Liability for Bus Accidents

When a bus that you were a passenger on has been in an accident and you have been injured as a result, or even if you were not a passenger but were in a vehicle that was struck by a bus or a pedestrian or cyclist who has been injured, you have the right to hold the bus company responsible for your injuries if you can prove that they had liability for the accident.

Liability can be a complex issue to prove, as there often needs to be more to the claim of negligence or responsibility then simply a show of bad judgment on the part of the driver. There are a number of commonly experienced claims in bus accident negligence lawsuits. These include driver fatigue, driver intoxication, poor vehicle maintenance, reckless driving on the part of the driver, inadequate training, driver distraction and driver inexperience.

Driver Responsibility

When a driver is employed to operate a commercial bus such as a public transportation bus operated by a city, a motor coach operated by a company like Greyhound or Megabus, or a charter bus that charges groups for providing transportation, their drivers must have qualified for and possess a commercial driver’s license.

In addition to qualifying for this exam by passing a road test and submitting to all appropriate medical tests, the drivers must also submit to whatever tests the company that hires them imposes, and to ensure that they are driving in a way that shows that they are exhibiting a level of duty appropriate to the responsibility they have taken on for their passengers’ safety.

Bus Company Responsibility

The owner of commercial bus companies are not only responsible for ensuring that the drivers that they hire have met and maintain all appropriate licenses and training, they are also responsible for maintaining the vehicles, making sure that the drivers are submitting to drug and alcohol and other safety tests, and driving in a way that is safe.

There are a number of ways to determine whether safety guidelines are being followed, including the use of black boxes, electronic on-board recorders, and surveillance cameras on buses. These help to ensure that drivers are not distracted, are not exhibiting signs of fatigue, and are maintaining accurate driving logs and records.