Nashville Bus Accident Lawyer
Other than airplanes, local and intercity buses move more people than any other form of mass transportation. Legally, bus drivers have the same duty of care as ridesharing operators. They have a duty of utmost care when it comes to avoiding accidents and ensuring personal safety. So, what might be a one-off accident in some contexts is actionable negligence in this context. In other words, it’s easier to obtain fair compensation for your serious injuries.
The insightful Nashville bus accident lawyers at Mitch Grissim & Associates understand how complex bus accident claims can be. Usually, the victims hail from different counties or even different states. Furthermore, the company which owned the bus, and is therefore financially responsible for damages, is usually a foreign corporation. Our dedication to you helps us find a way around these obstacles.
What Causes Bus Accidents?
Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of bus accidents in Tennessee. Drowsiness can affect bus drivers in several different ways.
Bus drivers are often behind the wheel early in the morning, around midday, and late at night. Most people are naturally drowsy at these times of day, no matter how much rest they had the previous night. Circadian rhythm fatigue is especially severe if the driver recently altered her/his daily schedule.
Furthermore, bus drivers, like everyone else, often have long days. Fatigue and alcohol affect the brain and body in about the same way. In fact, driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for commercial operators in Tennessee.
Medical issues sometimes contribute to driver fatigue. Since they sit for long periods, many bus drivers have sleep apnea. These individuals basically doze all night. They receive little, if any, deep, restorative sleep. As a result, they are usually fatigued even after a full eight hours of “sleep.”
Operational errors, like speeding and making an illegal turn, also cause many bus accidents. These huge vehicles have an unusual center of gravity, so it’s easy for even experienced drivers to lose control of them.
If a negligent bus driver causes an accident, the entity which employed the driver is usually financially responsible for damages. The respondeat superior rule applies if:
- Employee: Many commercial bus drivers are independent contractors. Many noncommercial bus drivers, like church van operators, are unpaid volunteers. But for negligence purposes, these individuals are employees. The school district, bus company, church, or other entity exerts some control over the driver, and that’s the only requirement.
- Scope of Employment: Once upon a time, the law defined this phrase very narrowly. But today, any act which benefits the employer in any way is within the scope of employment. That includes actions like driving an empty bus back to a garage or bus station.
The entity which owned the bus is normally also responsible for personal safety injuries, like passenger-on-passenger assaults. The duty of care is not limited to car accident prevention. Bus companies also have a duty to prevent assaults, falls, and other such injuries. This duty usually applies on the bus and on any property the company controls, like a bus station or parking lot.
Contact a Diligent Davidson County Bus Accident Lawyer
Bus accident victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Nashville, contact Mitch Grissim & Associates. You have a limited amount of time to act.