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Do I Need an Attorney for a Charter Bus Crash Injury?

charter bus parking sign with charter bus nearby

Organizations such as schools or tour groups hire charter buses as a convenient and comfortable way to travel with a group. However, privately rented vehicles face the same dangers as any other vehicle on the road. The size of charter vehicles and other variables put passengers and other drivers at risk of injury. After a charter bus crash, an experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the necessary steps to get the compensation you deserve.

Common Causes

Unfortunately, there are many causes of motor vehicle accidents, many of which are preventable. Charter bus accidents are often the result of:

  • Driver Error: Charter bus drivers, like everyone on the road, may cause a crash due to distracted driving, fatigue, substance abuse, traffic violations, or lack of training.
  • Maintenance Issues: Failing to maintain the vehicle properly can cause critical system failures.
  • Hazardous Road Conditions: Inclement weather or poorly maintained roads create dangerous driving conditions for everyone on the road.

Common Injuries

Injuries from a charter bus crash can range drastically from life-threatening to minor cuts and scrapes. Passengers in different areas of the vehicle can face varied conditions. Some of the most common injuries for charter bus passengers include:

  • Concussions: A type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head.
  • Broken bones: Fractures can happen due to the force of impact during an accident.
  • Lacerations: Cuts or tears in the skin, which can be superficial or deep.
  • Spinal injuries: These can include damage to the spinal cord, which may lead to temporary or permanent paralysis.
  • Whiplash: Neck injuries caused by a rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck.

It’s important to note that bus accidents can cause many injuries due to the lack of safety restraints like seatbelts and the potential for passengers to be thrown from their seats¹[1]. If you’re involved in a bus accident, seeking medical attention immediately is crucial, even if you feel fine, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.

Who is Liable?

In the event of a charter bus crash, liability is not always immediately apparent. In some cases, the organization that hired the bus may be liable. Charter bus companies are privately owned businesses generally hired on a contract basis. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the charter bus industry and requires companies to follow strict safety guidelines. A few of the key regulations for passenger carriers such as charter buses include:

  • Insurance minimums: For example, a bus designed to transport 16 or more passengers must have $5 million in insurance coverage.
  • Driver Qualifications: Drivers must possess a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Further, companies must ensure their drivers are following labor laws and not exceeding the maximum hours they can drive.
  • Safety Performance: When considering a charter company, you can use the FMCSA’s “Look Before You Book” tool for information about the company’s safety rating.

A company may be liable under personal injury law if it fails to comply with safety standards. A personal injury attorney can assess the facts of your case and pertinent background details about the charter company and determine liability for the crash.

Contact an Experienced Charter Bus Crash Attorney

Pursuing compensation after a charter bus crash is a complex matter. An experienced team of personal injury attorneys can assess the factors contributing to the crash and your injuries to get you the best settlement possible. Contact us if you were injured in a charter bus accident in Charlotte, Raleigh, Fayetteville, or anywhere in the Carolinas. You may use our Live Chat feature or visit our contact page for more information on the Maginnis Howard branch closest to you.