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What El Paso and Las Cruces Residents Need To Know About Bus Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 98 percent of people involved in a bus accident will die as a result; however, only 9 percent are bus passengers.
The victims include drivers who share the lanes with buses, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other bystanders. As the streets and highways of El Paso and Las Cruces become busier, accidents ultimately increase as a result. In conjunction with the busy roadways, drivers are becoming distracted with mobile devices and smartphones leading to accidents that could have been prevented.
Buses are a reliable form of transportation for many residents, so it is increasingly challenging when accidents result in injuries or fatalities. If you’ve been injured as a result of a bus accident, your emotional and financial circumstances are suddenly at risk. You may be facing the inability to return to work, at-risk of losing employment as a result, or feeling under pressure by the number of medical bills piling up. The Enriquez Law Firm is prepared to assist you with these and other challenges. Our 26 years of experience with defending clients who were injured in bus accidents puts you at an advantage to win your claim.
Texas Laws Regarding Buses
Our state has regulations regarding school and public transportation buses that are meant to protect the passengers and the surrounding drivers or bicyclists.
The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services outlines the following for school buses in Texas:
- If you approach a school bus from either direction as the bus’s red flashing lights are on, you must stop. You cannot proceed until the red lights are no longer flashing and the bus driver has signaled the okay to go.
- Drivers should yield the right-of-way to school buses. Those who fail to do so face a fine of up to $1,250.
- New school buses are being designed to have seat belts for passengers as a result of a bill that was passed in 2017; however, older buses still lack seat belts.
When it comes to public transportation in Texas, bus drivers are required to:
- Pass a 10-year history record to ensure a safe driving record.
- Drivers must report any criminal convictions to management.
- A bus should not be operated if it’s a condition that may cause an accident or break down.
- Drivers must pass a pre-employment alcohol and drug test.
New Mexico Laws Regarding Buses
In New Mexico, bus drivers are also required to meet their respective state regulations to ensure safety on the roads. These regulations include:
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Maintain a clean driving record with the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division.
- Be physically and mentally capable of operating a vehicle.
- Cannot have a disqualification to drive from another state.
- Pass a medical exam.
Common Causes of Accidents
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted by cell phone
- Driving recklessly
- Poor weather conditions
- Lack of visibility
- Poor bus maintenance or defective equipment
- Hazardous roadways
How To Determine Who Is At Fault
Determining who is at fault is often the most complicated part of these types of cases. There are many directions the case may go, but our role is to seek as much evidence as necessary to prove which party was negligent. In past cases, the following have been considered at fault:
- Bus driver
- Manufacturer or bus company
- Government-owned property (on-road objects)
- Other driver(s) involved in the accident
- Broken Bones
- Head and Spinal Cord Injury
- Lacerations and Deep Cuts
- Whiplash Injury
What To Do If You Have Been Injured
If you or a loved one has been injured, you are entitled to receive a fair compensation for the pain and suffering you’re dealing with. You are also entitled to receive assistance with medical bills and lost wages that resulted from the accident. If your loved one died as a result of the accident, you also have rights. The driver of the bus may be faced with criminal charges for wrongful death. You are owed a compensation for your personal suffering and financial loss.
The Enriquez Law Firm is committed to providing you and your family with legal assistance to ensure your case is handled with sincere attention. As you face these and other challenges, know that you are not alone. Our team has dealt with numerous bus accidents in El Paso and Las Cruces for the past 26 years. Attorney at law Humberto Enriquez will meet with you personally and make accommodations to visit you in the hospital if necessary. Please connect with us today to begin receiving the legal assistance you deserve.