Bus drivers and bus companies have a legal responsibility to their passengers. These individuals and passengers, legally recognized as “common carriers,” have a greater duty to provide their passengers with safe transit than the makers of ordinary automobiles. However, despite this higher level of responsibility, some bus drivers do not always drive safely, and some are not provided adequate training by their employer. As a result, innocent people are sometimes injured.
The differences between Bus Wrecks and Car Wrecks
The first noticeable difference between buses and cars is the sheer size and weight of a bus. In terms of a head-on bus wreck, a bus weighing nearly 50,000 pounds could understandably total a small sedan, and completely decimate a human body. Most buses do not have seat belts, which increases the chances of being injured or killed if you are involved in a bus wreck.
Other than the size of the vehicles involved, bus wrecks and car wrecks differ in terms of liability.
- In an auto accident, the drivers involved are liable in the event of injury.
- In a bus wreck, when the bus involved is a public transit carrier, the state is responsible for injuries to passengers.
- On the other hand, major bus operators, such as Greyhound or Amtrak, are legally required to carry a multi-million-dollar liability insurance policy. If you are injured in a bus wreck or train wreck riding a bus or train in their fleet, most likely they will offer you a settlement of the lowest possible amount. Often this amount is not nearly enough to cover the costs of a full recovery. This practice is contrary to the best interest of bus wreck and train wreck victims. For this reason, ALWAYS consult an attorney before agreeing to or signing anything from another party’s insurance carrier.
Atlanta City Buses
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is currently the 8th largest intercity transit system in the U.S. While bus wrecks, train wrecks and facility malfunctions are rare, they do occur. Both passengers and pedestrians run the risk of injury due to bus wrecks and train wrecks during their daily commute around Fulton, Clayton and DeKalb counties.
If you have been injured in a bus wreck or train wreck by property owned and operated by MARTA, or sustain injury while on MARTA property, you should seek the professional opinion of an attorney who understands the nuances of personal injury cases involving public transportation. Call the Monk Law Firm for a free consultation. We are here to help.