The bus is an ideal mode of transportation in Oregon. TriMet city buses transport people around Hillsboro, while commercial buses like Greyhound can take them across state lines for long-distance travel. However, the moment you step aboard, you’re placing your safety in the hands of others: the driver, the bus company, other motorists, and potentially more parties. If any of them act in a reckless or negligent manner and you suffer serious injuries, you have the right to pursue compensation.
A Hillsboro bus accident lawyer at Harris Velázquez Gibbens can assist you in recovering physically and financially from a preventable bus crash. We can analyze the facts of your case, pursue the appropriate course of action, and represent you in court if the insurer fails to make a fair settlement offer. We care about the future of our clients, and that means going the extra mile to win the money you need and deserve.
Bus Crash Statistics
There are nearly 60,000 bus accidents in the United States every year. While the majority of these collisions result in damage to property, hundreds of people are killed and thousands more suffer serious injury. According to researchers, these crashes result in as many as 14,000 injuries per year.
In Oregon, there were 144 bus accidents in 2019, 82 of which resulted in serious injuries while one was fatal. Although there has been an overall decline in the number of accidents in recent years, buses are large and heavy vehicles that can inflict significant damage in a collision with another motor vehicle, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. Even when a crash is not fatal, it can result in injuries like:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
Common Types of Bus Accidents
- TriMet Bus Accidents: In a single year, TriMet provides over 100 million trips with its fleets of buses and rail cars. Hillsboro residents frequently take the bus as a more efficient and affordable alternative to driving, but there is always an element of risk involved, as public buses lack safety features like seat belts.
- Passenger Van Accidents: Schools, churches, and charities often use 15-passenger vans to transport people, goods, and other items. In a fully loaded van, the heavy weight raises the center of gravity, increasing the likelihood of a rollover.
- School Bus Accidents: Yellow buses transport millions of children to and from their schools every year. Sadly, there are an estimated 12,000 school bus accidents each year. While most injuries are minor, some have life-altering effects or result in death.
- Shuttle Bus Accidents: Shuttle buses are normally used to transport large numbers of people at hotels, airports, and other large establishments. Although they make traveling easier and more convenient, they do come with some risks, such as problematic blind spots that can lead to a collision.
Who Is Liable for a Hillsboro, OR Bus Accident?
Bus accidents may involve multiple defendants, depending upon the circumstances. They include but may not be limited to:
- The Driver: The bus driver is liable if they committed a negligent act that caused the collision. Examples include speeding, driving while distracted, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Bus Manufacturer: If the accident was caused by a defective part in or on the bus, the manufacturer of that part can be held responsible. In some cases, the distributor or retailer of the part may also be liable.
- Government Entities: If the bus is operated by a government entity such as a state, county, or city, it may also be responsible for the collision. Hillsboro is home to many public buses operated by school districts or the Department of Transportation.
- Bus Company: The company is liable for a serious injury caused by its employees while performing their duties. Bus companies will also be liable if an accident was caused by negligence on their part, such as failing to maintain their fleets or hiring unlicensed drivers.
Bus Accident Compensation
If you are an injured passenger, you have the right to seek compensation, but it’s not a simple process. An experienced bus accident attorney can help you recover compensation for all accident-related damages, including:
- Current and future medical bills and treatment access
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Property damage
The team at Harris Velázquez Gibbens is here to help guide you through the claims process and protect your interests at every stage.
Should You Settle Quickly After a Bus Accident?
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a bus accident, you’ll soon hear from the insurance company for whoever is at fault, such as the transportation company or vehicle manufacturer. They will usually encourage you to accept a settlement right away. Although you may be worried about medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses, it’s important to understand that insurers rarely offer you the full value of your claim. Getting the money you need requires persistent negotiation and, if necessary, litigation.
This is one of the reasons why you should work with a Hillsboro bus accident lawyer. Your attorney will review your damages, work with experts to determine what your claim is worth, and refuse to settle for anything less than what you need to rebuild your life after a major bus accident.
Why You Need a Hillsboro Bus Accident Lawyer
In public transportation accidents, multiple parties are potentially responsible, including the driver, the transit authority, third-party maintenance providers, and others. If you hire a Hillsboro bus accident lawyer, they will be able to determine who is liable for your damages. They can also provide you with information regarding how long you have to file a claim and whether it must be filed with an insurance company or with other parties, such as a school district or local government.
Establishing negligence can be more difficult in some cases. Consider the case of an abrupt stop injury. A victim must prove that the stop was unexpected and not necessary. When this is the case, an experienced Hillsboro personal injury lawyer will investigate the incident and gather the required evidence.
If you suffer a serious injury in a mass transit accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about how you’ll support yourself or your family. A personal injury lawyer at Harris Velázquez Gibbens will fight to ensure that you receive the settlement you are entitled to.
Get a Free Consultation From a Hillsboro Bus Accident Lawyer
Public transportation agencies in Oregon are legally obligated to keep their passengers and the public safe. When an accident involving a large bus occurs, the resulting injuries may be catastrophic or even fatal. To make matters even worse, these cases can be complicated and challenging to investigate and pursue.
If you’ve been injured in a crash, you should contact a Hillsboro bus accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. The attorneys at Harris Velázquez Gibbens have more than 25 years of experience pursuing compensation for injured clients and won’t settle for less than the full value of your claim. To schedule a no-obligation consultation with a personal injury lawyer, call 503-610-4398 or contact us online.