Texas Bus Accident Lawyers | Bus Accident Attorney

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Texas Bus Accident Lawyers

Every year in Texas, thousands of people are killed or seriously injured in Texas bus accidents. Tragically, many of these accidents are the result of negligent, reckless Charter bus and Tour bus drivers and their employers. Whether you are a passenger on a Charter bus, Tour bus or in a motor vehicle or pedestrian, you entrust the bus driver and bus company with your loved ones’ safety and well being. An accident caused by a bus company is among the last thing you would expect. Yet, when a bus accident happens, the consequences can be significant, both emotionally and financially. Our legal system has in place a mechanism to ensure that the costs of bus crashes are borne by those at fault. Experienced Texas bus accident lawyers can help you determine if you have a valid claim for your injuries, and, if so, how to maximize the recovery from all negligent parties.

Bus Accident Statistics

Buses are often thought of as a safe alternative to flying for large groups traveling across the country, in the state of Texas, or even just across town.  But the number of deadly Texas bus accidents in the news are proof that travel by bus is not always guaranteed to be safe. In each of the years from 1990 to 2001, there were between 50,000 and 63,000 bus crashes in the United States. Between 1991 and 2004  somewhere between 15,000 and 21,000. In 2015, 4,311 buses were involved in fatal crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that between 2000 and 2007, 1,093 fatal bus accidents have occurred, resulting in 1,315 fatalities and 3,471 injuries. This translates to about 137 bus-crash related fatalities a year. The number of people injured because of careless bus drivers and bus companies is much higher.

Cases of Tour Bus and Charter Bus Accidents

 There are many reasons why a bus may get into an accident. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Negligence on the part of the bus driver
  • Negligence on the part of the driver of another vehicle
  • Speeding
  • Alcohol or drug Use
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Mechanical problems
  • Improper maintenance
  • Distracted driving such as cell phone use
  • Inadequate training
  • Inadequate supervision

 Common Tour Bus and Charter Bus Accident Injuries

 Some of the most common injuries individuals sustain when involved in a bus accident include:

  • Whiplash and spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures
  • Sprains to the muscles
  • Brain injuries
  • Trauma to the head
  • Paralysis
  • Crushing injuries
  • Damage to nerves
  • Internal injuries
  • Cuts, bruises and burns

 What Damages Can I Recover After a Charter or Tour Bus Accident?

One of the most common questions asked of a Chart bus or Tour Bus accident attorney after a bus accident is in regard to what damages can be recovered. If you or a family member has been injured in a Charter Bus or Tour bus accident, you may have a claim against the driver of the bus, bus company and other third parties for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Impairment of earning capacity
  • Life care expenses
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium (the services of an injured spouse)
  • Punitive Damages
  • Wrongful death Damages

Who May Be Responsible for Your Injuries?

Because of the many ways a bus crash can happen, the question of who is responsible for injuries and other damages depends upon the circumstances of the accident. Early in the case it is important for your lawyer to identify certain parties, such as the owner of the bus, the company that operates it, and the company responsible for making repairs and maintaining the bus in a safe mechanical condition. Finding an attorney who will locate all potential responsible parties is crucial. Some of those your lawyer may identify as parties responsible for your injuries include:

The Bus Company – A bus accident may occur because the bus company sends a defective bus out on the road with faulty brakes, a shaky steering column or overused tires. The company’s actions in hiring unqualified drivers, maintenance people and other personnel, or in negligently training or supervising them may also contribute to the cause of an accident. In addition, the company may be found at fault for a bus crash and passenger injuries caused by its failure to make or enforce adequate safety procedures.

Bus Maintenance Companies – If the bus company contracts an independent company to maintain the vehicles in a safe mechanical condition, that company may be sued independently for negligent maintenance that causes a crash or accident.

Affiliated Cruise Lines and Tour Operators – Owners and drivers of these buses can be held liable for driver negligence in an accident. When a bus trip is part of a package offered by a tour service, the service itself may be liable for damages to passengers when a crash occurs in an affiliated tour bus.

Bus Driver – Accidents are often caused by the driver’s negligent operation of the bus. Drivers may violate traffic controls, fall asleep at the wheel or have their attention diverted by non-driving-related distractions. Bus drivers involved in a crash can be held personally responsible for the injuries sustained by the passengers. As a practical matter, however, the companies employing the bus driver, and their insurance companies, will typically be held financially responsible for bus crashes and resulting injuries.

Drivers of Other Vehicles and their employers – Owners and drivers of other cars, trucks and other vehicles may be held responsible for injuries caused by negligent or reckless driving. A driver’s employer may also be held liable for an accident if the driver was operating the bus while performing work duties.

Manufacturers of the Bus and/or its Parts – A bus manufacturer that sends a defective vehicle from the factory to the marketplace subjects passengers to unreasonable danger and potential harm. As a result, the bus manufacturer can be held responsible for damages when a crash occurs. Likewise, the manufacturers and retailers of defective bus parts that may have caused the bus accident could be liable for the injuries to the passengers.

What Qualifies as a Bus for Purposes of a Bus Accident?

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards define a bus as any motorized vehicle capable of carrying more than 10 passengers. The category includes school buses, large vans used for public transport, church buses, municipal transit buses, many airport shuttles, tour buses, trolleys, and interstate carriers, such as Greyhound buses. Most of these are considered “common carriers” under the law, and are therefore subject to state and federal licensing requirements and other regulations, but it is state law that will determine if bus companies and others are liable for compensating a passenger for injuries sustained in a crash. There are many Charter and Tour bus companies operating in Texas and just some of the few that have been involved in collisions include:

  • Greyhound Bus Company
  • Dallas Charter Bus Company
  • Gogo Charter Bus
  • Charter Bus Company
  • Echo Transportation
  • Cowtown Charters
  • Tornado Bus Company
  • First Class Tours
  • Dallas City Tour
  • Star Shuttle & Charter
  • OK Tours
  • San Antonio Charter Bus Company
  • Roadrunner Charters
  • Coach USA
  • Concord Coach Lines
  • First Transit
  • Megabus
  • Thruway Motorcoash
  • Trailways Transportation System
  • Capital Metro
  • Loan Star Coaches
  • Prompt Bus Charters & Tours
  • Central Texas Party Bus
  • El Expreso Bus Company
  • Clark Travel
  • Kerrville Bus Company
  • Continental Bus Lines & Charters
  • Houston Charter Bus Company

Selecting Texas Bus Accident Lawyers

It is important that the lawyer you hire is experienced and capable of navigating the state and federal laws and regulations governing all types of bus service providers, and that your attorney can determine if violation of those laws caused your accident or made your injuries or other damages worse. It is very important for a lawyer handling these cases to ensure that all potential sources of compensation are pursued, whether fault lies with the bus’s manufacturer, the bus company that hired an unqualified mechanic, or the driver of the tractor-trailer that rear-ended the bus.

It is also important for Texas bus accident lawyers to retain investigators and well-respected experts to investigate the causes of your crash. If it appears that your accident may have been caused by a dangerous road condition, your attorney will need to hire expert civil and traffic engineers to pinpoint those road deficiencies. Competent and reliable lawyers will invest the necessary resources and efforts to ensure that your case is resolved for its maximum value. Such attorneys will hire the necessary investigators and experts, visit the location of the bus crash, take images of the scene, conduct tests where necessary, find and interview witnesses and investigate prior complaints or claims that have been made against the responsible parties.

Aaron A. Herbert has extensive experience handling personal injury claims involving buses and recovering substantial settlements and verdicts for his clients injured in bus accidents. You will incur no attorney fees, court cost, or legal expenses unless you recover. Time to file is limited by Texas law, so call today to protect your right to the compensation you deserve. Call 24/7 (214) 200-4878 or toll free to (855) 655-HURT.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 8:43 pm

What Can I Do if Injured While Rock Climbing?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Rock climbing can be a fun and safe pastime, if you practice it correctly. Gyms all over the country have caught onto the trend, and now rock-climbing walls are ubiquitous. These gyms provide a fun way to get some physical activity, but they can also be dangerous. What happens when you’re injured while using a climbing wall? Can you legally sue the gym where it happened? Learn about liability as it pertains to rock climbing.

Premises Liability Concerns

One of the biggest theories pertaining to rock-climbing injuries is that of premises liability. This is a very complex area of the law, but it basically asserts that anyone who owns a property must be reasonably careful in its upkeep and make it safe for visitors. If a property owner knew or should have known that a dangerous condition existed but didn’t fix it, you may have legal grounds for a claim.

Rock walls require regular maintenance. If owners don’t regularly check steps, ropes, or other equipment and it falls into disrepair, causing injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit on the grounds of premises liability.

Product Liability Concerns

On the other hand, sometimes the fault is not with the property owner, but the manufacturer of the equipment. If a defective piece of safety gear (or the wall itself) leads to your injury, it becomes a matter of product liability law. Manufacturers can commit negligence if they distribute products that have an inherent flaw in design, or even a defective batch. Retailers may even be responsible if they sell an unsafe product – for example, a safety harness that has been subject to recall.

What about Waivers of Liability?

Rock climbing accidents may be unique in that many gyms have participants sign a “waiver of responsibility.” This serves as protection for the gym, which says that you can’t sue for damages after signing. However, you may still be able to pursue damages, even if you signed a waiver. The courts may deem a waiver unenforceable; it depends on the exact nature of your case.

Damages in a Rock Climbing Accident Claim

If you recently incurred injury at a rock climbing gym and it arose from someone else’s negligence, you may be able to gain two types of compensation. These include:

  • Economic damages. These compensate for material aspects of an accident, which includes medical bills, ongoing rehabilitation costs, and the cost of missing work (lost wages).
  • General damages. These damages help address the intangible losses associated with your experience, such as pain and suffering. It may also address emotional distress or loss in life quality.

Rock climbing can be a fun way to pass the time, but it’s not without its dangers. Participants should know their legal options in the event of an accident or injury. Even if you signed a liability waiver, you may still have legal grounds for a claim. If you think you have a case for negligence based on what you’ve read here, the best thing you can do is contact an attorney for a free initial consultation.

Posted by admin at 11:10 pm

Can You Sue After an Electric Shock?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Electric shock injuries are not rare and the damage they cause varies greatly. Electrocutions are when an electric shock is fatal and they are fairly rare.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are around 70 fatal electrocutions each year from consumer products, and many more injuries. The most common age for electrocution is not among children, but among adults aged 40 to 59. One of the most common forms of electrocution results from occupational injuries, which account for almost 10% of all fatal workplace accidents.

If you or a loved one recently sustained a serious electric shock, you may be wondering what your legal options are. The following aspects will inform any electric shock lawsuit:

Who Is the Responsible Party?

As with virtually every other personal injury case, electric shock cases are rooted in the theory of negligence. This means that another person’s careless actions (or inaction) directly led to your injuries. In general, there are four elements that comprise an electric shock case:

1. Someone owed you a duty of care – i.e., they were required to help keep you safe. For example, your employer has a duty to provide a safe workplace.

2. That party breached their duty of care – i.e., committed negligence. An example might be failing to check a machine for loose wiring.

3. That breach of care led to your injuries, and;

4. You incurred specific damages as a result (medical bills, lost wages, etc.).

The most important part of your case will be determining who breached their duty of care. There are several legal theories that may come into play in an electric shock case, which may include:

  • Premises liability. If you were shocked at a store or in a public place, you may have a case based on the idea that property owners are duty-bound to keep their premises safe for visitors.
  • Negligent supervision. If your child or loved one was shocked while playing in a pool in a thunderstorm while under another person’s care, you may collect compensation using the theory of negligent supervision.
  • Product liability. If you were shocked while using a defective product, you may have a case under the scope of product liability law, which states that anyone involved in the production and distribution of a product must use reasonable care to make it safe.

Types of Damages in Electric Shock Cases

If you have legal grounds for an electric shock lawsuit, you may be able to collect damages. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Economic damages. These types of damages, also called “special” damages, compensate for all the tangible losses associated with your experience. Examples may include medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of rehabilitation.
  • General damages. These help with the intangible losses of an accident, such as pain, suffering, and any loss in life quality.

Electric shocks can lead to serious injury or death. Thankfully, victims of these shocks may be able to gain compensation, especially when their injuries arise from someone else’s negligence. If you have further questions or want to know if you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, contact an attorney.

Posted by admin at 11:02 pm

Texas Laws on Corporal Punishment in Public Schools

Monday, November 6, 2017

Corporal punishment used to be common in classrooms – whether it was paddling or hitting a student’s hands with a ruler. As we’ve evolved, however, so have our views about hitting children – and many states have since passed legislation that outlaws corporal punishment in schools. Texas, on the other hand, is one of the few states left in the union that allows corporal punishment in schools. If you’re aghast at this idea, you’re not alone. Fortunately, as a parent, you can “opt out” of corporal punishment for your children in schools. Here’s what you need to know about corporal punishment in local Texas schools.

What Is Corporal Punishment?

The state of Texas defines corporal punishment as any deliberate infliction of pain that involves spanking, hitting, slapping, or any other physical form of discipline. State law allows anyone who is involved in a child’s care or supervision to use any reasonable amount of force that an adult believes is required to maintain disciple. What the law views as “reasonable” can be subjective, however.

Where Is It Legal in Texas?

While state law allows corporal punishment in schools, they also give local school districts the authority to make their own ruling. As such, many of the urban and suburban areas in Texas have prohibited the use of corporal punishment. However, large swaths of rural areas throughout the state can and do still use it.

What Can I Do About It?

To many parents, the idea of corporal punishment is disturbing. If you’re in a district that condones the use of corporal punishment but do not agree to it, you have the right to opt out. In fact, Texas law prohibits the use of corporal punishment on any student whose parents have signed a statement explicitly prohibiting it. These “objections forms” go out at the beginning of the school year, and parents must sign them each year.

Private Schools

Is corporal punishment allowed in private schools? They do not receive public funding so they are not subject to state specific educational laws. As such, they are free to create their own policies.

Is It Actually Common?

The Three Rivers Independent School District made national headlines this summer when the school board voted unanimously to allow corporal punishment for misbehavior at school. The school administrators use wooden paddles to administer punishment, but only when they have express written consent from the parents.  The city, which is about halfway between Corpus Christi and San Antonio, was the subject of ire and controversy during that news cycle.

This flies in the face of the U.S. Department of Education, which sent letters out to state leaders condemning the practice, and urging states to prohibit it. Their stance is that students who experience corporal punishment are more likely to react aggressively with defiance in the short term, and are even more likely to have mental health issues and substance abuse problems later in life.

Still, corporal punishment is allowed in parts of Texas. Parents have the option of “opting out,” but anyone with concerns should contact an education attorney.

Posted by admin at 10:49 pm