SHUTTLE BUS ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Bus accidents happen with Incredible frequency, and they can be serious because some bus passengers suffer lifelong injuries, and incur huge hedical expenses. When most people think about bus crashes, they think about Greyhound or METRO. But they are not the only kind of buses on the road. Shuttle buses are extremely common in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, and are often private entities, moving people from place to place. Some of these buses are contracted by businesses, and others are contracted by apartment complexes and communities.
If you have been hurt in a shuttle bus accident, then you do not have to fight alone. You can contact the experienced bus accident lawyers at Blaszkow Legal, who are ready to fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Call us today for a free consultation, and Get Justice with Joe!
Shuttle Bus Accidents in Virginia
Shuttle buses are often classified as contract passenger buses, and do not charge for individual rides. Most commonly, they are hired by residential buildings and apartment communities to take residents to local establishments such as malls and Metro stations.
There are many different kinds of shuttle buses throughout the area, and they can range from 15 passenger vans, to much larger buses, that can hold 20 or 30 passengers. Some of them hold as many as 40.
Some shuttle bus companies in the DC area include:
Chariots For Hire
Dylan's Bus Service
Contract Passenger Bus Regulations
Most shuttle buses have to be certified by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission. This is a multi-jurisdictional government organization, created as an interstate compact between Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. This government agency issues operating permits to various van and bus companies.
Contract passenger bus drivers, depending on the size of the bus must not only have valid motor vehicle licenses, they also must be specially licensed as commercial vehicle operators, with passenger endorsements. This of course depends on the size of the vehicle being operated.
Pursuant to WMATC rules, companies are either considered "unrestricted" or "restricted." A company that is "unrestricted" must carry a minimum of $5,000,000 of combined single limit motor vehicle liability insurance coverage. However, if the commission has issued a "restricted" authority license, meaning that the company only has vehicles that seat 15 passengers or less, then those companies must maintain only $1,500,000 in insurance coverage.
Causes of Virginia Shuttle Bus Accidents
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the office of Highway Safety said that were almost 500 bus accidents that resulted in injuries in 2022. Some of those involved fatal injuries and wrongful death claims. However, it is important to note that many accidents are not the fault of the bus driver, but rather of other motorists who fail to pay full time and attention to the roadway.
Some of the most common causes of bus accidents in Virginia include:
Injuries Commonly Sustained in Bus Accidents
If you have been hurt in a bus accident, your injuries will vary from everyone else's. Every person is an individual, and must be viewed individually. However, across all of the bus collisions that we work, we do see some common injuries among bus passengers. They include:
Brain injuries. Because bus passengers do not have seat belts, sometimes these accidents can cause people to be thrown around. These injuries can often come from someone striking their head, even on the padded seat in front of them. Injuries to the brain can range from post-traumatic headaches, to traumatic brain injuries and concussions, commonly called TBIs.
Spinal cord injuries. The spinal column is extremely sensitive, and is protected by the various vertebrae of the spine. But as people are tossed around in a bus accident, often people can hit something, which can sometimes contort the body into positions it was not meant to go, resulting in spinal injuries. These can be extremely catastrophic injuries, and may sometimes even leave someone paralyzed.
Sprains and strains. The insurance companies classify sprains and strains, including whiplash, as "soft tissue" injuries. They use this in an attempt to minimize your injuries, but the reality is that there is often no objective finding on an x-ray, such as a fracture. This doesn't mean that you are not hurt!
Fractures. Broken bones are extremely common in bus accidents, and the most common bones to be broken include the knee, ribs, pelvis, ankle, and more. Anyone without a seat belt is that a much higher risk of suffering a fracture. Fracture is of course come in many different kinds, from simple fractures to compound fractures!
Compensation After a Virginia Shuttle Bus Accident
After you have been hurt in a bus accident, you have the ability to file a claim for your damages. Damages is a term used by the legal and insurance industries to encompass all of the ways that an accident has impacted your life. Of course this includes financially, but also mentally and emotionally.
Some of the elements that make up your claim for damage is include:
Time lost from work
Loss of earning capacity
Future lost wages
Medical treatment expenses
Future medical expenses
Compensation for property damage
Pain and suffering
Investigating a Bus Accident
It is extremely important to speak to a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible after a bus collision, because insurance coverage is often not sufficient to compensate you, and everyone else who has been injured. Just because you were a passenger on the bus, does not mean the bus is responsible. Part of our job is to investigate the collision, and find out just who's negligence caused your injuries.
Often bus accidents are the result of other motorists, and motorists very rarely possess enough insurance coverage to compensate all of the people who have been hurt. Minimum car insurance coverage in Virginia, as of 2023, is $30,000 per person, up to an aggregate of $60,000 per accident. This means that if 10 people on the bus were hurt, regardless of how badly they were hurt, the most that an insurance company for that vehicle will pay is a total of $60,000!
Our investigation, then, has to turn to other potential sources of coverage, such as underinsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately, some bus companies do not carry uninsured motorist coverage!
What You Need to do After a Virginia Bus Crash
Stay safe. Follow the instructions of other people who are on the scene, such as the driver, and then responding law enforcement and fire personnel. They will keep you safe, and help you get to medical treatment in an organized way. Some bus accidents are classified as mass casualty incidents, and they have to get a lot of people to a lot of different hospitals very quickly.
Get lots of pictures. If you are able, take as many pictures as you can, of everything that you can. Every picture that you take is evidence in your case, and may hold the clue to helping us figure out exactly what happened, and who was negligent.
Get other passengers information! Bus companies never want to give information to people who are going to be filing claims. It is extremely important to get the information for as many other passengers as possible, as they may be witnesses in the case. While this information may be available on police reports, some police departments will also refuse to provide it without a subpoena. It is important that you do everything you can to get as much evidence as possible.
Get medical treatment after an accident. Many people are in shock, and many people are still coming down off of adrenaline. Some pain will not manifest itself for 12 or 24 hours. You should always go to a hospital after a bus accident and get looked at. The hospital will likely do imaging studies, and help to make sure that you don't have injuries that you may not realize.
Talk to an experienced bus accident lawyer immediately! Do not talk to insurance companies! Often they will try to take recorded statements, and anything that you say, they can use against you, or they will use to minimize your claim or wriggle out of liability. Never speak to an insurance company without talking to a lawyer first! A lawyer works for you, whereas insurance companies only work for their stockholders!
Get Help From an Experienced Bus Accident Lawyer Today
Joe Blaszkow and his team are ready to help you fight against the at-fault parties to get you the compensation that you deserve. We help clients throughout the DC Metropolitan Area, and across the Commonwealth of Virginia, from Alexandria down to Richmond, and beyond! We are one of the highest reviewed law firms around, because we believe in working hard for our clients!
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and we will fight for you, to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Alexandria/Northern Virginia Office:
5270 Shawnee Road #102, Alexandria, Va. 22312
7824 Shrader Road, Richmond, Va. 23294
Get Justice with Joe
Joe Blaszkow leads a team of experienced attorneys and paralegals, who all have one goal: to hold negligent parties accountable, and to get you the compensation you deserve.
Call today for a free consultation!