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Omaha Bus and Van Accident Attorneys



Larger Vehicles Require Extra Caution

Whether you get to work on a local Omaha Metro bus, place your kids on a school bus every morning, your church charters a private bus, or your mom takes a van to get essential medical care, you trust the driver complete the trip safely. These powerful vehicles require drivers to have proper training, credentials, and experience. A single mistake, such as glancing at a cell phone or taking a turn too sharply, can cause a catastrophic accident.

Both passengers and drivers of other vehicles may be eligible for compensation after a bus wreck. But first, your bus and van accident lawyer must conduct an investigation to determine whose negligence caused the accident. That’s why you will want to sit down with an experienced Omaha bus and van accident attorney.

At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., our legal team offers a FREE consultation where we can go over your options after a collision. Contact our office to learn more today by calling (402) 505-8234.

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Hazards for Passengers, Pedestrians, and Other Drivers

Because buses and vans transport people rather than cargo, and they must be held to a high standard for protecting people. If a bus or van collides with another car, injured passengers may be able to file a claim against the bus company if they were injured.

In general buses are better designed to absorb the impact of a crash and protect passengers compared to smaller vehicles. Buses are not required to have seatbelts because the structure of a bus will evenly distribute the impact of a collision so passengers are less like to be harmed in a collision. But if the driver loses control and causes the bus to roll over, the wreck could result in severe injuries for occupants.

Bus accidents involving pedestrians and other vehicles are likely to cause severe injuries. Most modern buses weigh as much as a semi-truck. That’s why buses must follow the same type of strict regulations regarding driver training, hours of service laws, and maintenance. Bus drivers have strict insurance requirements.

At the end of the day, all buses should be operated by fully trained, experienced, and focused drivers. They are responsible for the safety of all passengers as well as other drivers on the road. Failure to obey local Omaha and Nebraska laws can make a driver, and their parent bus company, liable for all injuries.

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Types of Buses in Nebraska

Several types of buses operate throughout Omaha and Douglas County, both public and private. This includes:

  • Public buses, such as ORBT and MOBY, operated by the Omaha Metro
  • School buses operated by Omaha Public Schools and Douglas County School District
  • Amtrak motorcoaches, which are overseen by the Secretary of Transportation
  • Intercity buses operated by Burlington Trailways
  • Greyhound motorcoaches
  • Private tour buses
  • Buses used for weddings, events, and parties
  • Chartered buses for churches and local organizations

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Who Is Responsible for Your Bus Accident Injuries?

Public and private bus operators have different requirements for filing a claim. The three main groups you can file a claim against are:

  • Government Bus Companies: Public buses are operated by a government agency, which may include a city, county, state, or national agency. If you were injured as a passenger, pedestrian, or another driver in a bus wreck, then you will need to file a government tort claim with the agency that operates the bus.
  • Private Bus Companies: Private bus companies may include charter buses for local churches, tour companies, events, parties, weddings, and other private groups. These claims follow the same rules as a standard car crash claim, which means filing a claim with the bus company’s commercial insurance. These policies are more extensive than standard auto insurance and can provide greater compensation. You have four years from the date of a wreck to file a claim.
  • Other Drivers: If another driver collided with the bus you were on, you may be able to file a car crash claim with their insurance provider for compensation. The deadline is two years from the date of the wreck.

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Van Injury Claims and Lawsuits in Omaha

Vans are useful vehicles for a variety of purposes. Businesses use them for deliveries. Church groups, sports teams, and musicians use them for traveling together to different events. Daycare centers use them to pick up and drop off children, and nursing homes use them to transport residents. Large families with kids and pets use vans to get around town. Although they are convenient and have more capacity than most passenger vehicles, vans come with risks.

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What Causes Van Crashes?

Fifteen passenger vans are taller and longer than cars and other passenger vehicles. The height and length make these vehicles more prone to rollover and more challenging to handle. Drivers may have trouble getting around corners, backing up, or performing some driving maneuvers, which increases the chance of accidents.

Vans have a high center of gravity that increases proportionately to the number of passengers on board. The risk of a rollover is significantly greater when a van is loaded with ten passengers than when carrying less than five.

Weight distribution is another crucial factor. The seating configuration of a van puts excess weight on the left rear tires when a van is loaded to near capacity with passengers. This pressure may cause a blowout or loss of control of the vehicle.

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Types of Van Crashes

Any vehicle may be involved in a traffic crash, but some vehicles are more prone to certain types of wrecks than others. Commonly occurring van collisions include:

  • Rollovers: Because of their high center of gravity, vans are more likely to roll over than other passenger vehicles. The risk of rollover increases with every passenger a van is carrying, much more than it does with pickups and minivans.
  • Blind-side collisions: A blind spot is an area around the vehicle where the driver cannot see you. Because of their height and length, larger vehicles such as vans, buses, trucks, and SUVs, have significant blind spots on the sides and directly behind the vehicle. Van drivers may back into objects or pedestrians, change lanes into another vehicle, or push another vehicle off the road because of these blind spots.
  • Equipment failure: Vans can be modified to accommodate disabled passengers in wheelchairs. Securement systems stabilize the wheelchair while parked in the van. When this equipment fails, the chair can move or tip over, injuring the disabled passenger.

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Injuries Caused by Van and Bus Crashes

Accidents caused by larger vehicles often result in serious injuries, especially when they crash into passenger vehicles. Common injuries and other tragic consequences that result from van and bus accidents include:

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Getting Compensation for Your Injuries

Drivers in Omaha have the right to be safe on the road. Companies and organizations responsible for buses and vans must hire responsible drivers and maintain the highest safety standards for their vehicles.

Your personal injury lawyer will investigate the accident to determine liability. Companies and organizations must be diligent about hiring drivers with clean driving records, and drivers should submit their DMV reports to their employers on a regular basis. Your personal injury attorney can review a company’s records to see if the have a history of hiring unsafe or unqualified drivers.

Sometimes companies and organizations try to save money by not performing regular maintenance on their vehicles or failing to buy new tires when needed. This can have tragic consequences for people who depend on these vehicles as well as for other drivers, motorcycle riders, cyclists, and pedestrians on the road.

In the course of their investigation, your personal injury lawyer will determine who is liable for your injuries and file claims against any negligent parties. This may include:

  • Transportation companies
  • Private clubs and organization
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Government agencies
  • Retail businesses
  • Daycare centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Mechanics who failed to perform necessary repairs
  • Manufacturers of defective vehicles or parts

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We’re on Your Side

If you or a loved was injured by a negligent van or bus driver, an experienced accident attorney will help you get the compensation you need to cover the cost of your injuries and other expenses caused by your accident.

The insurance companies make their money by paying out as little as possible in claims. At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we know how to take on the big insurance companies and win. Call (402) 505-8234 to schedule your FREE consultation today. Our dedicated personal injury team fights to get fair compensation for accident victims.

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