Injuries From Bus Accidents That Do Not Involve Crashes
There is a common perception that traveling by bus is a safer alternative than driving your own car, whether you are riding long-distance, going between cities in Maryland, or using public transit. However, statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that there are no safety guarantees. In Maryland, there are almost 8,000 total bus crashes every year, leading to 52 fatalities and injuries to more than 1,940 people. The causes are not surprising, such as speeding, failure to yield, and distracted driving.
However, the nature of bus travel means there are additional ways someone can be injured in an accident, many of which have nothing to do with traffic or other motorized vehicles. It is reassuring to know that you can still pursue a bus operator for negligence that does not involve collisions, which can enable you to recover for medical costs, pain and suffering, and other losses. Your Owings Mills bus accident lawyer will assist with the legal process, and some information on non-crash injuries is useful.
Examples of Non-Traffic Bus Accidents: When an incident is not a collision related to traffic, it is usually linked to passengers getting on and off the bus while it is not moving. The operator may mishandle the opening and closing of doors, leading someone to fall or be crushed by the mechanical equipment. Another problem is safety at terminals and stations. These spaces can be dangerous if companies do not properly maintain the facility, failing to make repairs to flooring, railings, doors, and gates. Criminal activity can also present a risk of injury to passengers as they wait at stations.
Common Bus Accident Injuries: Even when there is no collision with another vehicle, victims can still suffer severe trauma in a bus accident. Injuries may include:
- Concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other head injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries, including herniated and bulging discs;
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Lacerations and bruises; and
- Hip and shoulder dislocation.
Remedies for Victims: You do have options if you were hurt in any type of bus accident, but the legal process may vary according to the identity of the at-fault party. Many bus operators are either government entities or funded by taxpayers, so there are specific rules when seeking compensation from a public entity. An important factor is the deadline to file a claim, which is usually much shorter than Maryland’s personal injury statute of limitations of three years.
Whether you are pursuing a private company or a government-run bus operator, the first stage of the process usually involves settlement negotiations. If the at-fault party will not pay a reasonable amount, you can take your case to court.
Set Up a Free Consultation with a Maryland Bus Accident Attorney
Though you do have legal remedies, you can see how recovering compensation can be challenging after a non-crash bus accident. For details about your rights, please contact Furman | Honick Law. You can call 410-844-6000 or go online to schedule a no-cost case review at our Owings Mills or Baltimore offices.