Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
A severe bus accident can leave passengers and other motorists in the crash with long-term or life-threatening injuries. As a result, many victims of the disaster could be left with the issue of pursuing compensation against any parties liable for their injuries. If you or a family member was injured in a bus accident, contact an experienced Bentonville bus accident lawyer today.
Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, understands the substantial impact a bus accident can have on a victim’s life, and he is here to provide you with the legal representation you deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You can also contact the firm online.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents in Bentonville
Bus accidents may occur for any number of reasons. However, there are a number of common causes of bus accidents in Bentonville that may explain why your crash occurred. Learning the cause of your bus crash in Bentonville is important because it can help a victim determine who can be held liable in a claim for injuries.
Inexperienced Bus Driver
Buses are large commercial vehicles that are difficult to maneuver if a driver has not been adequately trained. This is especially true when an inexperienced driver is trying to maneuver a bus through narrow streets or in excessive traffic. Under these circumstances, an untrained driver could seriously injure passengers, pedestrians, or other motorists on the road.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impair a driver in a number of ways. For example, a driver could experience reduced reaction time or could have a diminished ability to make sound decisions. A bus driver that chooses to consume drugs or alcohol before driving severely endangers the lives of passengers and other motorists.
When transportation workers are in charge of operating a vehicle, there is always a question of whether the bus driver is alert at all times. Bus drivers are required to work extensive hours transporting passengers throughout the city. As a result, it is vital that an employer closely monitor the fatigue level and work hours of a driver to ensure they are not driving drowsy. Unfortunately, some transportation companies may fail to implement procedures to fight against drowsy driving.
There are many other causes of bus accidents that are not discussed above, to learn more about liability for a bus accident, continue reading and speak with an experienced Bentonville personal injury lawyer.
Liability for a Bentonville Bus Crash
If you were injured when a negligent bus driver caused a devastating accident, you are likely to consider filing a lawsuit against the bus driver. However, victims of a bus crash should be aware that there is a possibility that other parties could be liable for the collision. For example, the employer of the bus driver may also be responsible for the accident.
Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer could be held vicariously liable for the actions of an employee that occurred while they were furthering the interests of the employer. For example, if a bus driver was transporting passengers and crashed because they exceeded the speed limit, this could be a negligent act that was within the scope of their employment.
Some employers may try to defeat a theory of vicarious liability by claiming that they hired an independent contractor, and they do not have control over their actions. Fortunately, there may be other arguments that can be made against this theory.
Additionally, if another motorist was responsible for a portion of the accident, you may have a valid claim against that party. However, they may not be the ideal defendant if a victim suffered severe injuries that incurred thousands in medical expenses.
Damages for Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Bus Accident
In a personal injury lawsuit, compensatory damages can be separated into two categories: economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are for financial losses that can be easily calculated. Economic damages are awarded for medical expenses, costs of medication, rehabilitation expenses, loss of wages, and for other financial losses.
Noneconomic losses are used to compensate a victim for injuries that are difficult to quantify. Pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress are some reasons that a court may award noneconomic damages.
It is also important to note that a plaintiff can be awarded punitive damages under certain circumstances. Punitive damages are awarded when a defendant has intentionally committed an act that is considered egregious or wicked.
Note, however, that damages in a personal injury lawsuit can be increased or reduced based on a party’s negligence. This is referred to as the modified comparative fault rule. Under this rule, each party is apportioned some level of fault by the court. Additionally, if a plaintiff is found to have been 50% negligent for the accident, this can bar the plaintiff’s ability to recover compensation due to Arkansas’ 50% rule.
Contact Our Experienced Bentonville Bus Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Claim
If you or a family member was injured due to the negligence of a bus driver, you should consult with an experienced Bentonville bus accident attorney today. Skilled personal injury attorney Ken Kieklak has over 20 years of legal experience, and he would be pleased to help litigate your injury claim. You do not have to litigate your claim alone, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438 for a free case evaluation.