San Antonio Bus Accident Attorneys

VIA Transit is the bus company that gets San Antonio residents around town. VIA operates nearly 100 routes in the city. In just one year, VIA transported over 20 million people in the San Antonio region, an average of 66,000 people per day. The growing population in the San Antonio area needs a safe and reliable transit company to get them to their destinations. Unfortunately, VIA does not always get that job done.

You may have suffered an injury while riding as a passenger or in an accident with a bus. In other cases, you may have suffered an injury while riding an intercity or charter bus. No matter what type of bus accident you were involved in, you may be entitled to financial compensation when the bus driver was negligent.

First, you must contact an experienced San Antonio bus accident attorney because different rules may govern your case. The Wyatt Law Firm handles commercial vehicle accident claims, including truck and bus accidents.

We have the resources to obtain successful results for our clients in commercial vehicle cases, including:

  • $19.5 million when a commercial driver made an illegal U-turn
  • $10.25 million when a commercial driver rear-ended a smaller car in a construction zone
  • $2.4 million after a commercial driver made an improper turn and caused multiple injuries

Reach out to learn what we might collect in your bus accident case.

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Advocates For Bus Accident Victims

Were you injured in a bus accident? Since 1990, Wyatt Law Firm's team of bus accident lawyers has been advocating for victims of negligence. Sadly, most bus accidents are avoidable. When drivers and others do not exercise care and caution, people can get hurt.

Wyatt Law Firm can help individuals who were:

  • Injured while riding on VIA Metropolitan Transit
  • Hit by a bus as a pedestrian
  • Hit by a bus while riding in a passenger vehicle
  • Injured in a school bus accident
  • Injured in an accident involving a charter bus
  • Have lost loved ones to a fatal bus accident

If you or a loved one has been affected by a bus accident, we invite you to contact a bus accident attorney at Wyatt Law Firm. Call us at 210-340-5550 or fill out a free case evaluation form to learn more.

Wyatt Law Firm provides aggressive representation for people throughout Texas and the nation, including the cities of San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Laredo and Corpus Christi.

Types of Damages To Pursue and Recover in a San Antonio Bus Accident Case

If you sustained injuries in a San Antonio bus accident, you might recover various types of damages. The amount of damages for which you may be eligible typically depends on the severity of your injuries from the bus accident, the cost of your medical treatment, and various other factors. First of all, you may recover economic compensation for all of your medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses.

In addition, you might be eligible to pursue compensation for all of your inconvenience, pain and suffering, loss of use of a body part, mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

The knowledgeable San Antonio bus accident lawyers at the Wyatt Law Firm can determine which types of damages you might be eligible to receive. Our team will then advocate for your legal interests and help you pursue compensation to make you whole again following your bus accident.

Causes Of Public Transportation Accidents

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Each bus accident case is unique and should be evaluated by an experienced personal injury attorney in conjunction with accident investigators. Any given bus accident could involve multiple factors that led to the accident, but some of the common causes include:

Poor Bus Maintenance
If buses are not properly maintained or fail to meet safety regulations, it can lead to serious accidents or more severe injuries in the event of an accident. In this case, the bus manufacturer or the entity that owns the buses could be held liable.

Negligent Driving
Many bus accidents are caused by drivers who simply are not paying attention. Speeding, failure to yield, and other acts of negligence often contribute to traffic injuries and fatalities.

Improper Hiring
Bus companies that hire underqualified or unlicensed drivers could be held accountable for any accidents caused as a result. Bus companies should only hire drivers with a proper driver's license and clean driving history.

VIA Transit Is Having Trouble Getting Bus Drivers

There is a national bus driver shortage, and VIA has already had issues adequately screening and supervising its drivers for years before. For example, in 2017, a VIA driver hit four parked cars when the bus drifted across a traffic lane. The driver resigned under pressure one week after the accident. Before the crash, the driver had more than 50 discipline violations on her record.

VIA has had to cut service because it cannot find enough drivers to operate routes. The transit company has only 80 percent of its staffing level before the pandemic. As a result, VIA may consider hiring inexperienced drivers and rushing them onto the road before they are fully ready to transport passengers safely. Driving a large vehicle, such as a bus, is hard enough. The task becomes even more challenging when the bus driver has to pull in and out of city traffic to pick up and drop off passengers. Driving a bus takes skill, training, and the driver’s full attention.

Causes Of VIA Metropolitan Transit Accidents

Sometimes, city bus systems ail to take adequate precautions. There are multiple reasons for why bus accidents happen.

But some of the more common causes of public transit bus accidents include:

  • Distracted driving – This is one of the leading causes of bus accidents. Bus drivers are responsible not only for the safety of their passengers but also for the safety of occupants in surrounding vehicles. When bus drivers do not pay attention, they risk many lives.
  • Fatigued driving – Driving tired is almost as bad as driving distracted. With the number of people riding the bus daily, drivers often end up working long hours. When they do not get enough rest, however, their driving is impaired. Driving while fatigued leads to inattention behind the wheel, resulting in accidents that could have been prevented.
  • Improperly maintained buses – There are times when the driver is not at fault. If a bus is not taken care of properly, it can malfunction, thus leading to accidents. It is the job of the transit company to provide properly working vehicles.
  • Unqualified drivers – There are certain requirements a driver must meet in order to operate a VIA Metropolitan Transit bus. Some companies hire individuals without checking to see if they have the proper qualifications or without providing necessary training. They can be held accountable if an unqualified driver gets in an accident with someone else.

Bus Design Makes It More Likely That Accidents Injure Passengers

Making things even more dangerous is the design of a bus. These are massive vehicles that lack seatbelts. When passengers lose their footing, they can fall and hit various hard surfaces on the bus. It is tough to stay upright when the bus makes a sudden movement or an unexpected jolt. Even a smaller passenger vehicle can cause passengers on the bus to fall. They may also stumble when the bus driver swerves or oversteers.

Since there is plenty of space on the bus, riders may fall and hit body parts against hard seats. They may injure their limbs when they trip and fall. Some accidents may seem minor, but they may become more severe for the passengers involved when there is the slightest movement on the bus.

Common Bus Accident Injuries

Neck and back injuries are the most common way bus passengers are hurt, followed by sprains. If the passenger falls, they may break bones or hit their head against a surface, leading to more severe injuries. Since there is no restraint, bus passengers can fall in any direction.

Passengers on the bus are not the only people who may suffer an injury from a VIA bus. Other drivers may be seriously injured in an accident with a bus because of the size disparity between the vehicles. The average city bus weighs between 25,000 to 40,000 pounds, even without passengers. The average passenger vehicle will weigh about 3,000 pounds.

Drivers who are in accidents with buses may suffer:

In addition, pedestrians are also at risk of severe injuries if they get struck by a bus. Buses traveling city streets with high amounts of pedestrian traffic raise the risk of an accident. Given the weight of a bus, a pedestrian has almost no chance of escaping a bus accident without grave injuries.

San Antonio Bus Accident FAQs

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Both residents and visitors to San Antonio rely on bus transportation to get them into and around the city. Buses operate on San Antonio roadways and highways daily. These buses include city buses, charter buses, and school buses. Whenever a bus driver negligently operates their bus, serious accidents can happen, leaving the occupants of the bus or another vehicle severely injured and debilitated.

Individuals who have suffered injuries in San Antonio bus accidents often have many questions about how to pursue legal action and recover monetary compensation for their injuries. Fortunately, the experienced team of attorneys at the Wyatt Law Firm is here to help you and answer all of your questions.

Below are some answers to some of the most common questions that bus accident victims have when filing a personal injury claim. To discuss your situation and your legal options, please contact our law firm directly for more information.

What Types of Buses Are Typically in Serious Accidents in and Around San Antonio?

A bus accident can involve any bus that is operating in the San Antonio area. Buses that operate on San Antonio roadways include city buses, charter buses, company buses, and school buses. Bus accidents can injure not only the individuals who are riding on the bus but also the driver and occupants of other motor vehicles in the collision. When a large bus collides with a much smaller vehicle, it is typically the occupants of the smaller vehicle who suffer the most serious injuries in the accident.

If you suffered injuries in a bus accident in the San Antonio area, your first step should be to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced San Antonio bus accident lawyer at the Wyatt Law Firm. Our legal team can discuss the circumstances of your accident with you and explain your legal options for moving forward with your case.

How Do Bus Accidents Occur in San Antonio?

There are several ways that bus accidents can happen in and around San Antonio. In many instances, these accidents occur because of driver error and negligence. Professional bus drivers must abide by a higher standard of care than ordinary drivers simply because of their experience and training. A bus driver is subject to the standard of care of a hypothetical ‘reasonable’ bus driver operating a bus under the same or similar circumstances.

When a bus driver violates this standard of care by acting unreasonably, an accident happens, and injuries result, the bus driver or the employer bus company can be liable.

Some common types of bus driver negligence that can lead to serious accidents and injuries include:

  • Negligent bus operation - When operating a bus on San Antonio highways and roadways, bus drivers must operate their vehicles in a reasonable, careful, and safe manner at all times. Part of this duty includes following all traffic signs and signals and obeying all traffic laws. When a bus driver breaks the law while operating a bus on the road, a serious accident can happen. Bus drivers violate their duty of care to their passengers and other drivers when they run stop signs or red traffic lights, tailgate other vehicles on the roadway, weave in and out of traffic (especially without using a turn signal), and speed. Any of these activities can lead to an accident that ends up injuring a bus passenger, another driver, another vehicle’s passenger, pedestrian, or someone else.
  • Intoxicated driving - Alcohol intoxication can have a profound impact on a person’s driving abilities. When a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the driver’s vision and perception can become distorted. Moreover, alcohol can cause the driver’s reaction time to become delayed, leading to a collision with another vehicle or even with a stationary object on or near the road.
  • Distracted bus operation - Using a cell phone or paying attention to another electronic device while trying to operate a bus do not go hand in hand. Even if a bus driver diverts their attention away from the roadway for a second or two, that is sufficient time for an accident between a bus and another vehicle or a pedestrian to occur. Bus drivers are responsible for giving proper care and attention to the roadway at all times, and this includes refraining from using cellular phones, tablets, and other electronic devices at all times while operating the bus. Even a moment of distracted driving for a bus driver can spell disaster for anyone on the bus or in the vicinity.
  • Fatigued bus drivers - Some bus drivers might work long hours or even multiple jobs, and this can lead to drowsy driving of a large commercial vehicle. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as intoxicated driving in many situations, and serious crashes can result.
  • A negligent driver of another vehicle - In some instances, bus accidents occur not because of negligence on the part of the bus operator but rather because of another motor vehicle operator’s carelessness and negligence. For example, the other driver might have been speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, or otherwise violating one or more rules of the road, bringing about a serious collision in the process.

Who Causes San Antonio Bus Accidents?

You may hold several individuals and entities responsible for a bus accident in or around San Antonio. First of all, the negligent bus driver who caused the accident can be liable for the injuries and damages that result. In addition, if the bus driver works for a bus company or some other entity, that entity can share in some or all of the responsibility.

For example, bus companies are responsible for ensuring that they hire and retain quality drivers. They are also responsible for properly supervising those drivers. In addition, they should not retain problem drivers or individuals who have a habit of causing bus accidents or receiving driving citations.

In some instances where an employment relationship exists, the bus company can automatically be responsible for a bus driver’s negligence. In addition, if the accident victim can demonstrate that the bus accident happened because a bus company negligently hired, retained, or failed to supervise the problem bus driver, the bus company can also be on the line for negligence.

In some instances, the owner of a bus that is involved in an accident is the City of San Antonio or some other municipality. It is important to keep in mind that you must most likely meet notice requirements before filing a claim or lawsuit against a municipality. If you fail to follow these notice requirements and go ahead and file a lawsuit, the court will likely dismiss your case.

If a bus accident that a negligent driver caused left you injured, the San Antonio bus accident attorneys at the Wyatt Law Firm are ready to represent you in your case. Our legal team can help you determine which individuals or entities were responsible for your accident and can file the necessary claim or lawsuit in the Texas state court system. Our goal is to help you pursue and recover the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries.

What Types of Injuries Do Victims of San Antonio Bus Accidents Typically Suffer?

Passengers who are on a bus that is involved in an accident can suffer extremely serious injuries. Most buses do not come with seat belts. Consequently, when a bus is involved in an accident, the passenger’s body can move forward and backward very quickly. A part of the passenger’s body can also strike something in the vehicle, like the headrest, window, or seat in front.

Similarly, if a bus driver’s negligence results in a collision with a smaller vehicle, the occupants of the smaller vehicle typically suffer more serious injuries. The force of the impact can cause the accident victim’s body to move around inside the vehicle, resulting in one or more serious injuries.

Injuries suffered by bus accident victims often include traumatic head injuries, soft tissue injuries, bone fractures, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and even death in the worst accident cases. Many of these injuries require hospitalization and follow-up medical treatment.

For example, the accident victim might need to follow up with a primary care doctor, medical specialist (such as an orthopedist), or physical therapy facility. The accident victim might also need to undergo one or more medical procedures, such as an injection or surgery, at some point down the road. All of this related medical treatment may be compensable as part of the accident victim’s bus accident case.

If you or a person you love has suffered one or more of these injuries in a San Antonio bus accident, the experienced bus accident attorneys at The Wyatt Law Firm can help. Our legal team can analyze the facts and circumstances of your case and determine what, if any, damages you might be eligible to pursue. Our lawyers will zealously advocate for your rights and help you perceive the highest amount of monetary compensation available for your bus accident injuries.

How Do I Go About Filing a Claim for Injuries Arising From a San Antonio Bus Accident?

If you suffered injuries in a bus accident, you may file a claim against the bus driver or the bus company, and their insurer. First, your attorney will gather all of your medical records, bills, and other documentation and submit it to the insurance company for review. The adjuster handling the claim will evaluate the settlement demand package prepared by your attorney, and if liability is accepted, may make an offer to resolve the case.

Initial settlement offers from insurance companies are typically very low and do not adequately compensate accident victims for all of their injuries and losses, especially for serious injuries. After several rounds of negotiation between the insurance company and the accident victim’s lawyer, the case may come to a resolution for a favorable amount of money.

If the bus driver or bus company’s insurer refuses to offer full and fair compensation for all of your injuries, then you have the option of filing a lawsuit and litigating the case in the Texas state court system. Throughout the litigation process, the case may still settle at any point. However, the accident victim might elect to take the case to a jury trial, in which instance the jury will decide all of the disputed issues in the case. One of these disputed issues is usually the amount of compensation that the accident victim can recover in their case.

If you suffered injuries in a San Antonio bus accident, the knowledgeable legal team at the Wyatt Law Firm can help you decide whether you should accept a pending settlement offer or roll the dice and take your case to a jury trial. If you decide to litigate your case and take it to trial, arbitration, or mediation, our experienced legal team can advocate for your interests and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.

Bus Accidents May Involve Claims Against a Government

If you are filing a claim after you have suffered an injury in a VIA bus accident, there is a different procedure that you must follow to have your case correctly considered. The City of San Antonio and Bexar County operate VIA, so you must observe the rules applicable when you sue a government.

Clearly, governments are not immune when their employees have caused you a personal injury. You have the right to obtain financial compensation from a local government. Before filing a lawsuit, you must file your claim directly with the government.

First, you need to give notice of the claim within 180 days. This period is similar to a statute of limitations in a civil lawsuit but much shorter. If you sue the local government, you can recover up to $250,000 per person or $500,000 per incident. One particular rule for suing a government entity is that you cannot receive punitive damages in your claim or lawsuit.

The Role of Negligence in Your Bus Accident Case

Your bus accident claim has the same negligence rules as any other personal injury case. To be eligible for financial compensation, you must prove that a bus driver was negligent, meaning they did something unreasonable under the circumstances.

These examples may constitute negligence:

  • The bus driver causing an accident because they were texting while driving
  • Hitting a car because the operator was speeding
  • Sideswiping a car or forcing it into traffic because the driver did not properly check their blind spot before changing lanes
  • Hitting a pedestrian because the operator did not yield the right of way when required
  • Rear-ending a car because the bus driver did not see the car stopped in front of them

Your Lawyer Gathers Evidence to Prove Negligence

Like every other personal injury case, you have the burden of proof to show that the bus driver was negligent. In these cases, you may be dealing with hardened city or county attorneys trying to save their employer money by denying or underpaying claims. You need an attorney to deal with the local government, just as you might when up against an insurance company.

Your attorney will need to gather evidence about what happened to prove that the bus driver was at fault. The government may be inclined to deny your claim first to make it harder for you. An experienced attorney will get to the bottom of the case and ensure that crucial evidence is not lost.

Passengers on a bus may be injured by another driver, even when the bus driver has done nothing wrong. The design of a bus can leave passengers injured, even if the bus is far larger than any other vehicle in the crash.

Other drivers are also less than safe when buses are around. Motorists should anticipate that the bus driver is operating a large and heavy vehicle and may have trouble maneuvering. In one accident, a VIA Transit bus crashed into a house when it swerved to avoid a smaller car that cut it off in traffic,

Damages in a Bus Accident Case

If you have suffered an injury as a passenger on a bus, your attorney will help figure out who was responsible for the crash. You may be eligible for financial compensation, whether it was the bus driver’s or another driver’s fault. Even though the city or county is involved, they will still need to pay just like anyone else.

You may recover these damages, subject to the caps described above:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage if your car suffered damage in the accident
  • Lost wages for the time that you missed from work or any reduction in your earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering for your ordeal since the accident
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional trauma

The School Bus Accident Legal Process Is Similar

In addition, school bus accidents have the same rules for the lawsuit process since you are suing a local government. Every year, thousands of children receive injuries in school bus accidents. Like passenger buses, school buses are also not necessarily designed with passenger safety in mind. Even if there are seat belts on the bus, they may do little to prevent injury in a get crash. In addition, the fact that children are small leaves their bodies much more vulnerable to serious accident injuries.

In other cases, children may be struck by drivers or the school bus when they are exiting the bus. Children will often be fatally injured when they get struck as pedestrians.

Children are at risk, and other drivers are at risk in a school bus crash. School buses are practically as large as city buses and much larger than other cars involved in the crash. For example, one San Antonio driver suffered an injury in a crash with a school bus in Northeast San Antonio in 2021.

Suing a Charter or Intercity Bus Company

There may be other responsible parties that you can sue in a bus accident. For example, you may have suffered an injury in an intercity bus crash. There have been an increasing number of intercity bus crashes in South Texas.

Bus companies have a higher duty of care than the average driver in a personal injury case. A bus company is considered a common carrier under personal injury law. Common carriers have their own legal standard, where they must use the utmost care, vigilance, and diligence to ensure passengers’ safe transport. Although the legal standard of negligence is the same, the common carrier doctrine puts another finger on the scale when a jury determines whether the defendant was negligent.

Why You Need an Experienced Bus Accident Lawyer

Nonetheless, you should still have an attorney, even if proving negligence may be slightly more manageable. It is no sure bet that a jury will rule against a bus company or their insurance company will concede liability.

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San Antonio Bus Accident Attorney, Paula A. Wyatt

Then, you must obtain the right amount of compensation in your case. When suing a private bus company, there are no caps on damages, and you can even recover punitive damages.

Having an experienced attorney on your side improves your chances of more compensation because your lawyer knows how to value your case and negotiate with an insurance company. You may be entitled to considerable payment for your injury, and you should pull out all the stops to maximize your recovery.

Call a San Antonio Bus Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in an accident involving any bus, you may be entitled to financial compensation. First, you should hire an experienced bus accident lawyer to fight for your legal rights. The Wyatt Law Firm attorneys are not afraid to take on companies or the government. So long as someone owes you money because they were negligent, we will firmly advocate for your position.

Call us today at (210) 340-5550 or email us through our contact page for your free initial consultation. We have obtained over one billion dollars for clients, and we are ready to go to work for you.

Wyatt Law Firm, PLLC
21 Lynn Batts Lane, Suite 10
San Antonio, Texas 78218


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