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Our Michigan injury lawyers represent clients injured in bus accident cases. We handle serious injury cases for both passengers on the bus and other motorists hit by a bus.

We also represent motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians struck by a bus. We recover large settlement payouts because the injuries caused in these crashes are very serious and often catastrophic.

Choose the Best Michigan Bus Accident Lawyers

Our team of bus accident attorneys has the highest ratings in the legal profession. Our recognition by the most prestigious legal organizations includes the following awards:

  • AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell (highest rating for skill & integrity)
  • U.S. News Best Law Firms in Michigan
  • Best Attorneys in America
  • 10 Best Michigan Law Firms
  • Multi-Million Dollars Advocate Forum

Our family-owned firm has been in business since 1969, making it amongst the experienced injury firms in the state of Michigan. We have the skill, experience, and work ethic to win your case.

You can have our legal team working on your case without any money to get started on your case. We will represent you from start to finish without the need for you to pay a single dollar until you win a settlement. And then, we only get paid our fees out of the settlement check at the end of your case.

How Soon Do I Need to Hire a Bus Accident Lawyer?

The bus company and its insurance carrier will have its team of investigators at the crash scene very quickly to start gathering evidence. They will do everything possible to deny liability.

You need a lawyer on your side with the skill, experience, and resources to take them on and win your case. The sooner you start your case, the better the likelihood you have of a great outcome.

It is important for our team to perform a detailed inspection of the damage to the bus before it is repaired.

Our accident reconstruction experts and mechanics need to inspect, measure, and photograph the bus and vehicles involved in the accident to get the data needed to prove fault in the case. If you wait too long, the important physical evidence may be gone or destroyed.

How Do Bus Accidents Happen?

Just by their nature alone, large buses are very difficult to drive and maneuver on the roads and highways. The ability to control, stop and steer a bus takes concentration and requires incredible anticipation and reaction to other vehicles on the road.

Unfortunately, many bus drivers drive carelessly and without paying proper attention to the roadway.

The most common causes of bus accidents include:

  • Negligent driving of the bus driver, including speeding, running red lights, and improper turns.
  • Failing to stop within the assured clear distance ahead and rear-ending another vehicle.
  • Wide turns causing the bus, and even mirror, to strike a car, bicyclist, or pedestrian.
  • Fatigue of the bus driver for driving without enough sleep to safely operate the bus.
  • Failing to drive safely during poor weather conditions, like rain, ice, and snow.
  • Blind spots interfering with the vision of the driver.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Distracted driving.
  • Inexperienced and poorly trained drivers.

In addition, many times the accident is due to the fault of the company that owns and operates the bus. This includes situations when a crash is caused by a defect or mechanical problem with the bus or lack of safety features on a bus.

The company can also be held liable for the negligent hiring of an unfit driver or the failure to remove a driver with a history of accidents or erratic behavior.

Do Bus Accident Injury Victims Get No-Fault Insurance Benefits?

Almost every bus passenger injured in a Michigan bus accident is entitled to receive Michigan No-Fault Insurance benefits. These benefits pay for unlimited lifetime medical expenses, lost wages, attendant care benefits, household services, and other substantial benefits.

A bus passenger can receive these benefits even if the passenger did not own a vehicle or have an auto insurance policy. Additionally, drivers, passengers, bikers, bicyclists, and pedestrians injured from being hit by a bus accident may also be entitled to no-fault insurance benefits.

Call us and we will tell you how to get these benefits started immediately. Our attorneys will determine if you are eligible for these benefits and which auto insurance company is responsible to pay your benefits. We will assist you in preparing all of the paperwork and filing your claims.

Can you Sue a Bus Company?

If you were an injured bus passenger and the accident was caused by the negligent driving of the bus driver, you can sue both the bus company and bus driver for compensation.

If you were the driver or occupant of another motor vehicle or a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian hit by a bus, then you can also sue the bus driver and bus company for compensation.

There are many factors used to determine your compensation from a bus accident. The amount of your settlement will depend on the seriousness and permanence of your injuries, the type, and length of your medical treatment, and how the injuries have affected your ability to lead a normal life.

Other settlement factors include whether you had an excess loss of income and any scars or disfigurements caused by the accident.

What is the Compensation for a Bus Accident?

Bus accident injury victims can sue the bus driver and bus company different types of compensation. These damages are often significant and settlements include payouts for past, present, and future:

  • Pain and suffering.
  • Fright and shock.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Disability from activities and work.
  • Wage loss and loss of earnings.
  • Other economic losses.

For a deadly bus accident, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits seek monetary compensation for the pain and suffering endured by the decedent from the time of accident until death, the loss of society and companionship suffered by family members, loss of income, loss of support, and funeral and burial expenses.

Examples of Bus Accident Settlements

There is no average or typical bus accident settlement payout because every case is completely different.

The factors used to determine the settlement include the negligence of the bus driver, the seriousness of the injuries, the type of medical treatment needed, and whether the injuries are permanent in nature.  Some examples of settlements include:

  • $9,500,000 settlement for a biker hit by a city of Detroit bus.
  • $5,000,000 jury verdict in an Oakland County fatal accident lawsuit.
  • $4,500,000 settlement for a passenger in Detroit run over by the bus.
  • $1,600,000 settlement for a man killed in a bus crash.
  • $950,000 settlement for a Port Huron area rear-end accident.

Bus accident cases often result in large compensation payouts because the companies have significant liability insurance policies to pay the recoverable damages.

A person injured in a car accident by a private citizen would likely not receive the same size settlement even with similar injuries because most drivers have the minimum or low liability insurance coverage limits.

Types of Buses involved in Crashes

There are all types of buses operated on the Michigan roads and highways. These include buses used for public transportation and for private purposes, like charter buses and school buses. The most known bus providers and companies serving the state are:

  • SMART Bus
  • AATA (Ann Arbor Transportation Authority)
  • Blue Water Transit
  • Greyhound Bus Lines
  • Transit Windsor
  • Indian Trails
  • Megabus
  • Dean Trailways
  • Michigan Flyer
  • Carefree Coaches
  • Blue Lake Charters & Tours
  • Tours By Ruth
  • Northern Michigan Party Rides

Many buses travel to Michigan from other states and Canada with tourists visiting Detroit and its many museums, sports arenas, concert venues, and other attractions.  Charter buses often bring visitors to the three casinos located in the city of Detroit and others throughout the state.

In addition, many serious crashes occur in other states in which Michigan residents, athletes, and students are traveling to out of state destinations on a bus.

Our lawyers can help you also if you were injured on a bus in another state that started the trip here in Michigan.

Bus Accident Statistics in Michigan

Michigan accident statistics group buses along with heavy trucks in the same category for accident statistics.

In 2017, there were over 11,000 bus and truck crashes with other vehicles. These accidents caused over three thousand serious injuries and almost one hundred deaths. There were 1,053 school bus-related crashes, three of which resulted in fatalities.

The bar chart below shows the number of fatalities in school buses in the United States from 2007-2017. From 2007-2014, there was an up-and-down trend converging to around 10 deaths per year. Since 2014, each year has either shown a stagnant or decrease in deaths from the year before.

School bus fatalities - Buckfire Law

  • 2007: 3
  • 2008: 14
  • 2009: 3
  • 2010: 15
  • 2011: 9
  • 2012: 13
  • 2013: 10
  • 2014: 11
  • 2015: 10
  • 2016: 10

Statute of Limitations for Michigan Bus Accidents

Under Michigan law, the time limit to sue someone for personal injuries from a bus accident is three years from the date of the accident. This is known as the Statute of Limitations. The period may be extended longer if the injured person was a minor at the time of the crash.

In addition, a claim for no-fault insurance benefits (PIP claims) must be filed within one year of the accident and any medical bills must be submitted within one year of the date of the service.  If a claim is denied, then a lawsuit for the PIP benefits must be filed at the courthouse.

Starting Your Case Right Now

To start your case, you will need to hire an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.

We like to start our investigation immediately so that we can conduct witness interviews, get photographs and surveillance video, and inspect all vehicles involved in the crash.

Call our top-rated bus accident attorneys today to start your case.  We handle cases throughout the entire state of Michigan and we will visit you at your home, hospital, or anywhere else convenient to you. We are ready and eager to begin helping you on your road to recovery.

Michigan Bus Accident References and Resources

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