Bus accidents or accidents involving vehicles that are considered common carriers in Houston can result in very serious injuries. It is important to contact a Houston personal injury lawyer immediately after the accident, regardless if you were a passenger on the bus, in another car and hit by the bus, or hit by a bus while a pedestrian, motorcyclist or bicyclist.
According to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, an individual who has sustained injuries from a motor vehicle accident may be barred from filing a claim for their injuries against the negligent driver after a specified time period has passed. This time period, also known as a statute of limitations (SOL), prevents injured individuals from filing a lawsuit against the negligent party two years after the date of injury in Texas. Since this is such a short time period, it is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Houston Bus Accident Lawyer
Contact Ben Bronston & Associates at (713) CALL-BEN or (713) 225-5236 for a consultation about your bus accident throughout all areas of Houston, including the Galleria, the Heights, Memorial, Bellaire, West University, Highland Village, Sharpstown, City Centre, Downtown, EaDo, Midtown and Rice Village. Attorney Benjamin Bronston is licensed to practice law in both Texas and Louisiana and is experienced representing individuals injured in bus accidents throughout both states. To reach the Louisiana office about your accident, call (504) 799-0771.
Houston Bus Accident Information Center
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Steps to Take After a Houston Bus Accident
After a bus accident in Houston with a private bus or a government bus, it is important to following the procedure listed below.
- Be Prepared - every driver should keep the following items on them case they are involved in a car accident:
- Vehicle registration
- Rags or towels
- Medical information
- List of emergency contacts
- Jumper Cables
- Insurance card
- Disposable camera or camera phone
- Be Safe - Don't move your car unless you are capable of doing so and it is necessary for your safety and the safety of others. Check if anyone is injured and call for medical assistance. Finally, contact the police about the accident.
- Remain Calm - Don't panic, stay calm and cooperate with the police. It is also very important to make sure you do not admit fault to anyone.
- Exchange Information - Collect contact information with anyone involved in the accident, in addition to the contact information of witnesses to the accident. Obtain a police report and gather information about the vehicles involved, including the make, model, year, and license plate number of the vehicles, in addition to insurance carriers and insurance policy numbers. Also, take pictures of damage to all vehicles involved in the accident.
- Contact an Attorney - Do not give an insurance company a statement, sign any documents or accept any settlement without first consulting an attorney.
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Bus Accidents Causes in Houston
A bus driver may be negligent in causing an accident if they commit any of the following while operating a bus:
- Drive emotionally,
- Drive recklessly,
- Drive under the influence of stimulants, drugs or alcohol,
- Drive while distracted,
- Drive while texting or talking on a cell phone,
- Drive while tired,
- Drive with road rage,
- Fail to abide by traffic signals or street signs,
- Follow another vehicle too closely, and/or
Common injuries resulting from bus accident can include:
- Brain injuries or concussions,
- Broken or fractured bones,
- Head injuries,
- Internal organ injuries,
- Nerve damage or injury,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Sprains, and/or
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Houston Bus Accident Lawsuits
After an accident with a bus driver in Houston, your personal injury lawyer may first attempt to reach a settlement with the bus driver’s company or their insurance provider. If a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, your claim is denied altogether, or the amount of your damages is disputed, your personal injury attorney will file a negligence lawsuit for damages on your behalf.
Your personal injury attorney must prove the following four elements by a preponderance of the evidence in order to win your negligence lawsuit:
- Duty – The bus driver must have owed passengers and other individuals a duty of care to act with the highest responsibility when operating the bus. Since buses are considered common carriers in Texas, the bus driver has an even greater duty of care than the duty generally required of an ordinary person while operating their vehicle.
- Breach – The bus driver must have breached their duty by acting in some way or failing to act in some way. A bus driver can breach their duty by operating a bus while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving a bus recklessly, or by driving a bus while distracted.
- Causation – The bus driver's breach of their duty must have actually and proximately caused your injuries.
- Damages – You must have suffered some form of compensable injury, such as physical harm, lost wages or mental anguish, as a result of the bus driver's negligence.
The preceding four elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence burden of proof at trial in order to receive compensation for your injuries. This is a burden of proof that is established if your attorney is able to show the evidence weighs slightly more in your favor than it does not.
It is also important to know if the bus involved in the accident was a city bus or operated by the government, different rules may apply when filing a lawsuit for damages. Under the Texas governmental immunity laws, an injured party only has a short period of time to give the government notice about the injuries and potential lawsuit.
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Bus Accident Damages in Houston
Texas law requires the negligent bus driver, or the company they work for, to compensate you for the injuries you sustained as a result of the accident. According to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, an injured party may be able to recover any of the following forms of damages in a bus accident:
- Compensatory Damages – These damages can include both economic and non-economic damages, and are intended to compensate the injured party for the injuries they sustained in the bus accident.
- Economic Damages – These damages are intended to compensate the injured party for any financial or actual loss they may have suffered from the bus accident. These damages are also known as compensatory damages.
- Non-Economic Damages– These damages are intended to compensate the injured party for any non-financial losses they have incurred, including:
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of companionship and society,
- Physical pain and suffering,
- Physical impairment,
- Mental or emotional pain and suffering, and/or
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Exemplary Damages – These damages are also known as punitive or punishment damages, and are intended to punish the negligent party because they acted so egregiously in causing the injured party's damages in a bus accident. In order to receive punitive damages, the injured party must show the negligent party acted with malice by intentionally causing the injury, or because they knew their conduct could create an extreme risk of serious injury but consciously disregarded that risk.
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Ben Bronston & Associates, Attorneys at Law | Bus Accident Attorney in Houston
Contact Ben Bronston & Associates today for a consultation about your bus accident in Harris County, including the cities of Houston, Baytown, Humble, Katy, Pasadena, Seabrook, Spring, Sugar Land, Tomball and Webster. Ben Bronston is a knowledgeable Houston auto accident lawyer who will listen to the facts of your situation and make every effort to help you receive the damages you are entitled to for the injuries you suffered as a result of a bus accident.
Call (713) CALL-BEN or (713) 225-5236 for a consultation about your bus accident claim in Texas. For a consultation about your claim in Louisiana, contact (504) 799-0771