If you are Injured In a bus accident in Oklahoma there are some things that you might want to know. Bus accidents can cause devastating injuries and each month many innocent people are in fact injured. The size of the bus, the absence of seat belts, and the sheer number of people that a bus can hold are a recipe for a tragedy. It was just last year when an Oklahoma School bus flipped over with 22 high school children on board near Chandler, Oklahoma. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, and the passengers sustained mostly minor injuries.
Despite their propensity to cause catastrophic injuries, bus accidents are subject to the same standards that would apply to any negligence case. Specifically, negligence cases require that the injured parties prove the following:
Duty Of Care Owed To The Passengers
The bus driver owes the same duty to the passengers, and other people on the road, as would any automobile driver. That includes the duty to act as a reasonably prudent driver would under similar circumstances. For these reasons, this is the easiest aspect of the proofs required. The test focuses on how a similar person in the same situation as the bus driver would have driven the bus or responded to what ever caused the accident. This is the same duty of care that applies to any other cars on the road that may have caused the accident
Breach Of The Duty Of Care
A breach of the duty of care requires the driver to act unreasonably under the circumstances. This would include any violation of traffic laws, including driving too fast for the conditions even if the driver was not speeding or even instances of distracted driving . This element is much easier for passengers to prove than for other motorists because the driver will not be able to argue that the passengers were also at fault under normal circumstances. But if any of the passengers behaved in a manner that affected the bus driver’s driving, or any other drivers on the road they may also be liable.
Caused You An Injury
Here, the injured parties will need to prove that the driver’s negligence or any other drivers on the road and the breach of the duty of care caused their injuries. If your case can satisfy the three proofs outlined above, the question becomes, “Who is liable for the damages?” Some of the most important evidence of this is the Police report and who was issued a traffic citation at the scene. This traffic citation is a critical piece of evidence that together with eyewitness testimony helps make your case winnable. In the event the Police respond to the accident and do not issue a traffic citation fault may have to be decided at a trial.
Who Is Liable When You’re Injured in A Bus Accident?
This question will depend on your case’s specific facts and circumstances, but we can discuss general principles. Once you establish that the bus driver acted negligently, you will need to determine whether the bus owner employs the driver and what insurance coverage is available. In most situations, this will be the arrangement. There are bus accidents where the driver, or the company that employs the driver, leases the bus from a third company. In either event, if the bus driver is negligent, liability for their negligence might pass to the employer.
When you are injured in a bus accident liability passes to the employer under the legal doctrine of respondent superior. In the simplest of terms, this legal doctrine states that employers are responsible for the negligent acts of their employees. Consequently, in all but the rarest of cases, the bus driver’s employer and their insurance policy are liable for your damages.
While it is generally considered good news to have a company and their insurance policy obligated to cover damages, there are a couple of concerns in practice. It is not uncommon to learn that the company is, perhaps, underinsured. In such cases, the compensation available to injured parties only covers a percentage of their injuries. For this reason its always advisable for Oklahoma drivers to carry additional car insurance to cover underinsured drivers.
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Tulsa, Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a family member is injured in a bus accident in Oklahoma get someone in your corner. There is no substitute for receiving the advice of an Oklahoma bus accident lawyer. The personal injury lawyers at Kania Law Office are very experienced with bus accident cases, including the types of compensation that you can receive because of your injuries, damages, and losses from the negligent driver. Our experienced lawyers are just a phone call away. We will take the time to understand your situation and will answer all your questions. Our bus accident lawyers will work hard to maximize the compensation you receive. To make sense of your legal rights and options following an Oklahoma bus accident, touch base with the accident attorneys at Kania Law Office by calling (918) 743-2233 or by contacting us online.