Who Is Responsible If I Get Hit by a Bus?

February 23, 2023 Posted In Bus Accidents

If you are hit by a bus, you have the right to recover compensation. However, who is responsible will depend on the cause of the accident and who owns the bus. Besides the bus driver, there are multiple parties that may be liable. 

Potentially Liable Parties

Some buses are methods of public transportation, such as school and commuter buses. Others are privately owned and transport passengers or goods for a variety of reasons. Therefore, liability both depends on the cause of the accident and who owns the bus. For example:

School District

A school bus driver’s employer may be vicariously liable if the driver’s negligence caused the collision, for instance, if they cause an accident due to driving too fast for the conditions, driving distracted, or not following traffic laws. Additionally, a school district can be liable if its negligent actions led to the accident. Examples of negligent errors include failing to perform background checks, verify driver’s licenses, inadequately train or monitor bus drivers, etc. 

The Owner

Whoever owns the bus is responsible for performing regular inspections and maintaining the vehicle. They are also responsible for ensuring drivers are qualified to operate their buses.

The Tour Company 

Tour companies can be liable for their choice of bus company, for instance, if they failed to research the company and after a collision, it is discovered that they had several safety violations.

The Bus Manufacturer

If the bus or one of its parts was defective in any way that contributed to the accident, the bus manufacturer and any party involved in the product’s distribution chain can be liable.

Third-Party Contractors

Some bus companies hire third parties or independent contractors to hire bus drivers, maintain their vehicles, or supply parts. If an error or bus mechanical failure was what caused the accident, the third party can be liable. 

A Government Entity

A government agency may be liable if the accident involved a government-owned bus, if a government employee was at fault, or if preventable and dangerous road conditions caused the accident. 

Other Drivers

If another driver was at fault and caused the bus to hit you, you can hold them responsible. 

What Should I Do If I Get Hit by a Bus?

The steps you take after a bus accident are critical; here is what to do:

Call 911

Call 911 for an ambulance and law enforcement to arrive at the scene to treat anyone injured and create an accident report. 

Document the Scene

If you are not transported to the hospital, try to remain at the scene and document as much as possible. For instance, take photos of the bus, the surrounding area, and your injuries. Ask for contact information from fellow passengers, the bus driver, their employer, any other parties involved in the accident, and any witnesses. 

Seek Medical Care

See a doctor as soon as you leave the scene if you are not taken to the hospital. Some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms, and you need medical records to link your harm to the crash.  

Speak to a Lawyer

For help determining who is responsible, speak to a Riverside Bus Accident Attorney as soon as possible. They can help you with every aspect of your claim. 

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