Texas Bus Accident AttorneysAugust 23, 2012
The heavy rise in population in the state of Texas over the past two decades has caused a considerable increase in motor vehicle accidents. Due to this increase in traffic, commercial and personal vehicles must share the roads and highways constantly. Most of the larger vehicles on the road only carry one or two people. However, buses can carry 30-60 passengers. In recent years in Texas, bus accidents and lawsuits arising from them have been on the rise. In these lawsuits, there have been complicated legal issues involving caps on damages for claims against government owned buses and limited insurance coverage for private buses. Accordingly, the Amaro Law Firm recommends an experienced attorney to help victims of bus accidents sort the myriad of legal complications which can arise when an individual is injured in a bus accident. The following is a brief description of the different types of buses which share the roads with Texans:
Public and City Transit Buses
Public city transit buses are generally put into use for local commuting traffic. They are designed for people who either do not have private transportation or for those who choose to avoid using private transportation as they make their way around town. While the responsibility for these vehicles can vary somewhat, they are usually operated by the local municipality or a bus company that’s been hired by the municipality to manage them. The local municipality has a duty to hire safe and effective bus drivers. Typically, there are caps on the damages you can claim in a legal claim against public and city buses.
Private/ Charter Bus
Private charter buses are usually hired by a group of people to provide transportation for a particular and limited purpose. Examples of reasons for hiring a chartered private bus include corporate outings, sporting events and other occasions such as church organized trips. These vehicles are owned and operated by a private company. Private companies also have a duty to hire safe and effective bus drivers.
Tour buses are used to provide transportation for those who wish to travel either to a particular faraway destination or to tour several locations. They are generally hired by a group of people with similar interests or by a company that organizes these tours professionally such as a casino trip, and these vehicles are operated by the bus company. Likewise, if the bus driver is at least partially responsible for the accident, the tour bus company may be vicariously liable.
School buses are constantly on Texas roads. They are used to transport children to and from school every morning and afternoon and to take groups of students to school events and sporting events. School buses can be owned by the school board or school district, or they can be owned by a private company that contracts with the school board. The driver of a school bus has a duty to drive carefully and reasonably.
15 Passenger Van
Groups of people will use a 15-passenger van in order to provide transportation for a smaller group of people than would create the need for a larger bus. These vehicles are typically rented from a rental company and driven by a designated driver from the group. Like the other vehicles, the driver of a 15-passenger van owes a duty to its occupants as well as others on the road.
If an individual is a passenger in a bus which is involved in an accident caused by the negligence of a 3rd party driver it will greatly benefit the individual to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. This is because legal actions taken by other passengers on the bus who were injured may have an effect on the individual’s cause of action. If you or anyone you know was involved in a bus wreck and is in need of an experienced bus accident attorney, please call the Amaro Law Firm at 713-864-1941 or call us toll free at (713) 352-7975.