Charter Bus Accidents

You expect to be safe on a charter bus. After all, it’s a large vehicle that you or your organization hired to carry people to and from an event. But sometimes the best-laid plans go awry. If you experience a charter bus accident in New Jersey, get your injuries seen to, and then call an expert charter bus accident lawyer at RAM Law. These attorneys are the best at determining liability and protecting your right to just compensation.

How Common Are Charter Bus Accidents?

The Federal Transit Administration’s Charter Service Regulations states that a charter bus is any private bus or van that’s rented out for third-party usage. The shape and size of these buses need specialized driving skills, with the same level of process thinking as driving large box trucks or big rigs.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 509 people died in charter bus accidents between 2007 and 2016. But in that same timeframe, there were more cases of commercial bus accident fatalities. Unfortunately, these numbers are rising, as just they are for commercial truck accidents.

These numbers highlight the need for the best bus accident lawyers or trucking accident attorneys in New Jersey. If you’ve been in a charter bus accident, get help from a competent charter bus accident attorney like the ones at RAM Law. Contact the firm as soon as possible after your accident to get the best advice.

What Causes Charter Bus Accidents?

Driver negligence is the main reason for not just charter bus accidents, but also for Greyhound bus accidents or tour bus accidents in New Jersey. The most common causes for truck accidents also apply to charter buses and include:

Additionally, some charter bus companies may hire foreign truck drivers under the assumption that they are capable of handling buses that are 8,000 to 12,000 pounds. But this isn’t always the case, as different road types — from interstates to local roads — come with their own driving challenges, like blind spots or left turns. Bus company negligence is another reason for charter bus accidents, such as when the company put profit ahead of safety.

Who’s Liable for Charter Bus Accidents?

The legal clause called Common Carrier Liability states that it’s the duty of the bus driver to ensure the safety of the passengers from known and reasonably foreseen dangers. This rule also applies to charter bus drivers, who must always exercise caution to prevent accidents. Car drivers in a charter bus accident may be awarded compensation beyond medical bills if the court finds that the bus driver should have followed these strict safety precautions.

Cases become more complicated if multiple parties are determined to share liability. In this case, you have to deal with multiple insurance companies, all of whom could be trying to shift the blame. That’s why you need a RAM Law charter bus accident lawyer who has years of experience negotiating with insurance companies to quickly resolve any and all disputes. Other parties that may be held accountable after a charter bus accident include:

  • The charter bus company if they hired inexperienced drivers or didn’t provide adequate training
  • Other involved drivers of trucks on the road, including those driving delivery trucks, or tow trucks
  • Other buses, such as school bus accidents
  • Pedestrians and jaywalkers
  • Smaller vehicles, like cars, bicycles and motorcycles
  • The manufacturer of the bus, if a product defect caused the accident
  • Overloaded trucks on the road
  • A maintenance company, if it failed to routinely check the brakes or the engine
  • Government entities like the state or local municipality if they failed to maintain the roadway

What Are the Different Types of Charter Bus Injuries?

The most common types of bus accidents  involve rear-end collisions or head-on collisions. But you may sustain serious injuries during sideswipe accidents, especially if the other vehicle involved was an 18-wheeler  or a tractor trailer. There have also been cases of hazardous materials in accidents  that cause burn injuries. <

An analysis of the data between 2007 to 2016 show that 41 percent of accident victims get ejected from a vehicle, resulting in common injuries that include:

The worse bus accidents are rollovers because they cause the maximum amount of injuries. Discuss your situation with your charter bus accident lawyer to understand your rights and options, especially in wrongful death civil suits.

How Is Compensation Awarded in Charter Bus Accident Lawsuits?

New Jersey insists that all drivers have both liability and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This is part of the state’s no-fault insurance in accidents clause. For bus companies, the Medical Expense Benefits Coverage (MEB) or Bus-PIP handles bus accident damages,  but the maximum payout is $250,000 per injured victim.

The amount often fails to cover the mounting medical bills that victims face and dismisses the possibility of recurring, long-term medical expenses. Your charter bus accident attorney from RAM Law fights to get you the fair compensation you deserve, which covers expenses that include:

  • Medical bills for both your current and your future needs
  • Lost wages
  • Property damages
  • Psychological scarring
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Emotional distress
  • Diminished quality of life

Compensation is only awarded if you file your claim within the set tort limit, which may differ based on your accident. For example, NJ Transit accidents requires you to file the suit within 90 days. Get in touch with a reputable law firm like RAM Law if you’re ever involved in a charter bus accident.

What Steps Must I Take after a Charter Bus Accident?

Being in an accident is a jarring experience, and you’re often not able to think straight. That’s another reason it’s recommended that you consult with exceptional bus accident lawyers after your crash, especially if you were injured. A charter bus accident attorney from RAM Law provides the important steps to take to get an advantage if you’re considering suing a bus company for damages and compensation for your injuries.

The first thing to do after your accident is call 911, as your call is recorded and may be used as evidence later. Also get your medical needs taken care of. Otherwise, other tasks you need to remember include:

  • Don’t refuse any medical care even if you feel fine. You may be in shock and don’t realize just how badly you’re injured.
  • Make a note of the state of the charter bus driver because if the driver looks incapacitated in any way, it may mean additional compensation for your pain and suffering.
  • Get the name and phone number for the bus driver, the charter company, along with whether the company is local or out of state.
  • Get the driver’s or the company’s insurance company details.
  • Take down the name of the police officer who was first on the scene.
  • Take lots of pictures of the accident scene, including the license plate number of all the involved vehicles, the damage done to the vehicles and the people standing around. Eye witness evidence is crucial during claims proceedings.
  • Keep track of all the medical reports and other relevant documents.

Don’t speak to anyone about the accident. Sometimes, insurance companies send representatives to get information to use against you. When anyone asks you about the accident, refer them to your charter bus accident attorney at RAM Law.

When Should I Hire a Charter Bus Accident Lawyer?

It’s in your best interests to contact a charter bus accident lawyer immediately after an accident. You get a free consultation to allow the attorney the chance to determine if you have a viable case. Knowing your legal rights helps you especially if the driver of another vehicle like a truck leaves the scene of the crash.

Additionally, your charter bus accident attorney explains how the accident settlement process  works, something which isn’t often clearly explained in bus or truck accident FAQs. Your RAM Law attorney starts right after your accident by preserving and preventing spoliation of accident evidence along with investigating the scene and talking to eyewitnesses. Contact RAM Law to get the best advice and representation for a fair settlement from your charter bus accident.

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