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Advocating for the Compensation You Deserve

Buses are a convenient form of transportation and many people utilize buses to get to work and school. Alexandria is connected to the Washington D.C. metro area via the Metrobus systems. This makes it easy for Alexandria residents to get around the city and beyond.

Despite the inherent value of bus transportation, there are dangers, too. The traditional school bus is approximately 20,000 pounds. Consequently, when a bus and another vehicle collide, the damage can be extensive, and the injuries sustained by passengers severe. Bus accidents oftentimes involve fatalities for this reason.

Despite being legally entitled to compensation, injured bus accident victims consistently face an uphill battle. The laws surrounding bus accidents are complex, and multiple parties may become involved. Bus companies oftentimes employ aggressive defense attorneys who do everything possible to eliminate an injured bus accident victim’s claim.

Having a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side can even the playing field. Put our 30 years of experience protecting injured victims to work on behalf of your family.

Contact us online or call (855) 954-4141. Of course, Portner & Shure, P.A. receives no fee unless we receive a successful judgment or settlement in your case.

Common Causes of Bus Accidents

Despite attempts by the United States Congress to improve roadway safety, bus safety rules throughout the country are severely lacking. The size of a bus and their lack of seatbelts increase the likelihood of catastrophic injuries and fatalities occurring.

Common causes of bus accidents include:

  • Fatigued bus drivers: Many bus operators drive for extended periods and without adequate sleep.
  • Distracted drivers: When operating a motor vehicle, drivers are far-too-often distracted. Bus accidents occur when bus operators are texting or are otherwise distracted while driving the bus.
  • Failure to follow property safety requirements: Virginia has specific laws regarding the inspection of buses. Even if buses are properly inspected, however, defective or broken parts may be overlooked. In addition, bus drivers may overload the bus (thereby failing to comply with Virginia safety standards).
  • Other careless drivers: Other drivers on the road present a danger to bus passengers because distracted or careless drivers may crash into the bus. Further, because buses are not equipped with seatbelts or other safety features, passengers may not be properly situated at the time of an accident. The lack of safety features makes bus passengers increasingly vulnerable to injury when a negligent automobile driver crashes into the bus.
  • Faulty auto parts/mechanical failures: Buses are often pushed to the limit and do not receive adequate maintenance. This means that faulty parts are allowed to remain, and the bus is at an increased risk of crashing.

Litigating a Bus Accident Claim

Bus accident cases are complex for a variety of reasons. At the outset, the extensive injuries sustained by bus accident victims oftentimes require massive medical care and ongoing/future treatment.

Next, the numerous parties involved in a bus accident case and the applicable standard of care make bus accident cases convoluted. The at-fault parties include the bus operator, the owner of the bus, and potentially the negligent driver of another vehicle on the road.

The skilled bus accident lawyers at Portner & Shure, P.A. know how to uncover the truth, so that you can hold the responsible party/person accountable. We strive to protect our clients throughout NoVa after brutal bus accidents.

Common Bus Accident Injuries

Common bus accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussions: In any case, traumatic brain injuries occur when a person’s head hits another object (like a bus window) and jolts backward or forward with a force sufficient to cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull. The brunt of a bus accident, and the lack of seatbelts, cause passengers to go forward and backward. Even “mild” brain injuries (i.e., concussions) can cause debilitating symptoms for extended periods. When the brain trauma is severer, TBI victims can endure long-term cognitive and physical problems, and necessitate long-term medical care.
  • Spinal cord injuries: A damaged spinal cord means numbness, tingling, and even paralysis.
  • Broken bones and other fractures: The major force, and large sizes of buses, may result in passengers suffering broken bones in a crash. If passengers are thrown around the bus, this impact can cause substantial injury. Broken bones are extremely painful and can take months to fully heal.
  • Burns, contusions, and lacerations: Bus collisions may result in large fires or explosions, which cause serious burn injuries, cuts, scrapes, and lacerations to bus passengers.
  • Sprains and strains: Injuries to your body can result in sprains and strains in muscles, tendons, and nerves.
  • Whiplash: Bus accidents may result in whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries.

The severity of a bus accident victim’s injuries often depends on the severity of the collision itself. Although, this is not always the case. Even a relatively minor bus crash can result in severe injuries given that passengers are not wearing seatbelts.

Bus Accident Cases & Defenses

To show that a bus driver, or another third party, was negligent the injured bus accident victim must prove that the driver had:

  • A duty of care to their passengers (or other vehicles on the road)
  • The operator breached that duty
  • The breach caused the bus accident victim to sustain an injury.

Although this may seem clear-cut, insurance companies constantly intend to shift the blame for a bus accident to the innocent victim. In fact, in Virginia, insurance companies oftentimes argue the victim was contributorily negligent. The affirmative defense of contributory negligence permits the defendant to avoid responsibility by arguing the injured victim’s own negligence contributed to the accident. If successful, the claimant victim recovers nothing.

Contributory negligence is the defense we see most often, but there are others. Insurance companies may try to shift the blame even more onto a third party. This is an attempt to preclude the operator and bus company from liability. Insurance companies also tend to review an injured victim’s medical records and dispute the severity of their injuries to limit their responsibility.

By working with the skilled Alexandria bus accident lawyers at Portner & Shure, P.A., you can rest assured that your rights are protected, and all potential defenses are argued and combated. Insurance companies know that we go to court for our clients daily, and our reputation means few lowball settlement offers.

Compensation in Bus Accident Cases

Virginia law permits those injured due to the negligence of another to obtain compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, including when considering bus accidents.

Economic damages include quantifiable costs:

  • Medical expenses
  • Surgery costs
  • Rehab/PT
  • Lost income/employment
  • Lost future earnings

Non-economic damages attempt to compensate the victim for the pain and suffering they endured, i.e., the intangible damages. For example, a victim may be able to recover for emotional distress.

Reach Out to Portner & Shure, P.A. Today

For more than 30 years, the team of experienced bus accident lawyers and legal professionals at Portner & Shure, P.A. have advocated for bus accident victims and assisted them in recovering compensation for their losses. We understand how to get our clients the money they are owed. Insurance companies know that we do not back down from a fight. We have a long history of success, including more than $400 million in compensation for our injured clients.

To schedule your free consultation, please call a member of our bus accident legal team in Alexandria at (855) 954-4141. Remember: Portner & Shure, P.A. accepts no fee unless we win your case.


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