Charter Bus Accident – Who Is Legally Responsible?

Accidents with a charter bus may occur due to various factors to include the bus itself, the company behind the charter bus and traffic that is all around the vehicle. The internal elements of these situations may also cause problems for the driver that could lead to the initial accident and subsequent physical harm to the passengers.

The Charter Bus Company

Depending on the specific circumstances of accidents involving a charter bus, the fault may lie with the company behind the bus. The possible factors that point to this business generally revolve around the maintenance of the vehicle, any insurance complications such as illegal or incomplete repairs and defects that may remain on the bus. The charter company may face a lawsuit as a defendant when those inside the bus suffer injury through an accident that was avoidable or when the insurance company refuses to settle. In these instances, the company may back the insurance carrier or settle the matter out of court to avoid a lawsuit.

Litigation Factors

The most important factors that the victim will use as a reason to litigate are the injuries and no offer of a settlement when it appears that the charter bus company or insurance carrier should provide a monetary settlement for the incident. However, there are other factors that may exist such as defects in the bus, the fault of the driver due to training or drinking while driving and even the company engaging in illegal activity. The individual victims of these accidents may need to uncover the possible factors related to the incident through the use of a lawyer and expert witness.

Defects and the Company

There are many instances where a vehicle may possess a defect. Usually, if the manufacturer orders a recall, the owner or company has the option and ability to take the bus to the plant for a repair or replacement. When the business works with clients or customers, it is an obligation to ensure that any known defects no longer exist in the vehicle. Through the defect repair, removal of parts or change to the internal system, the charter bus company may reduce possible injuries and civil liability for these incidents. A lawyer may explain how the company remains responsible for these accidents if the defects are still in place.

Accident Liability

The rental of the charter bus occurs with single individuals that travel as a group, an entire business or subsections of the company, a school for a trip and even organizations that will travel using the vehicle. When an accident does occur, there are both state and federal laws that govern these situations. The carrier laws may change from one state to another, but they generally apply to all charter buses and how the individual or entire group could hold the company liable for damages. The charter bus has a limited duty of care owed to passengers for safe travel.

Multiple Parties in Liability

When confronting the litigation that may occur with a charter bus accident, the victim may need to consider that more than one person or company is to blame for the incident. The circumstances of the incident are important considerations in who to hold responsible for the injuries sustained from the accident. These parties may include the bus driver, the charter company, maintenance workers that replace parts or repair the bus and even third parties that may have incited the accident. Holding the appropriate party at fault and seeking the best possible outcome for the right person or company is important for success.

If the bus driver is responsible, there is usually apparent proof such as consumption of alcohol, medical conditions or driver error. However, the charter company may have more liability in these situations because of the responsibility to ensure the bus is in working condition and that all defects remain out of the vehicle. The company could also hold responsibility if it is known that the bus driver has some issues such as constant driver error or drug addiction. Proper function of the bus is the responsibility of the charter company to ensure fewer or no accidents cause injury to passengers.

Legal Help in Holding the Charter Bus Company Responsible

When the company behind the charter bus appears to hold primary liability in the accident, the victim will need to hire a lawyer to help prove this in court. The legal professional will also help present the case and explain the matter to the judge or jury.

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