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Bus accidents in the Grand Rapids area can cause injuries and other damage to bus passengers and motorists. Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians may also be injured in a bus accident. This type of accident can be complex, with multiple parties that include bus companies, insurance companies, drivers, and other accident victims.

Due to the size of buses, injuries and property damages are likely to be serious when an accident happens. Goodman Acker can help if you or a family member is involved in a bus accident, ensuring that your rights are protected.

What Are the Causes of Bus Accidents in Grand Rapids?

Bus Accident Lawyer Grand Rapids
Image via Flickr by Albert Lugosi | Licensed by CC BY 2.0

Like other vehicle accidents, bus accidents are caused by a number of factors, including inattentive driving and poor weather conditions. Buses by nature are more difficult to operate than smaller vehicles. They require skilled drivers, wide turns, and are more challenging to maneuver in traffic.

While some accidents occur due to factors outside a driver’s control, this isn’t always the case. Drivers may be negligent, or a bus could have a mechanical failure or defect. Many other contributing factors can lead to an accident. Here are possible causes of bus accidents:

  • Careless or inattentive driving by the bus driver, including breaking traffic laws or driving recklessly.
  • Following too closely, leading to rear-ending another vehicle.
  • Improperly making a turn with the bus and veering out of the lane.
  • Driver fatigue or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Not driving safely for road conditions like ice or heavy rain.
  • Not being properly trained by the bus company or being properly licensed.
  • Mechanical failures, including those caused by defective components or improper maintenance of the bus.

Bus accidents can involve a variety of different types of public and private buses in Michigan. School buses, public transit systems like The Rapid in Grand Rapids, privately owned bus lines and coaches, charter buses, airport shuttles, bus tour operators, and party buses fall under the umbrella of buses. Since the bus category includes several different vehicle types of passenger vehicles, accidents involving those vehicles could happen in many other places and under many different circumstances.

Bus accidents can occur during local travel or travel to different states or Canada. Grand Rapids residents may fall victim to a local accident involving an out-of-state bus, or they may be injured in an accident that occurs while traveling on a bus en route to an out-of-state destination. Regardless of the circumstances, a local personal injury attorney can help.

Why Do I Need a Bus Accident Attorney in Grand Rapids?

As with other vehicle accidents in Michigan, the other party will have its own insurance company that will seek to deny or limit liability. With bus accidents, the bus company will also have investigators in addition to its insurance company. An attorney will work on your behalf to represent your best interests.

Promptly retaining an attorney is essential, as the bus company will be conducting an investigation as well. A skilled personal injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and inspect the damage to the bus. This often includes accident reconstruction and detailed analysis of bus company and driver records.

As with any accident, victims and their families should provide all the details they can about the accident, as well as any recordings, photos, or documentation they may have. This information will help the attorney more effectively build a case for you. While the prompt filing of a lawsuit is in the best interest of accident victims, Michigan has a three-year statute of limitations for suing for personal injuries incurred in a bus accident.

Who Is Eligible for No-Fault Insurance Compensation in Grand Rapids?

Victims of bus accidents, like victims of other vehicle accidents in Michigan, are eligible for no-fault insurance compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and further compensation for household and personal assistance. For bus accidents, passengers may receive no-fault compensation if they don’t have a car or an auto insurance policy. Others who may collect no-fault benefits include drivers of vehicles involved in crashes with a bus, passengers, bicyclists, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians. An attorney will determine eligibility for no-fault benefits and determine which insurance company will pay those benefits.

Who Is Liable for Bus Accidents in Grand Rapids?

Those who are eligible for no-fault benefits can also sue the bus driver and the bus company, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Negligence by the driver or the bus company increases the ability to receive compensation. For example, a driver who knowingly breaks traffic laws or a bus company that fails to maintain a bus or hires an unqualified driver opens themselves to further legal repercussions.

As with any personal injury accident, the amount of compensation a victim can receive depends on the severity of the injury and other damages the victim incurred. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to determine the responsible parties and seek fair compensation for your injuries and other losses related to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, future medical bills, and pain and suffering.

Goodman Acker, P.C. Provides Compassionate Legal Assistance to Injured Clients

Due to their size and difficulty to operate, buses are at a higher risk of accidents that lead to injury, death, and property damage. Professional drivers are held to a higher standard because of this. Cases can become complex, with no-fault accident laws and the potential liability of the bus driver and the bus company. It is in your best interest to protect your rights and have someone on your side to advocate for you to get you a fair settlement.

At Goodman Acker, P.C., we value honesty and integrity and hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards. Our Grand Rapids personal injury lawyers have guided numerous clients to successful outcomes in a variety of cases. If you have been injured in a bus accident, we will tirelessly fight on your behalf. Contact our office today to receive a free, no-obligation consultation with our trusted and reputable attorneys. We are available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions.