, they might get distracted. Certain distractions are inevitable, like dealing with passengers. Other distractions are inexcusable, like texting and driving. If a bus driver is distracted, they could easily cause a bad accident, injuring many.
Speeding and other traffic violations are other very common reasons behind lots of accidents on the road. When bus drivers commit traffic violations, the resulting accident is likely to be more serious. Speeding is especially problematic for buses because they are so large and heavy that they cannot quickly stop should something swerve into their path.
Another serious problem is inexperienced bus drivers behind the wheel. Buses are not like ordinary cars. They are extremely large, have huge blind spots, and require special training before drivers can be properly licensed to drive the bus. An inexperienced driver might make unsafe turns, neglect blind spots, and drive unsafely.
Whom to Hold Liable in a Lawsuit for a Chattanooga, TN Bus Accident Lawsuit
Liability for a bus accident is rarely easily proven. To make the situation trickier, multiple parties might share liability to some degree and making sure all the necessary parties are included in your lawsuit is difficult. Our Chattanooga, TN bus accident attorneys can review your case with you and determine who is responsible for the crash and how to hold them liable.
The Bus Driver
The bus driver is often the primary defendant in bus accident cases. Bus drivers have an enormous responsibility to other drivers on the road and passengers on the bus. In many cases, the bus driver’s negligence is the direct cause of the accident. Although bus drivers are not always the cause of an accident, they should always be investigated by law enforcement and your attorneys.
The Bus Company
If the bus driver’s negligence caused your accident, it might be possible to sue them and their employer. Under the legal theory of respondeat superior, employers might be vicariously liable for employees’ negligence. This means a bus company can be held liable for an accident one of its drivers caused. This rule only applies in cases where the employee’s negligence occurred within the scope of their job and in furtherance of their duties as a bus driver.
There might be other ways to hold the bus company liable for the accident. For example, if the bus driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, and the bus company knew the driver had a drinking problem or a history of DUIs before being hired, the bus company can be held liable under a theory of negligent hiring. This theory tends to encompass situations that might not be covered by respondeat superior.
It is also possible that other drivers besides the bus driver contributed to the crash. Bus accidents are not always isolated incidents and often involve multiple other drivers and vehicles. For example, if the bus driver suddenly slams the brakes because another driver negligently cut them off, the other driver might share liability for the crash.
Identifying other drivers who might have contributed to a bus crash can be difficult. In many cases, other drivers cause the accident but are not injured, and they continue driving away from the accident scene, unaware of the harm they caused. In such cases, our Chattanooga, TN bus accident lawyers can work with law enforcement and witnesses to track down the negligent driver and help you sue them.
Many buses are not private charter buses but are instead part of a city, town, or municipality’s public transportation system. Ordinarily, state and local governments in Tennessee are immune from tort liability, but the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act strips municipalities of their immunity in certain areas for specific reasons. One such reason, according to T.C.A. §29-20-202, is for the negligent operation of motor vehicles. If a governmental employee, such as a public bus driver, negligently causes an accident, you might be able to sue the city or town in charge of the public bus system.
Evidence for a Chattanooga, TN Bus Accident Lawsuit
Evidence is the lifeblood of any lawsuit, and our Chattanooga, TN bus accident attorneys have the skills and experience to help you find the evidence you need to prove your claims. One way to preserve evidence of the accident is to document the crash scene by taking as many pictures as possible. These pictures often contain details and information lost when law enforcement clears the scene away.
We should also try to find any security camera footage of the accident. It is possible that the accident was recorded by nearby security cameras at homes and businesses. Many buses also have security cameras inside the bus that can shed light on what the driver was doing when the accident happened.
A lot of people tend to be involved in bus accidents. Other drivers, pedestrians passing by, or passengers on the bus can provide testimony about what they saw when the crash occurred. The more witnesses that back you up, the better.
Call Our Chattanooga, TN Bus Accident Lawyers for Help
If you were injured in a bus accident, the driver, other drivers, the bus company, and possibly the government might be liable. Our Chattanooga, TN bus accident attorneys can help you hold these people accountable and get the compensation you need. For a free case evaluation, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.