Archive for the ‘Mississippi Bus Accidents’ Category

The Steps You Must Take Following a Bus Accident in Mississippi

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident can be rather difficult, leading to a great deal of fear, confusion and uncertainty among its victims. However, when a crash involves a passenger bus, the moments following the accident can be simply terrifying. Unbeknownst to many people, accidents involving passenger buses can result in serious and sometimes fatal accidents. The main reasoning behind this is that people who use public transit on a regular basis typically do not wear their seatbelts. Otherwise stated, they often trust that the bus or taxi driver will take all protective steps necessary to keep them safe. Unfortunately, reality dictates that this is not always the case. Several people fail to realize that the way buses are generally designed leave passengers vulnerable to serious and sometimes fatal injuries. For example, many buses do not even contain seatbelts and other customary safety devices (i.e. passenger airbags), making injury and death more likely to unknowing passengers.

For those who have been injured in a bus accident, the good news is that there are steps you can take to protect yourself. These are as follows:

1. Seek immediate medical treatment should you be involved in a bus accident. The shock associated with being in this type of accident can cause a person to not feel anything for days after the incident, despite being seriously injured.

2. Follow all of the instructions of law enforcement and the first responders at the scene of the accident. Allow them to take you to the hospital should they believe that your injuries warrant further evaluation.

3. Call the police department to find out when your accident report will be available. Make sure to review the document and advise the police of any errors before accepting it.

4. Write down a summary of the facts underlying your accident. Do so immediately as delays in this regard could end up resulting in the loss of crucial information.

5. Do not allow yourself to be recorded when dealing with your insurance company without first speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney. Any statements you make could be construed against you. Having an attorney to guide you through this process can prevent you from making innocent, yet costly mistakes in your case.

6. Do not provide recorded statements to your insurance carrier without speaking to a Mississippi personal injury attorney. This way, they will not be able to misconstrue what you way or use your statements against you later on to deny coverage.

7. Contact a skilled Mississippi bus accident attorney. Specifically, bus accidents often involve many very complex and challenging issues that only an experienced attorney is capable of effectively handling. Having an attorney by your side can help maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

For additional information, contact our office today to learn more about your rights and responsibilities. We look forward to providing you with superior legal representation.

 

What You Can Expect a Mississippi School Bus Accident

Monday, November 19th, 2012

In our lives we rely on many things in order to not only get our tasks, and responsibilities accomplished each day, but also simply in order to live our lives. Transportation is one thing that we ultimately rely on for this no matter how far we are traveling, why we are traveling, or how we are traveling. Either way, transportation not only enables us to perform, and complete our tasks, and duties, but also allows us to do so in a timely manner. However, can you always count on being safe on the road, especially when you are the passenger of a school bus?

The Magic School Bus, or The Manic School Bus?

School buses have been, are, and will probably always be one mode of transportation present in our lives. As children, we rely on these vehicles to get us from our homes to school, and back. However, as parents, we look at these vehicles as an asset to our schedule considering the fact we can rely on the bus to run our children from one place to the next with an adult that has been deemed safe by a school system. Yet, are school busses really that safe, and are they safe vehicles for children when they have been involved in an auto accident?

The Issues At Hand

While many would like to assume that these large vehicles are very safe, which they are, they also face the potential of being involved in an auto accident like every other vehicle on the road. However, when a school bus is involved in an auto accident the damage can be catastrophic not only pertaining to damage, but also that of injuries. Many school busses today are not equipped with that of seat belts, which pose a safety issue for children. Aside from actual damage to the school bus, a bus accident can be dangerous, and deadly to other drivers on the road. Today, the majority of school bus accidents are actually caused by other drivers on the road, but also can be caused by bus drivers speeding, failing to signal appropriately, and being apathetic to traffic signs and signals.

In the event that either you, or your child is involved in a school bus accident you need an experienced auto accident attorney on your side from start to finish. With an auto accident attorney on your side you can expect your case, and the potential damages you may be entitled to, fought for diligently, and with your best interest in mind.

If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, make an appointment with one of our Mississippi auto accident attorneys by calling (800) 707-9577.

How Common are Bus Accidents?

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Bus accidents are becoming a cause for concern as we hear more and more about them in the news although in the grand scheme of things bus accidents with fatalities are comparatively unusual in the U.S. Most bus crashes occur in metropolitan areas and at relatively low speeds. Approximately 22,000 victims sustain minor to grave injuries after being involved in a bus accident with about 50 fatalities per year although school bus collisions are responsible for only 15 fatalities per year. While any death is tragic—particularly that of a child— considering the huge amount of miles covered by school buses each year you can feel relatively safe putting your children on one to go to school. Overall, nearly 400 million people ride a variety of buses over 31 billion miles per year, making them fairly safe transportation. Should you or a loved one have been unlucky enough to be injured on a commercial bus, it is important you acquire experienced legal counsel early on.

Bus Collision Factors

There are a wide variety of factors involved in bus crashes, but it is estimated that bus driver exhaustion accounts for at least a third of all collisions while a specific medical condition of the driver accounts for another 15-18%. Over half of all bus accidents can be directly attributed to the driver, with smaller percentages related to the condition of the bus or inclement weather conditions. In most accidents there are a variety of factors at play; perhaps the driver was negligent or distracted in combination with a bus which has been poorly maintained. While large buses are not as prone to rollover, the typical 15-passenger van has such a high center of gravity that rollovers are common occurrences. Additionally, most buses lack seat belts, so in the event of an accident the passengers are not restrained.

Tired Bus Drivers

Hours of service for commercial drivers are overwhelmingly disregarded, particularly by those companies which are not union. Although commercial trucks are subject to random stop and checks by police officers or Department of Transportation officials, buses are rarely stopped most likely because of passenger annoyance at the time lost. Due to a lack of regulation, bus drivers may be driving while drowsy could have their driving ability influenced by prescription medications. Those bus drivers who commonly drive city buses may become very aggressive in their driving habits and several cities have had city bus drivers actually caught on camera texting while driving a busload of people.

Other Causes of Bus Accidents

Additionally other vehicles may stop in bus lanes, causing accidents, or pedestrians can enter the bus lane improperly.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration studied bus driver accidents and determined that most accidents are a result of bus drivers who fail to properly recognize and react to a situation in order to avoid a collision. Of course some bus accidents are not caused by driver failure as when a bus fails to operate properly or has a brake failure or tire blowout.

In some cases bus companies fail to hold up their end of the bargain—to keep their passengers safe—refusing to accept responsibility and compensate the victims for the damages and injuries they sustain. Having a personal injury attorney in your corner, protecting your rights can be crucial at a time like this. You don’t want to have to go up against a large bus company or their insurance carrier on their own, particularly at a time when you are trying to recover from your injuries. If you have been injured in a bus accident, don’t wait—contact a qualified attorney immediately.

 

 

Mississippi Bus Accidents Can Result in Devastating Life-Changing Injuries [Part II]

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Special Liability Rules Make It Easier to Prevail against Negligent Busing Companies

Because bus companies function as a “common carrier,” they owe an extremely high duty of care to their patrons.  A common carrier is a company that offers transportation to the general public at a fixed preset rate.  Common carriers, such as bus lines, owe their patrons the highest duty of care and must exercise extreme vigilance to safeguard the safety of their passengers.  The rationale for imposing this heightened standard of care on a common carrier is that passengers are not in a position to take steps to protect themselves from an accident when riding a bus.  This means that even a slight degree of fault by the bus driver or busing company may be sufficient to successfully make a claim against a bus company for injuries suffered in a Mississippi busing accident.

A busing company or public entity that operates a bus line must exercise extreme vigilance when hiring bus drivers, maintaining buses in safe operating condition and providing proper supervision and training to those who operate their buses.  This duty may not be delegated away from the private busing company or public entity.  There are many ways bus companies or bus drivers may be negligent (i.e. unreasonably dangerous) and cause a serious busing accident including:

  • Violation of basic traffic safety laws
  • Operating a bus while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Lack of governmental monitoring of rogue bus companies that may disregard safety violations or change forms of ownership to continue operating
  • Speeding or driving too fast for weather and road conditions
  • Failure of busing companies to provide adequate supervision of their drivers
  • Drivers that have not being sufficiently trained in the unique safety issues of maneuvering a massive bus
  • Buses that are defectively designed or manufactured or lack safety equipment that could be installed with nominal cost

If you are involved in a busing accident in Mississippi, a broad range of parties that may bear partial or total responsibility for your injuries or loss of a loved one.  These parties may include:

  • Public governmental entities operating bus lines
  • Private tour bus, long distance or commuter bus companies
  • Negligent bus drivers
  • Maintenance companies that fail to perform adequate inspections and repairs
  • Third party drivers whose negligence causes a collision involving a bus

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Mississippi bus accident or a loved one has died, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and loss.  At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

Mississippi Bus Accidents Can Result in Devastating Permanent Injuries [Part I]

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Those who are fed up with traffic gridlock and gas prices over four dollars a gallon may be tempted to turn to public transportation options like metro buses.  While buses can be a very safe mode of transportation, bus drivers who are careless and busing companies that are indifferent to safety standards may cause serious bus accidents resulting in catastrophic injury and wrongful death.  If you or someone you love has been injured in a serious Mississippi bus accident, our Mississippi bus accident attorneys at Barrett Law have experience with complex issues involved in bus accident litigation of all kinds, including:

  • Public buses run by government agencies
  • School buses
  • Commuter buses run by private companies
  • Tour bus lines
  • Long distance bus carriers

Serious Bus Accidents Involving Rogue Busing Companies on the Rise

Although bus accidents are not as common as some other types of motor vehicle collisions, they are hardly a rare event.  There are in excess of 60,000 bus accidents per year in the United States, and the large size and weight of buses means that they pose a serious risk of injury and even death to those who are involved in a bus crash.  When buses run off the road and rollover, bus occupants may be ejected from the vehicle, which is likely to result in catastrophic injuries because buses lack basic safety features such as seatbelts and airbags.

There has been a rash of bus accidents across the United States recently, which have been the product of bus companies that operate despite failure to comply with federal safety rules and frequent safety violations.  Many of these accidents have resulted in life-changing injuries and even fatalities for patrons of rogue tour bus lines.  Sometimes bus companies with a poor safety record simply close their company and reopen within months under a different business name.  The issue of bus safety involving rogue tour bus lines has become so significant that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates bus carrier safety, is currently considering new regulations to prevent system wide abuse by rogue bus companies.

Why Do Mississippi Busing Accident Lawsuits Require Experienced Busing Accident Attorneys?

Buses that are  not properly maintained or that are operated by bus drivers that are  not properly trained or supervised pose a danger to everyone on the road, including passenger vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.  The massive size of a bus means that the occupants of any vehicle that collides with a bus faces a significant risk of suffering life-changing permanent injuries.

Bus accidents require an attorney experienced in handling these special types of collisions, which may often involve litigation against a large public entity.  Public entities have substantial financial resources to fight litigation and are often protected from liability for personal injury lawsuits by the doctrine of sovereign immunity.  While many public entities have passed statutes that limit this immunity and permit injury victims to make claims, special rules and extremely short deadlines often apply.  Our experienced Mississippi bus accident lawyers are well versed in the specific requirements imposed by these special rules and time limits.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Mississippi bus accident or a loved one has died, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and loss.  At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

 

Mississippi Bus Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

While buses have historically provided one of the safest forms of transportation, there has been a slew of serious bus accidents during recent years.  While many of these accidents have involved rogue private bus companies, some notable bus accidents have also involved school buses.  Bus accidents can be the result of poor maintenance, improper training and supervision of drivers, bus drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol and other factors.  Because buses lack safety features like seatbelts and airbags, bus accident victims can suffer life-altering injuries including wrongful death.  We have provided answers to frequently asked questions regarding Mississippi bus accidents.

Isn’t being involved in a bus accident akin to being struck by lightning?

While buses have historically been one of the safest forms of transportation, there have been a fair number of significant bus accidents in recent years that have caused serious injury and wrongful death.  The problem has become so prevalent that federal regulators have considered changing regulations to increase inspections and make it more difficult for rogue bus companies to simply close up shop and re-open under another business name.

What is a common carrier?

A common carrier in this context is an entity that transports the general public as passengers for a fixed fee.

What legal duty do bus operators have to their patrons?

A bus is classified as a common carrier which means that they have a higher duty of care to safely transport their patrons than drivers of passenger vehicles.  The theory behind the higher standard of care is that passengers on common carriers have no ability to protect themselves from the negligence of common carriers.  Because a bus patron has no control over the maintenance or operation of a bus, it is appropriate to shift the liability for negligence in such matters to the bus company.

Are there special rules that apply to school buses or transit buses run by public entities?

Bus lines run by school districts or municipalities or other government entities may have some degree of sovereign immunity.  Sovereign immunity protects public entities, officials and employees from litigation when performing public duties.  However, most public entities waive this sovereign immunity to some degree based on tort claims acts.  These acts generally require a claim (e.g. notice) be filed with a public entity before any form of litigation is initiated.  The time limit for filing a claim with a public entity is usually shorter than the statute of limitations so it is important to seek legal advice immediately if you are injured in a bus accident.

Are bus accidents really an issue in Mississippi?

There have been some significant bus accident in Mississippi in the last several years with notable examples including:

  • Fatal School Bus Tractor-Trailer Collision (Feb 2011): Three people were killed when a tractor-trailer clipped one school bus and slammed head-on into another school bus.  The fatal school bus collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 8 and 9 in Calhoun County, Mississippi.
  • School Bus Logging Truck Collision (Dec 2011): A school bus collided with a logging truck in Southern Mississippi (Montgomery County) resulting in injury to twenty school children who were passengers on the school bus.  The logging truck collided with the side of the school bus causing it to rollover on its side.
  • Boy Struck While Trying to Catch School Bus (February 2011): A ten-year-old boy in Gulfport, Mississippi was struck and killed by a school bus that he was running alongside and trying to catch.
  • Fatal Collision between a School Bus and Commercial Truck (April 2011): One girl was killed and ten children injured in a fatal collision between a Boliver County, Mississippi Shaw District school bus and a commercial big rig.  Three other children suffered potentially life-threatening injuries.

While this list of Mississippi bus accident during the last year is hardly exhaustive, it shows both the seriousness and diversity of Mississippi school bus accidents.  If your child is injured in a school bus accident, you and your child may have a right to seek compensation from the school district and other drivers that contribute to your accident.  The experienced Mississippi bus accident attorneys at Barrett Law have been providing aggressive representation to Mississippi bus accident victims for over 75 years.  We provide diligent legal representation and impassioned advocacy so we invite you to call us today at 662-834-2376 to learn how we can help.