Accidents involving buses, from school transport to cross-country liners, can cause serious and life-threatening injuries, even fatalities. From a legal liability standpoint, bus accident cases can be extremely complex because different people, vehicles, and entities are usually involved.
A Camden County bus accident lawyer may be experienced handling these cases and can attempt to help your recover damages through legal action. Consult a qualified personal injury attorney that can advocate for you.
Types of Bus Accidents
Most buses are not equipped with seatbelts or other restraint systems. Passengers can be tossed about in a collision. Although the size and weight of a bus provide some degree of safety, those can be detrimental, too. A side crash can overturn the bus because of its high center of gravity.Those who are harmed or have loved ones who have been harmed in a bus accident can receive legal advice during a complimentary consultation from a Camden County bus accident lawyer without any obligation. At the consultation, the attorney will evaluate the viability of the case, discuss the New Jersey law involved and explain the legal processes.
Causes of Bus Accidents
The mechanical and electrical systems of buses can fail either through use or an improper or lack of maintenance, such as failures in braking, steering, suspension, fuel delivery, electrical shorts, and worn tires. Operator error from driving mistakes, distraction, unfamiliar roads, alcohol, drug, and psychological impairments, as well as lack of competent training are also factors.
A Camden County bus accident attorney could investigate all of these areas and may use a professional accident reconstruction specialist to help determine the reason and details of the crash in preparation of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit to claim damages.
The injured party may sue for medical care and therapeutic treatment, pain and suffering, loss of present and future income, emotional distress, and mental anguish. Other damages may be available depending upon the event’s circumstances.
School Bus Seat Belt Law
School buses weighing 10,000 pounds or less are required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which sets standards nationally for school bus safety, to be equipped with lap and shoulder belts.
For larger buses, the federal government defers to states to establish seatbelt laws for buses larger than 10,000 pounds. New Jersey is one of six states that require seatbelts that comply with federal standards on school buses.
However, New Jersey owners and operators of school buses are not liable if the occupants, mandated by law to fasten seatbelts, are injured in a crash because they failed to use the restraint system.
New Jersey Negligence Law
The state’s modified comparative negligence law applies to bus accidents. Negligence, legally defined, is failing to use the care toward another person or property that a reasonable person would use.
The modified comparative negligence doctrine forbids a party who is 51 percent at fault in an accident from claiming any damages. If the fault is 50 percent or less, damages are reduced by the percentage of fault. Assessing the amount of fault (and damages) is the duty of a jury.
Proof of Negligence
A Camden County bus accident lawyer must prove each of the law’s elements.
- Duty of care: A person has a legal responsibility to behave with the caution and watchfulness toward individuals and the public that a prudent person would use in the same situation.
- Breach: An act, or an omission, violating duty of care.
- Cause in fact: The breach resulted in the accident.
- Proximate cause: A foreseeable and specific event occurred.
- Damages: Actual financial loss happened.
Talk to a Camden County Bus Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bus accident, do not hesitate to contact a Camden County bus accident lawyer. A skilled attorney can examine the aspects of your case, and advise you of all your possible legal options.