Buses naturally pose a greater risk to passengers and other vehicles on the road to their size and lack of seatbelts. Furthermore, when a bus driver is intoxicated behind the wheel, this greatly increases the risk of serious and even fatal injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured in a Michigan drunk driving bus accident, you have legal options and might benefit from the counsel of a skilled lawyer. Because every bus driver has a legal obligation to obey the rules of the road, you could pursue compensation against a commercial operator who is careless, reckless, or otherwise negligent.
However, navigating the claims process is often difficult, especially as you recover from your injuries. By working with a determined and seasoned attorney, you could have help with gathering evidence, calculating your losses, and filing a claim for adequate compensation.
Driving Drunk as a Commercial Operator
No matter the circumstances, it is against the law to drive any motor vehicle on Michigan roads while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This rule applies to commercial bus drivers, just as it does for those driving personal vehicles. Anyone who violates this law faces a license suspension, as well as civil liability and severe criminal punishment.
In fact, the laws that prohibit commercial bus drivers from drunk driving are even harsher than those for civilian motorists. According to Michigan Compiled Law §257.625m, the permissible blood/alcohol levels for commercial drivers—0.04 percent—are even lower than those for private motorists.
Due to this law, it is important for anyone injured in a bus collision to try to discover the root cause of a crash. To this end, a detail-oriented lawyer could work with an injured claimant to determine if a commercial bus driving drunk at the time of the accident.
Proving Liability for an Intoxicated Bus Driver
To successfully recover compensation in a civil lawsuit, an injured claimant must be able to demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a defendant was negligent. This is done by establishing a number of legal elements, which would prove that the defendant breached their duty of care—by, for example, drunk driving while operating a commercial bus—and that this breach caused an accident that injured the claimant.
However, any evidence that a bus driver was inebriated at the time of a crash is often a clear legal basis for a claim. If, for example, a bus driver was charged with a DUI after the collision, this evidence could be used during a civil lawsuit.
This process might become further complicated due to the legal concept of comparative negligence, whereby a claimant might be deemed partially at fault for their own injuries. Due to the often-complicated legal system involved in a civil lawsuit, it might prove beneficial to consult with a lawyer who is experienced with drunk driving accident claims involving bus drivers.
Legal Help After a Michigan Drunk Driving Bus Accident
Some of the most severe injury cases arise out of collisions involving buses. While many of these are the result of an accident, others are due to the careless or reckless behavior of a bus driver.
If you were injured in a bus crash because of an intoxicated commercial operator, you might benefit from retaining a knowledgeable lawyer who has experienced navigating claims based on Michigan drunk driving bus accidents. To get started on a claim, reach out to a legal professional at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. today.
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