Bus Accidents

Trusted Mississippi Bus Crashes Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Clients

Comprehensive representation for transportation accident victims throughout the Gulf coast

Mississippians use buses to travel to and from work and school and to travel throughout the state and to see the rest of the country. Children travel from home to school on school buses, and groups hire charter buses for travel and tourism. Bus travel is relatively safe, convenient and cost effective. Those who do not own vehicles might rely on public transportation to be safe and reliable. Like any other form of transport, bus crashes do occur. If you or someone you care about has sustained an injury while riding on a bus, you may want to pursue compensation for your injuries.

At Merkel & Cocke, P.A., our team of Mississippi bus accident attorneys fight for the rights of those injured in common carrier accidents. We work with public safety officials who investigate the crash and whether the bus is owned by a public entity or a private corporation, we pursue justice on your behalf.

Buses are common carriers

Common carrier is a legal term for vehicles that are used to transport members of the public for a fee. Common carriers include other modes of public transportation such as subways, trains, taxis, airport shuttle vans, commercial airlines and cruise ships. An important aspect of being a common carrier is that they own a higher duty of care to provide safe transport for their passengers. Beyond simply obeying the speed limit and being cordial as you board and disembark from the vehicle, a common carrier must take preventive measures to protect their passengers in the event on an emergency.

Mississippi public transportation systems

JATRAN, in the city of Jackson is public transportation system that operates Monday through Saturday with city buses and ADA HandiLift ADA paratransit bus service throughout the city. The Coast Transit Authority provides public transportation throughout the coastal communities of Mississippi, and it receives funding from state and federal governments.

Causes of bus accidents

Buses are motor vehicles that travel in the same traffic as cars and other passenger vehicles, so the causes of bus crashes are like the causes of any motor vehicle accident including:

  • Driver error such as:
    • Distracted driving
    • Drowsy driving
    • Drunk driving
    • Speeding
  • Defective equipment
  • Negligence of another driver
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Inadequate training
  • Negligent hiring
  • Overweight/ improper weight distribution

Bus accident injuries

Some of the more common injuries that can occur in bus crashes include:

  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Back injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Burns
  • Whiplash
  • Internal organ damage

School bus accidents

When you step on a bus, you are placing your trust and your life in the hands of the driver, a person you likely do not know. When you place your child on a school bus, you are also placing your trust in the ability of that driver to get your child to school and back home again safely. Every year in this country, parents lose that bargain and their children suffer injuries and some lose their lives in school bus crashes.

The National Safety Council (NSC) confirms that school buses are the safest way for kids to travel to and from school. Each day, the NSC reports that about 25 million children begin and end their day with a trip on a school bus, and they recommend that school buses be equipped with lap and shoulder seat belts to make them even safer. They are safer for children than walking, riding their bikes or getting a ride in the family vehicle.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that between 2006-2015 1,313 people were killed in school transportation-related crashes, which is an average of 131 fatalities per year. Of those fatalities, 61 percent were struck by the school bus and 36 percent by other vehicles involved in the crash. So, even in an accident, being a passenger on the school bus is safer than being outside of it.

Filing an injury claim after a bus accident

If the bus you were a passenger on was involved in an accident, or if you were an occupant of another vehicle involved in a crash with a bus, how you file an injury claim depends on who owns the bus. Private bus companies are responsible for the conduct of their drivers, so rather than filing a claim against the driver, you would also name the company that owns the bus and employs the driver.

Filing a claim against a government entity in Mississippi

When potholes, poor road design or other related issues contribute to an injurious crash, you may need to file your claim against a local or government entity. If you are going to pursue a claim against a local or state government, thee are specific procedures and filing deadlines that you must follow. Your Mississippi bus accident attorney from Merkel & Cocke, handles these processes on your behalf. One important requirement is that the injured person who intends to sue a local or state government must file a notice of claim 90 days before initiating the lawsuit, and the lawsuit itself must be filed within one year of the date of the injury. MS Code § 11-46-11 (2017)

What damages might I recover after a bus crash injury?

Depending on the nature of the accident or incident, there are limits on how much you can recover in damage if you sue a local or state government agency in Mississippi. If you are filing a claim against a private bus company, you may be able to recover compensation for your economic and non-economic losses such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages, diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement

One of our Mississippi vehicle crash attorneys at Merkel & Cocke is ready to talk with you about your injury and how we can help you recover the compensation you need.

Schedule a consultation with skilled Mississippi injury attorneys after a bus crash injury

At Merkel & Cocke, you can trust us to fight for the compensation you need after a mass transit bus accident. From our home offices in Clarksdale, Jackson, and Oxford, we fight for the rights of injured parties throughout Mississippi, including Tupelo, Jackson, and across the Gulf Coast region. We also handle transportation injury cases occurring in Tennessee and Arkansas. Call us today at 662-627-9641 or complete our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation with our experienced lawyers.