Greyhound buses serve several thousands of destinations throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. They have been providing interstate and intercity travel for about a decade. While most people relying on commercial bus services have been relying on Greyhound for their convenience, there have been some concerns arising recently due to an alarming rise in Greyhound bus accidents. If you were injured in a Greyhound bus crash, you should explore your legal options. Based on important information provided by the bus accident lawyers at Salamati Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA, commercial bus services such as Greyhound may refuse to accept any liability. However, if the accident was caused by their negligence, they still need to be held accountable for it.
Common Causes of Greyhound Bus Accidents
Greyhound officials boast that they take all measures to ensure passenger safety. As Greyhound maintains low ticket fares, it is a preferred choice for most travelers looking to travel intercity or interstate. But if you dig deeper, you will find that the company is able to keep lower prices by implementing cost-cutting measures that are not actually benefiting passengers, but in fact compromising their safety.
Driver Fatigue: Although Greyhound may claim that passenger safety is their top priority, investigative studies on Greyhound’s practices reveal that they have not been employing adequate measures to prevent driver fatigue. As per the G-40 rule, bus drivers are required to halt every 150 miles and inspect the vehicle to prevent any driver fatigue. This rule is designed to ensure that the driver gets out of the bus, stretch, do quick exercises and gets fresh air at regular intervals to prevent drowsiness, and tiredness. However, as per reports Greyhound does not strongly enforce this rule even on its long routes.
There have been several instances when Greyhound passengers have reported that the driver was eating while driving which may have caused the crash. In various incidents, Greyhound buses have veered off highways or been involved in major crashes due to the lack of rules enforced by Greyhound officials. According to some recent lawsuits, Greyhound is found to not enforce the G-40 rule as it would cause them financial losses if the driver stopped or took breaks as guided by G-40.
Drug and Alcohol Use: Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is forbidden by law. But there have been multiple cases where Greyhound bus drivers have been found driving while intoxicated and have resulted in serious crashes and severe passenger injuries. Greyhound officials are required to thoroughly conduct a check of their employees before hiring them and ensure that they are responsible drivers who will fulfill the duty of safety toward all the passengers. But the negligence in their hiring process has resulted in reckless drivers or drivers with a criminal background being hired to get behind the wheels who are usually in intoxicated conditions.
Lack of Maintenance: All bus carrier services are required by law to conduct regular maintenance and inspection of the buses and do not allow any buses to run unless all the malfunctioning parts are changed, or repaired. This is required to ensure the driver is able to successfully maneuver the bus during the regular operations as well as if dangerous conditions arise on the road. Examples of such maintenance include but are not limited to examining bus tires, detect defects in functioning parts and more. As per reports, Greyhound has not been punctual about conducting regular inspections and maintenance of their bus fleet. This has resulted in cases of a tire blowout, disastrous bus breakdowns in the past.
Can you sue Greyhound for an Accident Injury?
There can be various factors like driver negligence, fatigue, a mechanical failure that may lead to a collision resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. Under such circumstances, you can sue Greyhound and hold them liable for your personal injuries, economic losses, and mental and emotional sufferings. It is important to know that you can claim compensation benefits only if you have serious injuries and are able to prove damages. You may not be able to establish a strong personal injury case if you suffer only a few bumps or bruises.
If you are involved in a Greyhound bus accident, you can sue on the following grounds:
Medical Expenses: You can claim compensation for all your medical bills, hospital visits, treatment from the negligent party. In order to prove such medical expenses, you need to maintain adequate documentation of your medical records, bills, payment receipts and any communication with your insurance company.
Reduced Earnings or Lost Wages: If you have been seriously injured in a bus accident that has resulting in you missing work or developing temporary or permanent disabilities, you can claim benefits for your salary loss or reduced earnings’ capacity.
Pain and Sufferings: In addition to physical injuries you may also suffer from mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the trauma of the accident. You may be eligible to claim compensation for such pain based on its severity if you are able to provide valid documentation regarding your mental health diagnosis from a medical practitioner.
Wrongful Death: If you have lost a loved one to a Greyhound bus accident you may be able to sue the company and receive compensation for your pain and loss based on a wrongful death claim.
Punitive Damages: You are eligible to file for punitive damages under certain circumstances such as if the driver was drunk while driving that caused an accident.
How Greyhound handles accident claims
Greyhound will try to take advantage of the passenger’s panic and ask them to provide statements about the details of the accident and fill out insurance documentation. Passengers may be requested to complete a C4 card that outlines their recollection of the accident and what injuries they might have suffered. Although this may seem like a positive attitude, Greyhound officials are notorious for denying responsibility for bus accidents. If you have been involved in such a bus accident, it is recommended to get legal help immediately before you fill out any form of documentation.
How can a good bus accident lawyer assist you?
Bus crashes have caused grave injuries to passengers like broken bones, whiplash, brain injuries, and internal organ damage. In order to have a solid chance of winning your personal injury lawsuit, it is important to hire a good bus accident lawyer. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney will have good negotiation skills and all the necessary resources to seek compensation for your suffering that you rightfully deserve.