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Bus Accidents


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Buses are large vehicles that are often loaded with passengers. As a result, collisions involving buses tend to be catastrophic events, resulting in severe injuries, both to bus passengers and the drivers of other involved vehicles. All too often, bus accidents result in fatalities.

Bus accidents are far more common than most people realize. In 2019, there were 553 bus collisions in Virginia, which resulted in 301 passengers suffering injuries. Bus accident injuries are often painful and can result in permanent, lifelong consequences. While bus accident victims may be entitled to financial compensation, actually recovering that compensation can be difficult due to the many complexities involved in bus accident claims. In order to go up against the insurance company, it’s important that you work with an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to fight back against their tactics.

The Vienna bus accident attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have been representing injured victims and the loved ones of those wrongfully killed in Northern Virginia for more than 30 years. We are ready to put our expansive resources and considerable skill on your side.

Contact us online or call (703) 291-3263 for a chance to tell your story and learn how we can help during a free, no-obligation case review.

What Makes Bus Accidents Claims So Complex?

Whether you are a bus passenger or the driver of another vehicle, a bus collision is a catastrophic event. The sheer mass of a bus increases the likelihood of catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Bus passengers tend to be particularly at risk, as many buses are not equipped with seatbelts. This makes bus accident claims fairly complicated, as victims will require extensive immediate medical care and ongoing/future treatment.

Another factor that makes these claims more complex than typical car accident cases is the fact that buses are considered “common carriers.” This means that bus drivers—and their employers—are held to a higher standard of care. Accordingly, bus drivers require advanced training and a commercial driver’s license in order to operate a bus. While these requirements are helpful, as there are additional rules and regulations that bus companies and bus drivers must follow, meaning it can be easier to prove fault in your claim, it also means going up against a commercial insurance provider in order to seek compensation. These are large companies with one goal: to devalue and deny claims.

Common carrier insurance companies have legal teams to defend against injury and wrongful death claims; shouldn’t you also have your own, equally powerful legal team advocating for you? At Portner & Shure, P.A., we can help you take on the liable entity and the insurance company in order to seek the full, fair recovery you deserve.

Common Bus Accident Injuries

Bus accidents often result in a wide variety of injuries.

Common bus accident injuries include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Contusions
  • Concussions
  • Lacerations
  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries

The severity of these injures often depends on the severity of the collision itself—though this is not always the case. Even a relatively minor bus crash can result in severe injuries when passengers are not wearing seatbelts.

Severe injuries often have permanent effects, such as loss of function and lifelong pain. Additionally, some bus accident victims find themselves unable to work following a collision. This can add an additional financial strain on victims and their families.

Bus Accident Litigation

In a personal injury case, the person making the claim must prove all elements of their claim by a preponderance of the evidence, i.e., 51%. They must prove that the opposing party caused the accident and that they suffered injuries as a result. Depending on one’s location/role in a bus collision, this may become a complex process.

A bus accident victim who was the driver of another vehicle must prove that the bus driver was at fault for causing the collision. A bus accident victim who was a passenger on the bus can make a claim against the bus driver if he or she was at fault for the accident or the driver of any other vehicles involved in the collision when they were at fault for the collision. In many cases, insurance companies blame other drivers and assert a variety of defenses in order to avoid responsibility. All of this can make proving a bus accident claim very difficult; litigation may be necessary in order to recover the full compensation you are owed.

Insurance Company Defenses in Bus Accident Claims

Virginia allows a defendant in a civil case to assert the defense of contributory negligence. This defense allows insurance companies to avoid paying injured victims by claiming that the injured victim’s own negligence contributed to the accident. In order to successfully assert this defense, however, the insurance company’s legal team must put forth evidence of how the victim acted negligently.

This is the most common defense used in bus accident cases, but it is not the only one. The insurance company may try to argue that neither their insured nor you but another third party (such as another motorist) was at fault, thereby precluding them from liability. They may also attempt to dispute your injuries or the severity of your injuries in an effort to devalue your claim.

Working with an experienced attorney, like those at Portner & Shure, P.A., can help you ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Having an attorney by your side can also help you avoid accepting a lowball settlement offer.

Damages in Bus Accident Claims

In Virginia, anyone who is injured as a result of someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions is entitled to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that come with an actual, measurable cost, such as medical bills, surgery, rehabilitation therapy, counseling, lost income/wages, and lost future earnings. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are those losses that are more intangible in nature. These include things like physical pain, emotional distress, and suffering.

The exact details of your case will determine the type of damages you are entitled to receive. To learn more, including the potential value of your case, you must first meet with an experienced attorney who can go over the many factors involved.

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

The Vienna bus accident lawyers at Portner & Shure, P.A. have a long history of success in representing bus accident victims in Northern Virginia over the past 25+ years. We are known for our aggressive advocacy and compassionate, client-focused approach. Our attorneys have been recognized by their peers and prestigious legal organizations alike for their dedication to and history of achieving results. We are also proud of the many five-star reviews we have earned from our past clients, as these demonstrate the real ways in which we have helped real people get back on their feet after terrible accidents, life-altering injuries, and hardships.

To schedule your free initial consultation, please call our office at (703) 291-3263. There is no obligation and no fees unless we win your case.


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