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Tens of thousands of people in St. Louis use buses to commute to school, work, shopping centers, and other places throughout the city every day. But when you are injured in a bus accident, the consequences can be devastating.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a bus accident in St. Louis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Recovering the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses can be complicated.
Fortunately, you can hire the assistance of an experienced St. Louis bus accident lawyer from our law firm to guide you through the claims process. We will be alongside you every step of the way to ensure that you recover every bit of compensation you are entitled to.
Give Miller & Hine a call at (314) 413-2053 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced St. Louis bus accident lawyer. We charge no fee unless we obtain compensation on your behalf.
What Can a St. Louis Bus Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
Dealing with busing companies in the aftermath of an accident requires navigating the legal system and Missouri’s complex liability law. A St. Louis bus accident lawyer offers years of experience, knowledge, and resources that can benefit you in your claim. Your attorney will:
- Evaluate your case, offer legal advice, and answer any questions you might have
- Collect and examine the evidence for your case, such as witness statements, police reports, and bus surveillance video
- Hire experienced experts such as accident reconstruction specialists to help support your case
- Craft a demand letter to the appropriate insurance company
- Negotiate the best possible settlement on your behalf
- Take your case to court for litigation if unable to negotiate a settlement that meets all your needs
- Advocate aggressively for you in court
Hiring a skilled attorney to work diligently on your behalf is in your best interests and maximizes your chance for full compensation for your bus accident injury.
Bus Accident Statistics
We tend to think of buses as large, lumbering, vehicles that are slow and safe, but there are many surprising statistics on bus accidents in St. Louis and throughout the United States including:
- 108 people died in school bus crashes nationwide in 2021, a significant rise after an all-time low of 55 deaths during the pandemic in the previous year
- In 2018 there were 15,000 bus accidents with injuries and 230 fatal crashes
- Missouri has a higher-than-average bus accident fatality rate of 15.94 per million people vs. the national average of 11.9 per million
- Between 2010 and 2020, School buses made up 38% of the total bus accidents with fatalities nationwide, transit buses made up 35% while intercity buses accounted for 11% of fatalities
- The worst bus accident on record in the U.S. occurred in 1958 when a Kentucky school bus collided with the back of a large truck, skidded down an embankment, and plunged into an icy river, killing 26 children and the bus driver. 22 children survived the crash despite the raging flood waters
Bus accidents can cause serious injuries and fatalities. Most buses are not equipped with seatbelts and exiting a bus in an emergency situation is difficult due to the narrow aisles and crowded conditions.
Causes of St. Louis Bus Accidents
Most bus accidents are caused by driver negligence, the negligence of other motorists on the road, or negligence on the part of the private company or government agency that operates the bus line. This negligence most often pertains to:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Reckless driving
- Improper lane changing
- Improper turn
- Following too closely
- Failing to yield
- Poorly trained drivers
- Unqualified bus drivers
- Inadequate bus maintenance
If you have been injured in a bus accident in St. Louis, regardless of the cause, you are entitled to pursue compensation for any injuries and financial losses you have suffered.
Our St. Louis bus accident attorney has the resources needed to investigate the actual cause of your accident, and to successfully pursue full and fair compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and income, pain and suffering, and other related losses.
Common Bus Accident Injuries
Due to the number of people that may be onboard a bus and the extreme forces that may be involved, a single bus accident can result in a wide range of injuries of varying severity, including but not limited to:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
After being injured in a bus crash, your priority should be your physical recovery. Get checked out by a doctor immediately after the accident, then contact an experienced bus accident lawyer to handle your legal recovery.
A skilled bus accident lawyer from our law firm can help you file a bus accident claim against the government agency or private company that operates the bus service. Our job is to pursue the compensation you deserve, while you focus on healing from your injuries.
Proving Negligence in a St. Louis Bus Accident
Proving negligence after a St. Louis bus accident requires a thorough investigation of the accident to determine exactly where the fault lies. A diligent bus accident attorney will carefully investigate the accident including:
- Reviewing the accident report
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Examining any photo evidence or video evidence from dashcams, traffic cameras, or area surveillance videos
- Consulting with accident reconstruction experts
Depending on the circumstances of the bus accident, the fault could lie with the bus driver, busing company, or a third party.
All individuals and entities associated with public transportation have a duty of care to take the measures that a reasonable party would under the same circumstances to prevent injury to others. If they neglect that duty of reasonable care it’s an act of negligence. When harm comes to others as a result of that negligence and the injury victim suffers real damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, they deserve compensation.
Who May Be Liable in a St. Louis Bus Accident?
Liability in a bus accident depends on the specific circumstances of the accident. Your attorney can help determine liability by discovering how the accident occurred and who was at fault. Liability could lie with the following entities:
- The bus driver. The bus driver themself may be liable if he/she was intoxicated, over-fatigued, or distracted
- The bus company. In some cases, poor bus maintenance or failure to properly vet and background check drivers may have resulted in the accident
- The bus manufacturer. If the accident was caused by faulty parts such as a malfunctioning brake system, the manufacturer may be the liable party
- A government agency such as city services or the public school system. Government entities are responsible for ensuring their vehicles are safe and their drivers are reliable. If they fail to take the proper care, they may be the liable party in your bus accident.
- Third parties responsible for hiring or bus maintenance responsibilities
All of the above entities have a duty of care to keep you safe when you ride a bus. If they fail in this responsibility they’ve breached that duty of care.
In some instances, the liable entity may be local or state government if potholes, poor bridge maintenance, uneven pavement, faulty traffic signals or other dangerous road conditions caused the bus accident.
Proving liability involves:
- Proving the at-fault party owed you and others on the bus and on the road a duty of care to keep you safe
- That the at-fault party breached that duty of care
- That the accident was the direct result of that breach
- That the accident caused you physical injuries resulting in financial harm through medical bills and lost wages.
- That the accident caused you emotional trauma, pain, suffering, and mental anguish.
A bus accident attorney understands exactly how to prove all of the above points to maximize your settlement or court award. Your lawyer will also diligently handle all communication, documentation and legal work while vigorously defending your interests against Missouri’s powerful insurance companies.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a St. Louis Bus Accident Claim?
Missouri has a system of pure comparative negligence that allows accident victims to recover compensation from at-fault parties. If you were a passenger on a bus and experienced an accident, or were a pedestrian injured by a bus, the driver, bus company, bus manufacturer, or a city government entity are the likely parties for liability. An experienced bus accident attorney can identify the at-fault party in your bus accident and help you recover the following compensation:
- Medical expenses and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and future loss earnings in the event of necessary ongoing medical treatment and lengthy recovery
- Pain and suffering
Financial compensation can’t erase your bus accident injury but it can relieve financial concerns while you focus on healing and recovery.
Safety Tips for St. Louis Bus Passengers
A bus is a comfortable, cost-effective, and convenient way to travel. While the vast majority of bus trips are safe and uneventful, an accident can be devastating. You can’t control everything during your bus ride, but some passenger safety tips can help minimize your personal injury risk while riding on a bus:
- Only wait for the bus in the designated area and never cross in front of or behind the bus
- Allow the bus to come to a full stop and passengers to disembark before boarding
- Never run alongside a moving bus
- Hold the handrails when boarding or disembarking the bus
- Don’t stand on the stairs while the bus is in motion
- Allow elderly and infirm passengers seating at the front of the bus
- Sit in an aisle seat whenever possible to allow for a faster exit in an emergency
- Don’t distract the driver with conversations
- Remain seated throughout the bus ride whenever possible or hold the rail
- Keep your head and hands inside the bus at all times and not outside the window
- Keep personal items out of the aisle
- Remain alert to your surroundings whenever riding a bus and report any suspicious behaviors to the driver
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before standing and exiting
Following safety precautions and remaining alert while riding a bus can help to minimize your personal risk of injury.
What to Do If You’re in a Bus Accident in St. Louis
While most people feel safe getting onto a city bus, over 10,000 buses were involved in accidents in 2020. If you’re on a bus and have the unfortunate experience of an accident, there are specific steps to take if you aren’t immobilized or severely injured. These steps can help safeguard your physical and financial well-being:
- Move to a safe location away from the bus and traffic
- Call 911 to report the accident or ensure that someone else makes the call
- Render any reasonable aid and comfort to injured victims
- While waiting for emergency services, use your phone to document the scene by photographing the bus, any other involved vehicles, and relevant factors such as signal lights, stop signs, yield signs, and intersections
- Get the name and contact information of the bus driver and any other involved drivers
- Collect contact information from eye-witnesses
- Allow the paramedics to transport you to the hospital or go to a hospital as soon as the police say you can leave the scene
- Tell a doctor about all of your injuries and ask for a detailed report with your prognosis and treatment recommendations
- Request a copy of the police report
- Contact a St. Louis bus accident lawyer
By protecting yourself through these steps, you not only take care of your health but also protect your financial future while you undergo treatment, miss work, and recover from your injuries.
How Long Do I Have to File a Bus Injury Claim in Missouri?
Missouri has a particularly generous statute of limitations for filing accident claims, including bus accidents. In Missouri, personal injury victims have up to five years to file a claim. For those under age 18, the five-year statute of limitations begins on their 18th birthday. However, it’s important to understand that evidence and eyewitness testimony degrade over time. The sooner you file a claim after a bus accident, the more likely you are to maximize your compensation settlement or court award. Most courts will simply dismiss any case a plaintiff attempts after the statute of limitations has passed.
Miller & Hine | St. Louis Bus Accident Attorneys
While any car accident can result in serious injuries, passengers and others involved in a bus accident often sustain catastrophic ones.
If you have been injured in a bus accident in St Louis, get the knowledgeable and experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyers from Miller & Hine on your side. You may still recover compensation even if you are partially at fault for your injuries.
Call us today at (314) 413-2053, or contact us through our contact form to arrange a free consultation.
We handle St. Louis bus accident claims on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay us no attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.