Liability in Bus Accidents


Tour bus riders in New York may have legal recourse if they are passengers on a bus that's involved in an accident. Depending on the type of contract that was used and its terms, multiple parties could be held liable for injuries sustained as a result of the accident.

Federal laws and the majority of state laws consider buses to be common carriers, or entities that are compensated for conveying goods or people from place to place. A number of vehicles share this designation, including school buses, tour busses, cruise ships, certain types of trucks, commercial airplanes, and commercial buses.

Common carriers have a legal responsibility to exhibit diligence and care regarding their passengers' safety. The majority of lawsuits that are successful against common carriers pertain to will acts or negligence. When considering claims that allege a common carrier was negligent, the courts employ the "reasonableness standard."

It is not always an easy matter to determine who holds responsibility for injuries sustained in a bus accident. While the driver may be at fault, the bus company could be held liable under its contract to provide the service. The entity that hired the company, such as a school district, may also be held liable. There could be more than one liable party for contributory negligence if it is proven that multiple entities hold at least some blame for the accident.

A personal injury attorney may work to obtain financial damages for clients who have been hurt as a result of bus accidents. The attorney could conduct an investigation of the accident, complete with accident reconstruction. Multiple parties may be pursued for financial damages for the medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and fatalities caused by the accident.