Oklahoma Bus Accident Attorneys
File a Claim After a Collision with a Bus
Buses, because of their large size and lack of maneuverability, pose significant threats to other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Even bus passengers can be at serious risk in the event of an accident. No matter how severe, being involved in a bus accident can be a traumatic incident, and it can be difficult to know what to do next.
Common Carriers and Liability in Oklahoma
First off, it is important to note that under Oklahoma law, any bus system that transports passengers, no matter whether they are public or private, is known as a "common carrier". This includes public transportation, charter buses, long distance bus lines, privately rented buses, prison buses, and school buses. It is the responsibility of the company that owns and/or manages the bus to follow all applicable laws and maintain the safety of passengers and nearby motorists and pedestrians. The company can be held liable for any damages arising from an accident that was caused by negligence on the part of the driver or an oversight of the management company.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
In most cases, an accident is due to the actions of one of the drivers involved, but in certain instances, a faulty or defective part, poor oversight, bad design, or negligent repair job could be the cause. The most common causes are as follows:
- Poorly trained or inexperienced drivers
- Fatigued or overworked drivers
- Inadequate or poor maintenance of vehicles
- Defective bus parts
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Blind spots
The wide variety of causes of and the many possible parties involved in a bus accident mean that resolving these cases can be a very complex process. While the law is meant to protect victims, bus companies, whether public or private, will be represented by large insurance companies that will do their utmost to help their clients avoid making expensive payments.
One example of the complexity is cases in which a government employee caused the accident. If the driver was operating the vehicle in an official capacity, then the government agency that oversees the vehicle will be responsible for answering any claims. However, if the driver was off duty, then this will complicate your case. The government’s insurance agency may attempt to deny liability, leaving the driver uninsured or unable to compensate you for the damages and injuries they caused.
You might also have been injured as a passenger on the bus that was involved in the accident. It will be of critical importance to determine who was at fault in the accident, whether it was the driver of the bus, the driver of another vehicle, or some third party. It is important that you do not sign anything presented to you by the bus company or an insurance company until you consult an Oklahoma car accident lawyer and determine the full compensation you are entitled to.
It is also important to note that bus accidents fall under a strict statute of limitations. Under Oklahoma Statutes section 12-95, persons injured in an accident have two years from the time they became aware of their injuries (which in most cases would be at the time of the accident) to file a claim. If someone has been killed in an accident, then family members have two years from the time of death to file. This means that the sooner you take action the better.
Get Legal Help Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident and you would like more information about your options, contact Car Accident Help today at (405) 285-4357. Car Accident Help is sponsored by Maples, Nix, & Diesselhorst, and a friendly representative will be able to assist you in learning more about how to receive full compensation for your injuries.
- Bus Crash Blogs
- How to Avoid the Common Causes of School Bus Accidents
- Bus Safety - Look Before You Book
- Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts
- School Bus Information from the NHTSA
- Bus Crashworthiness (NTSB)
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