In Houston, many of us use buses to get to work or to school or to travel to another city. Unfortunately, with the dense traffic that Houston has, bus accidents are an all-too-common occurrence.
When a bus crash happens, the innocent, injured victims of the accident are left to deal with the consequences of their injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, and reduced quality of life caused by pain and disability. Injured accident victims should not have to deal with the financial burdens of their injuries. Nor should they have to deal with the stress they feel when fighting with large companies and insurance companies to get the compensation they deserve.
For more than 25 years, The Callahan Law Firm has worked tirelessly to help injury victims get back to their normal lives after a life-altering accident. Our firm is focused on seeking the best possible outcome in our clients’ cases. We do not rest until we have secured full and fair compensation for our client’s injuries.
Many other law firms in Houston and other cities in Texas handle hundreds if not thousands of cases at a time. We do things differently and intentionally handle fewer cases at a time, which gives us the ability to give you and your case the full attention it deserves. We make sure we are available to you to speak in person, over the phone, through a video call, an email, or a text. We are here to answer your questions and keep you updated on the progress of your case.
Our mission is to secure a positive outcome for you. Our legal team is led by Michael Callahan who is board certified in personal injury trial law, and our staff has extensive experience in the insurance industry. We know first-hand how insurance companies fight the claims of injured victims.
Contact our firm to set up a free case review with one of our Houston bus accident lawyers. Call us or contact us online today.
Why Are Bus Accidents So Complicated?
Pursuing a bus accident claim often turns into a far more complicated process than pursuing a typical car accident claim. Bus accidents tend to become more complex than other motor vehicle accidents for these reasons:
- More serious injuries – Bus accidents tend to result in life-altering injuries. Passengers inside the bus do not have the benefit of seatbelts or airbags to help prevent injuries. Even when the bus collides with a smaller vehicle, passengers inside the bus can be seriously hurt.
- More injured victims – Collisions involving buses can leave numerous people inside the bus and outside the bus with serious injuries. When multiple people are injured, the financial resources of the at-fault party may be quickly exhausted. That means some or all of the injured may not get full compensation for their injuries and damages.
- More vehicles involved – Bus accidents that occur in downtown Houston or other densely populated areas can easily involve multiple vehicles. Having multiple vehicles in the crash can make it difficult to sort out how the accident occurred and who may have been at fault.
- Multiple liable parties – Many different persons, companies, and public entities can be involved in putting buses on the road. Each of these parties may be responsible for causing a crash, or multiple parties may all share some portion of fault for a bus accident.
- Complex insurance coverage – Many bus companies have complicated insurance structures, such as layered coverages that do not kick in unless other policies are exhausted or other conditions are met. These complicated structures can make it difficult for injured victims to know how much money is available to compensate for everyone’s injuries and damages.
- More state and federal regulations – Bus accidents require our attorneys to review many more pieces of evidence than a typical car accident. State and federal regulations govern all kinds of buses. Different regulations may apply to charter buses, intercity buses, public transit buses, or school buses.
- Busses operated by local governments – Many bus lines are operated wholly or in part by the local city government in whose jurisdiction they operate, such as METRO in Houston. Claims against these types of bus companies are often governed by a separate body of law and involve short deadlines to provide notice as well as limits on the amount an injured person can recover.
How a Lawyer Can Help If You’ve Been Hurt in a Bus Crash in Houston
If you have been hurt in a bus crash in Houston and it wasn’t your fault, you should not have to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and damages on your own. A Houston bus accident lawyer from The Callahan Law Firm can help you by:
- Conducting a detailed investigation of your accident to secure relevant evidence. We then do an exhaustive review of the evidence to determine how the accident occurred and identify the party or parties responsible for causing the crash.
- Determining the extent of financial resources (such as layered insurance policies) available to compensate you and other injured victims of the accident.
- Working with accident reconstruction experts in complicated cases to build a strong case that shows how and why the other party or parties are liable for the accident and your injuries.
- Filing claims for compensation with the liable parties and their insurance companies. We will aggressively negotiate for a settlement that provides you and your family with full compensation.
- Using our extensive litigation experience to prepare your claim for trial, when necessary, and present the case to a jury if the insurance company refuses to treat you fairly.
Talk to one of our Houston bus accident attorneys today to learn more about how The Callahan Law Firm can help you pursue your claim.
Compensation for Injuries After a Bus Accident
After you have been injured in a bus accident in Houston, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages from the accident. Compensation may include:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical and personal care expenses, such as hospital bills, surgeries, physical therapy, medications, home health care, or mobility equipment
- Lost wages and income and lost earning capacity, if you miss time from work while recovering from your injuries, or if your injuries leave you with disabilities that prevent you from working to your full capacity or prevent you from working altogether
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment because of the inability to participate in activities you enjoyed prior to your accident
- Loss of consortium, which provides compensation to your spouse for the loss of your companionship due to your injuries
You may also be entitled to seek compensation for any property of yours that was damaged in the accident. For example, if you were driving your own vehicle when you were hit by a bus, you should be entitled to compensation for the vehicle’s damage.
Who May Be Responsible for a Bus Crash in Houston?
Depending on the public agency or company responsible for operating a bus involved in your crash, multiple parties might be held responsible for your accident. Potentially liable parties in bus accidents in Houston may include:
- The bus driver
- The company that owns or operates the bus, such as a corporate shuttle company, charter bus company, or intercity bus company
- Public transit agencies such as METRO, in accidents involving public buses
- Local school districts and/or the transportation agency hired by the school district, if the accident involves a school bus
- The bus manufacturer or an auto parts manufacturer
- Third-party mechanics responsible for maintaining the bus
Our bus accident attorneys will thoroughly review your case to identify each party that may bear responsibility for your injuries and damages.
Time Limit for Filing a Bus Accident Claim in Houston
Under the state’s statute of limitations in Texas, you generally have two years from the date of your accident that happens in Texas in which to file a lawsuit for your injuries and damages from the crash. If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the court will dismiss your suit before you even get to trial.
In addition to the statute of limitations, if your bus accident involves a public transit agency or another unit of state or local government, under Texas’s Tort Claims Act you have even shorter time limits by which you must provide the government agency with proper notice of your claim, sometimes as soon as 90 days from the date of your bus accident. And if you fail to provide proper timely notice, you can be barred or prevented from ever making your claim.
Types of Bus Accident Cases We Handle
Buses are operated by a wide variety of public transit agencies, state and local units, and private companies. Our knowledgeable Houston bus accident attorneys at The Callahan Law Firm can help you pursue a claim for compensation following any bus accident, including:
- Public transit system bus accidents
- School bus accidents
- Tour bus accidents
- Airport or corporate shuttle accidents
- Charter bus accidents
- Intercity bus accidents
- Minibus accidents
- Motorcoach accidents
- METRO bus accidents
Common Causes of Houston Bus Accidents
A bus accident can occur due to the negligence or recklessness of a bus driver or the companies or entities that operate buses in Houston and throughout Texas. Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Careless or reckless driving, such as unsafe lane changes or failing to signal or check mirrors and blind spots
- Wide turns, or when the bus driver moves to the left before taking a right turn
- Fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Improper or inadequate bus maintenance
- Defective parts or defective design or manufacture of the bus
- Poor road maintenance, leading to potholes, broken pavement, or debris in the road
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Bus Crash
After you have been injured in a bus accident in Houston, keep these steps in mind. Following them can help protect your legal rights and your options for pursuing financial compensation for your injuries and damages:
- Call 911 if no one else has. Although someone (usually the bus driver) will likely contact 911 following an accident, you should call 911 if no one else has. Your call will summon paramedics and the police, who will come to the scene, investigate the collision, determine fault in many instances, and prepare an accident report. You or your attorney will need to request a copy of the police accident report from the police department as well as the officer’s investigation file.
- Get the bus driver’s name and contact information for their employer. Be sure to also get the contact and insurance information for any other motorists involved in the accident, including the bus driver and his employer. That way, you will know who you need to contact if you later file a claim for compensation.
- Document the accident scene. If you are safely able to do so, take photos and videos of the bus and other vehicles involved in the accident. Items to photograph can include relevant traffic controls at the scene, damage to the vehicles and property involved, debris from the crash including tire tread and vehicle parts, lighting conditions, as well as traffic and road conditions. Photograph any visible injuries you suffered. If there were any eyewitnesses to the accident, try to get a short statement or their contact information. Your attorney can take a statement from them later, as necessary.
- Get examined by paramedics at the scene or by your primary doctor or a physician at a hospital. The shock of an accident can mask your pain or other symptoms of an injury for hours, days, or weeks after an accident. A physical exam can reveal injuries before they begin to worsen and cause you even greater pain. Quickly identifying your injuries not only improves the prognosis of your treatment but also allows you to more persuasively argue that those injuries were caused by your crash.
- Talk to a Houston bus accident lawyer from The Callahan Law Firm. We can help you understand your legal rights and options after your accident. Our attorneys can walk you through the process of pursuing a compensation claim for your injuries and damages.
Talk to a Bus Accident Lawyer in Houston Now
If you have been injured in a bus accident, talk to the Houston bus accident attorneys at The Callahan Law Firm by calling us or reaching out online now. Do not wait another day to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.
You will learn about your legal rights and how an experienced bus accident lawyer can make a difference in your case. You owe us no fees unless you win.