Muncie residents often rely on buses to get them where they need to go. No matter if they take one of the 14 bus routes in the Muncie Indiana Transit System or make use of a charter or school bus, buses can provide an affordable means of travel, but not always a safe one. The United States Department of Transportation reports that 175 buses were involved in deadly accidents across the country in 2021, with 108 lives lost in school bus-related crashes that same year.
If you have been hurt in an Indiana bus accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation. To increase the odds of a positive outcome, reach out to the Muncie bus accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, who have been fighting for the everyday people of Indiana for more than 25 years.
Call us at (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or fill out our contact form to arrange a free case review with an experienced Muncie bus accident lawyer.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
A bus accident could take place for multiple reasons, some of which could apply to any type of vehicle, while others are more likely to happen when buses are involved. Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Traveling too fast – Speeding is the chief factor in all auto accidents, resulting in an average of 15,000 crashes in Indiana every year. Drivers who travel too fast take more time to respond but have less time to stop, a combination that can make collisions more probable and more destructive.
- Driver distraction – Distracted driving is responsible for approximately nine traffic deaths nationwide each day, with cellphone use being one of the worst offenders. Even though most states prohibit holding mobile devices while driving, including Indiana, phones are involved in about 12 percent of all motor vehicle accidents.
- Distraction from passengers – Passengers can be a further source of distraction to drivers, causing approximately 3.55 percent of all crashes. Bus drivers may be more susceptible to passenger-based distraction because more of them can ride in a bus than in a car or truck.
- Drowsy driving – Fatigued drivers cause about 100,000 traffic accidents, 50,000 injuries, and 800 fatalities per year. Because bus operators spend more than eight times as many hours behind the wheel as most drivers, they may be more likely to succumb to drowsiness.
- Driving while intoxicated – Bus drivers are far less likely to drive while intoxicated, but the same may not be true of other motorists. Drunk driving remains a significant problem in Indiana, where law enforcement officers make a DUI arrest every 11.98 hours.
- Poor training – Bus drivers require extensive training before they can be licensed. If that training is of poor quality, a devastating bus accident could occur.
- Confusion about bus operations – Drivers who are confused about the ways in which buses interact with traffic can cause avoidable accidents, such as rear-end collisions at designated stops.
- Inadequate bus maintenance – Mass transit buses put on four times the annual mileage of most passenger vehicles. Without adequate maintenance on a regular basis, they run a high risk of dangerous malfunctions in traffic.
No matter what caused your bus accident, our Muncie bus accident attorneys will take prompt action against everyone who may be responsible.
Who Is Responsible for a Bus Accident?
Determining exactly who is responsible for a bus accident can be challenging because of how many parties might be involved. While a bus driver would likely be liable in the event of a single-vehicle accident, another driver could be at fault in an incident with two or more vehicles.
Sometimes parties who are not even present at a collision could be culpable, such as an outside servicing agent or manufacturer of a defective part when an accident is caused by a malfunction, or a public works department or construction crew when poor road conditions are to blame. In certain instances, multiple parties could share different levels of liability for which they would have different levels of financial exposure.
Given the potentially large number of defendants, it is crucial to identify all of them within the time allotted by law, known as the Statute of Limitations. The Statute in Indiana is two years for most bus accidents, though the window can be narrower when the parties include government agencies. Failure to file suit or otherwise resolve a claim before the Statute expires could forever bar a plaintiff from doing so.
Hensley Legal Group will be sure to meet all the deadlines for establishing a valid Indiana bus accident case.
Steps to Take After a Bus Accident
To better protect that case, there are important steps you should remember to take after a bus accident, such as:
- Call 911 – Even though bus drivers are supposed to call the authorities when an accident occurs, you should be prepared to dial 911 yourself so that police and emergency personnel will arrive.
- Get medical attention – The quicker you see a medical professional, the better, ideally at the scene of the crash. Delays in treatment could slow down your recovery and allow doubt to be cast on the causal relationship between the bus accident and your personal injuries.
- Obtain witness information – Try to get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the incident because independent accounts can be invaluable to your claim.
- Take pictures and videos – Visual documentation of the site of a bus accident can aid in establishing how and why it happened, so take pictures and videos if you can.
- Avoid the insurance company – Avoid insurance company representatives who reach out to you following the bus accident. Anything you say to them could be used to hurt your case, especially if you do not understand your rights.
- Speak to a lawyer – Our Muncie bus accident lawyers can explain your rights and what you should expect if you decide to pursue a claim.
How Our Bus Accident Attorneys Can Make a Difference
A bus accident can be a catastrophic event. When dealing with skyrocketing medical bills and unforeseen costs, possibly while you are unable to work, simply making ends meet can start to seem impossible, much less acquiring the resources to stave off economic ruin.
When the worst happens, you need attorneys with the compassion to support you through your struggles and the wisdom to overcome them. In short, you need the Muncie bus accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, who are committed to ensuring that the average Hoosier enjoys equal access to justice.
If you hire our firm, we will carry out a comprehensive investigation to uncover everyone responsible for your bus accident within the time permitted by law. We will also amass the evidence necessary for your claim, including:
- Police reports
- Citations and dispositions
- Eyewitness accounts
- Dash cam, traffic light, and surveillance footage
- Black box data
- Phone records
- Driving histories
- Bus maintenance logs
- Accident reconstruction and forensic analysis
After assembling a rock-solid case of negligence against every liable party, our Muncie bus accident lawyers will attempt to negotiate a settlement that reflects the full spectrum of your losses, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Punitive and wrongful death damages (if applicable)
If we do not receive an offer that is worthy of your case, we are not afraid to take it to trial for a verdict that is, unlike some of our competitors, who rarely, if ever, step foot inside a courtroom – and leave money on the table as a result.
You Won’t Pay Anything Until We Win
Additional expenditures may be the last thing you can afford at the moment, so you will be pleased to learn that our firm works on a contingency basis. You won’t have to pay us anything until our Muncie bus accident attorneys win your case.
What should have been a short bus ride has turned into a journey that feels like it will never end, but you can trust Hensley to bring it to a satisfying conclusion.
Contact Our Muncie Bus Accident Lawyers Today
Since 1998, Hensley Legal Group has dedicated its practice to standing up for the wrongfully injured. If a bus accident has taken you off course, contact our Muncie bus accident lawyers today to get back on the right path.
Schedule a complimentary consultation with a knowledgeable Muncie bus accident attorney by calling (317) 472-3333, chatting with us online, or filling out our contact form.
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