Jason Stephens | September 26, 2020 | News
A tragic bus accident in Baylor County claims the life of one person. An initial report that there was a potential second fatality has been corrected to reflect just the one fatality.
On September 14, 2020, a Greyhound bus traveling east on U.S. 277 was struck by a pickup truck traveling south on Highway 183. The collision occurred about eight miles east of Seymour.
The bus rolled over and slid into a ditch. A 40-year-old man from Amarillo, who was on the Greyhound bus, died from injuries sustained in the crash. The bus crash also resulted in numerous passenger injuries.
Two people were airlifted to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Another person was airlifted to United Regional in Wichita Falls. Ambulances transported six injured victims to Seymour Hospital and nine more victims to United Regional, according to reports.
The driver of the pickup truck that struck the bus sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The bus accident remains under investigation.
Bus Accidents Cause Catastrophic Injuries and Damages
Bus accidents can result in traumatic injuries and deaths. As in the accident above, buses can rollover during a collision, thereby increasing the chance of passengers sustaining life-threatening and catastrophic injuries. Common injuries in bus accidents include:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Chest injuries
- Lacerations and scarring
The damages caused by a bus accident include the physical injuries passengers sustain because of the crash. Passengers may experience debilitating physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering because of the accident. Victims may also sustain financial losses, including costs of medical care, personal care expenses, and loss of income.
Determining how the bus accident occurred and who is liable for the accident is crucial. A victim can only recover compensation for injuries and damages from the party or parties responsible for the cause of the bus accident.
Why Do Bus Accidents Happen?
There were 3,300 bus crashes reported in Texas during 2019. As with other traffic accidents, crashes involving buses occur for a variety of reasons. Human error is often a factor in many bus accidents in Texas.
Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Bus driver error, including distracted driving, speeding, and reckless driving
- Inadequate maintenance of buses and equipment
- Inexperienced and inadequately trained bus drivers
- Defective bus equipment
- Poor weather conditions
- Hazardous road conditions
- Poor hiring and supervision practices by bus companies
- Other motorists
Even though a bus accident might involve poor weather conditions or hazardous road conditions, it does not necessarily mean the bus driver and the bus company are not at fault. If the bus driver failed to slow down or take other measures to decrease the risk of an accident during poor driving conditions, the driver’s actions could have contributed to the cause of the accident.
Depending on the factors involved in the bus crash, one or more parties could be liable for damages. Parties that might have or share liability for damages caused by a bus accident include:
- Bus drivers
- The companies that manage, own, or operate buses
- Bus manufacturers and manufacturers of bus parts and systems
- Maintenance and repair companies
- Government entities (defective road designs)
- Other motorists
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for the regulation and oversight of commercial motor vehicles, including buses. Bus companies are held to strict standards. If the bus company violated federal regulations and laws, the company could be fined, in addition to being held liable in a personal injury claim for injuries caused by the bus accident.
Filing a Bus Accident Claim
Bus accident cases are complicated personal injury claims. The owners and operators of commercial buses have huge legal teams that investigate accidents. In many cases, these large corporations fight injury claims to reduce their liability for accidents.
Additionally, the laws and regulations for commercial motor vehicles can be confusing. However, these regulations can be an important factor in many bus accident cases.
A bus accident lawyer has the resources, skills, and experience to investigate a bus accident to determine how the accident occurred. The lawyer identifies each party who contributed to the cause of the bus crash. By doing so, the attorney maximizes the chance that you receive the largest amount possible for your personal injury claim.
Insurance providers for the bus companies also investigate claims. They may deny claims or undervalue claims to avoid liability for a bus accident. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side to fight large insurance providers and corporations is essential if you want to hold the parties responsible for your injuries accountable for their negligence and wrongdoing.