Law Office of James M. Hoffmann Articles Public Transit Buses: Same Laws and Regulations as 18 Wheeled Trucks

Public Transit Buses: Same Laws and Regulations as 18 Wheeled Trucks

By James M. Hoffmann  Jan. 2, 2014 1:26p

An accident involving a city bus brings with it a unique array of complexities. For one, buses, like commercial trucks, are bound by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Secondly, since they are owned by the city, you must deal with filing your claim against them. If you, or someone in your family, have been hurt in an accident involving a city bus, you should immediately take your case to a Missouri truck accident attorney for review. You will need someone who is not only well versed in the FMCSA regulations, but also unafraid to take on a government agency.

Bus Collisions - How They Happen

City, or public transit, buses are large vehicles weighing several tons. Their size is what dictates that they too must follow FMCSA regulations. They are capable of traveling at high velocities, which makes them a big threat to other, smaller vehicles in their path. In addition, they tend to be top heavy, making them more susceptible to rolling over in a collision. This puts the passengers inside at great risk for injury.

While drivers of passenger cars can easily make evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision, the same is not true for public transit buses. The driver may react instinctively and try to swerve, but the massive size of the bus does not allow for that action to be effective in most cases. Just this past Halloween, 3 people were injured when the bus they were riding on attempted to swerve in order to avoid colliding with a car. With that action, the bus not only still hit the car, it also collided with a concrete road barrier. City buses are simply not designed for sudden movements.

In a Missouri incident, a car, forced to cross the center lane, hit an oncoming city bus head-on. The passenger of the car suffered injury to both his spine and neck, causing permanent paralysis from his neck down. Even though on the surface it would seem that the bus driver was not at fault, it was later revealed that she was in violation of certain FMCSA regulations. Arguments from the defense that they were not subject to federal laws were fruitless, as city bus drivers are required to carry a CDL license, just like commercial truck drivers. The insurance company representing the city settled the claim against them for $4 million.

St. Louis Bus Accident Lawyers

There are many difficulties and challenges in pursuing legal action against local towns and cities. There are often additional steps, procedures and technicalities that will be encountered in order for your claim to proceed. Missing one small step could put your entire case in jeopardy. For these reasons, it would benefit those who have been involved in a bus accident to seek legal representation.

Just like in an accident with a large 18 wheeler, the injuries from a collision with a public transit bus can be catastrophic. If you or a family member have recently been involved in one, chances are the recovery has been long and expensive. An experienced bus accident attorneyat the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann will be able to work through the claim and help you receive compensation while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

Schedule a free and private consultation today by calling(314) 361-4300 or by filling out our online contact form.

photo credit: Wampa-One via Flickr

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