Injured in a Charter Bus Accident? We Can Help
Several deadly accidents involving charter buses have drawn the nation’s attention to the potential dangers of these large vehicles. Charter buses can offer a great means of transportation for organizations and groups traveling to events or destinations in Illinois and beyond. While buses are generally considered safe, poor maintenance and negligent bus drivers create dangerous situations for passengers on the bus and drivers nearby.
Causes of Charter Bus Accidents
Charter bus accidents can have many causes, but some of the main reasons for critical charter bus accidents include:
- Bus driver fatigue: Charter bus drivers may be required to drive long distances, at times during the nighttime hours. Driver fatigue may slow a driver’s reaction times, lead to speeding or swerving, and otherwise lead to unsafe driving.
- Poor maintenance: Buses are massive vehicles that must be carefully maintained to ensure they are in top working order. Bus companies are required to maintain their vehicles in safe working condition, but economic pressures and lack of oversight can lead to unsafe charter buses hitting the roadways.
- Driver inattention: Charter bus drivers may find themselves eating, using their phones, engaging in personal grooming, and performing other distracting behaviors due to their long hours on the road. Driver distraction is a top cause of all motor vehicle accidents and charter bus passengers are at risk.
- Medical issues: Bus drivers with certain medical conditions should not be allowed to operate a charter bus, but the failure to investigate and take action against drivers with dangerous medical conditions could allow accidents to happen.
- Drinking and driving: Charter bus companies should screen their drivers to ensure they are not drinking or ingesting drugs on the job. If a bus company does not take steps to ensure drivers are clean and sober, it may be held accountable for accidents caused by intoxicated drivers.
- Speeding: Like other commercial vehicle operators, bus drivers face time pressures to get passengers to their destinations and start on the next job. Speeding is one way that bus drivers may attempt to maximize their profits and please their employer.
Liability for Charter Bus Accidents
When a charter bus accident occurs, there are several parties that may be liable for the collision. Injured bus passengers may be able to seek compensation from:
- The bus driver: If the bus driver behaved in a negligent manner to cause the accident, he or she might be financially liable.
- The charter bus company: Charter bus companies are responsible for maintaining their fleet, hiring qualified bus drivers, and complying with state and federal regulations. If their failure to meet any of these responsibilities results in injury, the bus company may be held accountable.
- Manufacturers of defective equipment: When a bus accident stems from a faulty piece of equipment, the makers of the bus part may be liable for injuries that result.
- Other drivers: If another driver caused the bus crash, he or she may be liable in a personal injury or wrongful death action.
If you are involved in an accident with a chartered bus, contact the Chicago Chartered Bus Accident Attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC. We offer knowledgeable and dedicated representation to injured clients in Illinois. Contact us today for a free consultation at 312.422.0500 or by filling out a free contact form online.