Help from an Oklahoma bus accident attorney is critical for proving liability.
Many people assume that traveling by bus is one of the safest forms of transportation, and there is truth to this assumption. In fact, fatalities from bus accidents represent a tiny fraction of the total victims killed in motor vehicle accidents annually. Still, there are risks involved when you are a passenger or sharing the road with long-distance, regional, or Tulsa city buses. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), around 230 people are killed and another 25,000 victims are injured in bus accidents every year. Of all fatalities, just 35 were passengers riding the bus.
Therefore, the risk of bus accidents affects both occupants and road users, leading to questions about liability. Additional issues arise when you consider who can be sued, especially when the collision involves a city bus operated by the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority (MTTA). Your Tulsa bus accident lawyer can answer specific questions, but a summary is helpful.
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How Liability Works
Most motor vehicle collisions happen because of negligence, which is a specific concept for purposes of liability. To recover compensation, you must prove that the crash happened because the at-fault motorist failed to drive safely. Examples of negligent driving include speeding, running red lights and stop signs, and making erratic lane changes.
Potential Parties in a City Bus Crash
Taking the specific scenario of a city bus accident, you expect that the person to hold liable is the bus driver. However, this person is working within the scope of employment, so there may be additional potential parties: The city or any company that it contracted with to provide bus services. Vicarious liability allows you to pursue the employer for the negligent acts of an employee.
Plus, keep in mind that the bus accident could be the fault of another motorist who struck the bus. You could have a claim against this at-fault driver, as well.
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There is another liability concept to know if you were involved in a Tulsa city bus accident, and it focuses on your conduct. Oklahoma follows the law of comparative fault, in which victims’ compensation could be reduced when their own negligent acts contributed to the crash. The reduction is based upon the percentage of fault assigned to the victim. Examples of contributory fault include:
- A passenger who attempts to enter or exit the bus while it is moving;
- The driver of another vehicle who was speeding;
- A pedestrian who was jaywalking when struck by the bus; and,
- A bicycle rider who failed to use designated bike lanes while riding in traffic.
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This overview should help you understand who is liable for a city bus crash, but you can count on BDIW Law to assist with the legal tasks. Please contact our offices to learn more about our legal services. We can set up a complimentary case assessment with an experienced Oklahoma bus collision lawyer.
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