In a city so close to the tourist hubs of Baltimore and Washington DC, it’s not uncommon for local residents to search for a bus accident lawyer Wheaton MD can provide. Chartering a tour bus is one of the most popular ways for large groups to tour a busy area quickly and conveniently. Group leaders don’t have to worry about parking or driving through narrow streets, and with an experienced driver at the wheel, there’s little reason to worry about an accident.
As the legal team and Cohen and Cohen, P.C. understands, however, bus accidents can also apply to tour buses. While it might seem as though passengers are well protected inside a bus, it’s possible for severe injuries to result from a traumatic crash. Before contacting a skilled bus accident lawyer Wheaton MD has to offer, here’s a few things potential claimants may want to know:
Tour Buses in the U.S. Are Often Known as “Common Carriers”
Commercial vehicles like buses, trains, and cruise ships in the U.S. may be called “common carriers” (or just “carriers”) when their primary business is to transport people or goods for a fee. Several industries have their own set of regulations that vehicles (and the companies owning those vehicles) must abide by. Companies operating tour buses, for example, may be required to follow a specific set of regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
These regulations are intended to make safety a priority for transportation companies. However, as a seasoned bus accident lawyer Wheaton MD can offer may attest, companies do not always follow every single regulation. The regulations also protect companies; certain forms of transportation may inherently carry risks, even when the company is abiding by safety regulations. In these cases, the company may need to warn passengers about the risks or provide safety equipment; failure to do so could justify legal action. For a bus company, this might mean the driver should passengers on how to operate emergency exit windows and should ensure that passengers have working seatbelts.
When a common carrier accident occurs and one or more passengers are injured, those injured passengers may wish to pursue an injury settlement with the help of a bus accident lawyer Wheaton MD relies on. If a claimant is seeking compensation from the bus company, the claimant must prove that negligence was involved. For example, this may mean that the operator exhibited carelessness and failed to adhere to safety standards that any other reasonable careful operator would know to follow.
Common Carriers Generally Are Not Subject to a Legal Doctrine Known as “Strict Liability.”
Strict liability assumes that the manufacturer or distributor of a product may be held liable for an injury even if there is no proof of the manufacturer/seller directly being negligent. A car manufacturer, for example, might be held liable if it uses defective airbags in its vehicles, even if the manufacturer followed all safety inspections and regulations without discovering the defect.
Common carriers, and the companies that operate common carriers, are not necessarily held to the rule of strict liability. This means that in the event of an accident, an injured plaintiff must prove that the company (or an employee of the company) was directly and blatantly negligent. In other words, the plaintiff must show that any other reasonable operator or service would not have made the mistake(s) that led to an accident or injury. An injured plaintiff may need to work with an experienced bus accident lawyer Wheaton MD offers because this burden of proof may be difficult to manage.
Liability May Fall on Multiple Parties
Because there are a few different parties involved when a bus is chartered for tours, it’s possible that multiple parties could be at fault for an accident. Proving negligence is an important part of tour bus accident injuries and is something that a skilled bus accident lawyer Wheaton MD can provide might focus on.
An injured claimant might be able to collect damages from one or more of the following parties if he or she can prove negligence:
It’s not always easy to prove liability in a serious injury claim, and this is why many claimants choose to work with an experienced Wheaton MD bus accident lawyer. One tour group could potentially work with several independent contractors that provide leased equipment and tour guides; a tour bus destination might even be held liable for an accident that occurs on its premises.
When so many parties are involved in one carrier operation, it’s possible for these groups to pass the blame onto each other. Additionally, more than one party could be at fault for an accident. If this is the case, it’s possible that a claimant may benefit from pursuing damages from more than one company. A plaintiff who is pursuing damages from multiple parties may find that a bus accident lawyer in Wheaton MD provides invaluable legal counsel.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious tour bus accident, you may wish to seek financial damages to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering. If this is the case, the legal team and Cohen and Cohen, P.C. may be able to help.
Our lawyers work tirelessly for the community of Wheaton to ensure that injured accident victims can seek the compensation they rightfully deserve. For more information about our law firm, or to schedule a free consultation with a bus accident lawyer Wheaton MD depends on, call our Maryland office today.