Dozens of Oregon people are seriously injured, or even killed, each year on what is one of the safest modes of transportation available—the bus. Fortunately, anyone who has been injured in a bus accident has rights, and there are a number of very good Portland bus accident lawyers available to help guide victims through the minefield of dealing with insurance companies and, often, government bodies.
Portland bus accident lawyers understand that many Oregon buses are operated by government entities. School districts and public transportation companies would be two examples, and many people find the prospect of tangling with any form of government body to be quite daunting. School buses, in fact, due no doubt to their large numbers and the amount of miles traveled, account for the highest percentage of fatalities in bus accidents. Almost four in every 10 fatalities occurred on school buses, followed closely by municipal buses, at 37%, according to statistics released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Common injuries that occur in bus accidents include whiplash, spinal cord injuries, fractures, abrasions, severe sprains, soft tissue damage and burns. In extreme cases, brain damage occurs, or in the worst case, death.
Portland Bus Accident Attorneys can Investigate to Help Determine Cause of Accident…
There are many reasons why Oregon buses are involved in crashes that cause serious or fatal injuries, but sometimes, it takes a lot of investigating to get to the root cause of that crash. This is where Portland bus accident lawyers are invaluable. They know what to look out for, after years of experience in helping victims of bus accidents. They’re not afraid to ask the awkward questions, and they know where to go to get the answers they need to protect their clients’ rights. Some of the main factors that contribute to bus crashes include:
- Inexperienced or even untrained drivers
- Drivers working while overly fatigued
- Drivers operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Poor mainteance practices by the bus company. Buses are extremely heavy, and therefore hard on brakes. Regular servicing is essential, but in some cases, bus companies cut corners in this important area.
- Overloaded conditions. People standing on a bus are far more likely to be seriously injured in the event of an accident.
- Insufficient or missing safety equipment
Sometimes, factors like poor road conditions can play a significant part in a bus accident. In cases like this, the lines determining what party is liable (the bus company, or the state/county responsible for maintaining public roads in a safe condition) become blurred. This is just another area where advice from an experienced Portland bus accident lawyer becomes invaluable.
When someone is injured on a privately-owned Oregon bus, it is relatively easy for Portland bus accident lawyers to prove liability. Private bus companies are considered “common carriers,” and in Oregon, the state requires common carriers to take great care in protecting not only its passengers, but other vehicles and pedestrians on the roads. If a government entity is involved, however, it may not be easy to get an admission of liability, even if the circumstances surrounding the accident appear clear cut. In such cases, it is essential to contact our Portland bus accident lawyers for a FREE consultation.