One of the safest modes of transportation is a bus. In fact, buses have the lowest accident rates when compared to cars and motorcycles. Although buses are relatively safe, there are still instances of accidents involving buses in Rhode Island. When these RI bus accidents occur, they impact the lives of several people at once. If you were injured in a bus accident in Rhode Island, contact a RI bus accident lawyer who is also a personal injury..
Common causes of a bus accident in Rhode Island
Due to the size of buses, there are several causes of bus accidents.
- Bus Operator Negligence
- Hazardous Road Conditions and Construction
- Bus Defects
- Small Space for Buses to Maneuver
- Weight Distribution of Passengers and Luggage
- Bus Topples Over
Since buses do not have seat belts or air bags, the injuries sustained in these accidents are usually more serious. Whatever the cause of the bus accident, you need to know your rights as a passenger or injured party.
Injured in a Bus Accident – Next Steps
If you are involved in a bus accident, it is crucial to be aware of the steps to take in order to protect your interests.
- After the accident, take an assessment of your safety as well as the safety of the other passengers. If someone is hurt, seek immediate attention from a health professional.
- If you have a car that collided with a bus, do not discuss the fault of the case with any person on the scene. You may be tempted to explain yourself or offer apologies to the bus operator. Resist the urge to do so because your words may be held against you in a court of law.
- Call 911 to report the accident. The operator will dispatch an ambulance and a police officer. Make the call as soon as you have access to a telephone.
- Ask the bus operator for his information including driver’s license, employer name and insurance information.
- Take pictures of the Providence bus accident scene. After the shock of the accident wears off, the bus company will try to protect itself from liability. Pictures can provide a reasonably accurate account of the accident.
- Get an examination from a health professional.
- Contact a RI personal injury attorney or a bus accident lawyer RI who specializes in bus accidents. A Rhode Island bus accident attorney can represent your interests against the bus company.
If you have been injured in a providence bus accident, act quickly to ensure your rights are protected.
- “In 2016, 4,440 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 2-percent increase from 2015. Although the number of large trucks and buses in fatal crashes has increased by 29 percent from its low of 3,432 in 2009, the 2016 number is still 15 percent lower than the 21st-century peak of 5,231 in 2005. From 2015 to 2016, large truck and bus fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles increased by 1.9 percent, from 0.141 to 0.144.
- There was a 34-percent decrease in the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses between 2005 and 2009, followed by an increase of 28 percent between 2009 and 2016. From 2015 to 2016, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses increased by 6 percent.
- The number of injury crashes involving large trucks or buses decreased steadily from 102,000 in 2002 to 60,000 in 2009 (a decline of 41 percent). Since then, it increased 62 percent to 97,000 in 2015. In 2016, there were an estimated 119,000 injury crashes, based on NHTSA’s new CRSS data collection.
- On average, from 2006 to 2016, intercity buses accounted for 13 percent, and school buses and transit buses accounted for 40 percent and 34 percent, respectively, of all buses involved in fatal crashes.
- Over the past year (from 2015 to 2016): The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 3 percent, from 4,074 to 4,213, and the large truck involvement rate (large trucks involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks) remained constant at 1.46.
- The number of buses involved in fatal crashes decreased from 263 to 227, a decrease of 14 percent.” Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Steps to take after a bus accident
Bus accidents can have devastating consequences for those involved. If you or someone you know has been affected by such an incident, it’s important to seek legal and medical assistance as soon as possible. In the event of a bus accident with fatalities or serious injuries, here are some steps that are typically taken:
- Emergency Response: Immediately after the accident, the first priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of all passengers and notify emergency services for medical assistance.
- Medical Treatment: In cases of serious injury, victims are rushed to hospitals or medical facilities for appropriate medical care. The extent of injuries can vary, and medical professionals will assess and provide treatment accordingly.
- Investigation: Law enforcement agencies will typically conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the accident. This may involve interviewing witnesses, examining the scene, and reviewing any available surveillance footage.
- Legal Assistance: Families of those who have lost their lives or sustained serious injuries may consult with personal injury or wrongful death attorneys to understand their legal rights and potential compensation.
- Insurance Claims: If the bus is insured, insurance companies may become involved to assess liability and provide compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses.
- Communication and Support: Families affected by such accidents often require emotional support. Communities, support groups, and counseling services may be available to help them cope with the trauma.
- Safety Measures: In some cases, accidents can highlight safety issues within the transportation system. Authorities may take steps to improve safety standards and regulations to prevent future accidents.
It’s essential to consult with legal professionals if you or a loved one have been affected by a bus accident to understand your rights and options for seeking compensation or justice. Additionally, ensure that you or the injured parties receive the necessary medical care and support to recover from the physical and emotional impact of the accident.