Puget Sound Area Common Carrier Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a bus collision, you may be left with serious injuries, and no way to pay for your medical treatments. Since buses are often on the road for a significant part of the day, safety issues can arise when there is poor maintenance. Buses are considered “common carriers,” making bus companies more responsible for their actions than other motor vehicle drivers. Since many buses are owned by a governmental entity, special rules will apply, along with a shorter statute of limitations.
For decades, Kadish Twersky has provided legal representation to the greater Everett area. We are professional bus accident attorneys, winning claims and settlement cases against powerful insurance companies, corporations, and governmental agencies. Our firm recently merged with another Washington legal firm, Palace Law. The Palace Law attorneys round out our legal team, ensuring you have the right legal representation available.
At Kadish Twersky, we treat you with integrity and respect, helping you recover the damages you are entitled to receive while giving you the time you need to heal, both physically and emotionally. Speak to a Kadish Twersky attorney today to begin your legal claim against the negligent bus company responsible for your injuries.
Bus Accidents in Everett, Washington
Community Transit is the public transit authority for Snohomish County, operating throughout the county, excluding Everett, which is serviced by Everett Transit. Community Transit operates a fleet of approximately 225 buses, providing commuter buses to Downtown Seattle and the University of Washington campus in Seattle. With the number of vehicles on the road, Community Transit has its fair share of accidents.
As a division of the Snohomish County government, special procedures must be followed before making a claim for your injuries. The City of Everett operates a municipal transit company, known as Everett Transit. Just as with Community Transit, collisions can occur on Everett Transit. It is important that you have a bus accident attorney who fully understands bus crashes and knows the specific procedures which must be followed.
How Common Are Bus Accidents?
Bus accidents are becoming a cause for concern as we hear more about them in the news. While in the grand scheme of things, bus accidents with fatalities are relatively rare, they do occur. Most bus collisions occur in busy city areas at relatively low speeds. The exception to this is tour buses or Greyhound buses, which are traveling at much greater speeds, making the risk for serious injury greater.
Thankfully, school bus accidents are even rarer than other types of bus accidents, with approximately 15 fatalities per year. Although any death—particularly that of a child—is tragic, considering the vast number of miles covered by school buses each year, parents can feel relatively safe putting their children on a school bus. Should you or a loved one have been unlucky enough to be injured on a commercial bus, it is important you acquire experienced legal counsel early on.
Bus Collision Factors
There are a wide variety of factors involved in bus crashes, but it is estimated that bus driver exhaustion could be responsible for as much as a third of all bus collisions. Other factors associated with bus collisions include a bus driver’s medical condition, inclement weather, a distracted bus driver, the condition of the bus (poorly maintained), a bus design defect, or reckless driving by the bus driver.
In most bus accidents, there are a variety of factors at play; perhaps the driver was negligent or distracted in combination with a bus which has been poorly maintained. While large buses are not as prone to rollover, the typical 15-passenger van has such a high center of gravity that rollovers are common occurrences. Additionally, most buses lack seat belts, so in the event of an accident, the passengers are not restrained.
In some cases, proper maintenance is not carried out on the buses; with the heavy loads, the condition of brakes and tires is particularly crucial. If a heavily loaded bus must stop suddenly and the brakes are not fully functional, disaster can result. A bus traveling at higher rates of speed on a highway that experiences a tire blowout can end up in a serious or fatal accident. Buses that have more passengers than their capacity states can rollover or can result in the inability of the driver to control the bus. Any type of faulty or missing safety equipment can be a hazard to passengers in the event of a crash.
Tired Bus Drivers
Hours of service for commercial drivers are overwhelmingly disregarded, particularly by those companies which are not union. Although commercial trucks are subject to random stops and checks by police officers or Department of Transportation officials, buses are rarely stopped—most likely because of passenger annoyance at the time lost. Due to this lack of regulation, bus drivers may be driving while drowsy or could have their driving ability influenced by prescription medications. Those bus drivers who commonly drive city buses may become very aggressive in their driving habits, and several cities have had city bus drivers actually caught on camera texting while driving a busload of people.
When Bus Companies Fail to Ensure Safe Transportation
In some instances, bus companies fail to hold up their end of the bargain—to keep their passengers safe—refusing to accept responsibility and compensate the victims for the damages and injuries they sustain. Having a strong personal injury attorney in your corner, protecting your rights can be crucial at a time like this. You do not want to have to go up against a large bus company or their insurance carrier on your own, particularly at a time when you are trying to recover from your injuries.
Getting the Help You Deserve from Kadish Twersky
Since a bus is a common carrier—an entity whose business it is to move people from one location to another for a fee—bus companies have a special duty to the public. Bus companies must offer the highest degree of safety for their passengers and can be held liable for injuries if they failed to follow the rules and regulations, or if they failed to operate with care. A Kadish Twersky attorney has the legal experience necessary to understand what is necessary to prove your case and get the compensation you deserve. We will gather all necessary evidence, ensure all time limits are met, file all the paperwork, and take care of every legal detail, giving you the time to heal. Contact a Kadish Twersky attorney today for exemplary legal representation.